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4th Floor Files talks to Mark Anderson about Session life, snacks and ‘Office Space’

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It’s been a while since our last installment of 4th Floor Files, when we spoke with Liberty Partners’ Thomas Hobbs back in April.

We welcome you back to our series of Q&As with Tallahassee’s foremost influence professionals with our recent chat with Mark Anderson, a longtime Capitol lobbyist who runs a solo shop on Monroe Street.

We caught up with the former Senate aide and proprietor of the Mark W. Anderson firm on Monday. Here’s his file, complete with a shout-out to our own Jim Rosica.

Significant other? Children? Grandkids?

Wife is [Florida Hospital Association lobbyist] Ellen Anderson.

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

I help government make informed decisions.

Without using the words Democrat, Independent or Republican, conservative or liberal, describe your political persuasion.

Constitutionalist.

During your career, have you had a favorite pro bono client?

Yes. Florida Holocaust Museum.

Three favorite charities.

Samaritan’s Purse, Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Home Society.

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?

Counting how many times people say that Session will either end early, extend, blow up or the “House and Senate aren’t getting along.”

What are you most looking forward to during the Legislative Session?

The last day of Session.

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

Besides winning some big legislative victories as a lobbyist, one of my more memorable accomplishments actually happened during my first few hours as a brand new Senate aide.

I was informed that my senator would likely be running late to present his most controversial bill before the same committee which had killed the bill the prior year. My job was to let the chairman know that my senator was running late and, if necessary, have another member present the bill, but only to avoid the bill from being Temporarily Postponed (TP’d).

As luck would have it, my senator was not in the room when the chair called his bill. I then rose to offer my proudly rehearsed explanation that my boss was running late. Halfway through my statement, my boss thankfully emerged from the back of the committee room and sat at the table.

When asked if he would like to present his bill, which everyone expected he would do, he instead publicly informed the chair that he would rather see ME present his bill. Long story short, the bill narrowly passed the committee and the Legislature that year.

Baptism by fire.

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers? If not, why not?

No. I don’t like the way they look.

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol Press Corps reporter?

A tie between Gray Rohrer and James Rosica.

Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes…

Pretty much any news publications. Some of my favorites include Drudge Report, Tampa Bay Times, Miami Herald, ESPN, Politico, Naked Politics, Political Fix…

What is your most treasured possession?

My health.

The best hotel in Florida is…

Ritz Carlton-Orlando.

You’ve just learned that you will be hosting a morning talk show about Florida politics. Who are the first four guests you’d invite to appear?

Carl Hiaasen, Toni Jennings, Dan Webster, Jim Eaton

Favorite movie?

I don’t have just one. Pretty much any John Hughes movie from the ‘80s, including Bueller’s Day Off, Uncle Buck and The Breakfast Club to Indiana Jones I (Raiders of the Lost Ark) and III (The Last Crusade), Terminator I and II, Lost Boys, Casino, Gangs of New YorkThe Departed, Saving Private Ryan, and Apollo 13, to name a few.

And [Mike Judge classic] Office Space. Definitely Office Space.

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Haagen-Dazs Chocolate Peanut Butter Ice Cream or Banana Pudding (with the vanilla wafers). Whichever one is easiest to find.

If you could have dinner with a historical figure no longer living, who would it be?

Besides the obvious choices of George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, it would have to be Jesus Christ.

Ryan Ray writes about campaigns and public policy in Tampa Bay and across the state. A contributor to FloridaPolitics.com and before that, The Florida Squeeze, he covers the Legislature as a member of the Florida Capitol Press Corps and has worked as a staffer on several campaigns. He can be reached at ryan@floridapolitics.com.

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