“4th Floor Files” talks to Ron Book about Lauren’s Kids, Sine Die, and Olympic torches

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Today’s edition of “4th Floor Files” features Ron Book, perhaps the most recognizable lobbyist in the industry. We could list his clients, but there isn’t enough room on my hard drive. Here’s the file on Ron:

Children?

Three children:  Lauren Book (29), Samantha Book (27) and Chase Book (22)

Grand kids?  

1 grandchild, Quentin. He’s 7 weeks old.

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.  

Our job is to aggressively and effectively advocate for our clients. There is no room for error.  “It can be done” and “Nothing is impossible.” We work 20 hours a day during the Legislative Session.

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

I admire people from both sides of the aisle. While I would consider myself fiscally conservative, I generally vote for the person…not the party.

If you have one, what is your motto?

“Nothing is impossible.”

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

Yes, Lauren’s Kids Foundation, which is run by my daughter, Lauren Book.  However, I have represented over 15 Pro Bono clients over the last two decades.  I believe it’s important to give back.

Three favorite charities.

Lauren’s Kids, The Homeless Trust and The Mourning Family Foundation

Any last-day-of-Session traditions?

Call me sentimental, but after more than 40 legislative sessions, I still like to watch the hanky drop. 

What are you most looking forward to during the 2014 Legislative Session.

Sine Die

If you could have another lobbyist’s client list, it would be…

I am happy with the people I represent, and I don’t believe in poaching!

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

Helping to restore the funding for the $1 Billion Port Tunnel in Miami-Dade County.

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

No, I do not wear Gucci. I like nice shoes, but brand is not important as long as they have tassels. Tassels are a must!

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol Press Corp reporter and why?

I love all members of the Press Corps!

Other than SaintPetersBlog.com, your reading list includes…

The Miami Herald, the Sun Sentinel, Tampa Bay Times, USA Today, Tallahassee Democrat and the Wall Street Journal.  Also like to read Sayfie Review, Florida Trend and the Florida Current.

What swear word do you use most often?

I make good use of all of them!

What is your most treasured possession?

I have 2 great collections: sports memorabilia, including a nice assortment of Olympic torches, and a political Americana collection second to none, which includes political buttons, posters and the like.  Also, have to give an honorable mention to my cars.  I do love my cars.

The best hotel in Florida is…

Any Hilton property! Hilton has been a strong supporter of my daughter’s foundation, Lauren’s Kids, and a significant sponsor of her “Walk in my Shoes” statewide walk across Florida. For that, they have my loyalty forever, and it doesn’t hurt that they have great properties everywhere.

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?

Governor Rick Scott, Attorney General Pam Bondi, Senate President Don Gaetz, and Speaker Will Weatherford.

Favorite movie.

I like TV shows better than movies, generally.  I love all the CSIs, the Good Wife, Law and Order (new and old) and I watch a lot of sports … Dolphins and Heat whenever they are playing.

Before the ‘gift ban’, what was your favorite restaurant in Tallahassee?  

I am not that into fancy stuff.  I have always liked Po’ Boys and I am sad that they are no longer downtown. I also like Hungry Howie’s, and my all-time favorite is Andrews, Andrews, Andrews!

 What is your favorite today?

I am going to go with Andrew’s …. I have been coming to Tallahassee for more than 40 sessions, and Andy FINALLY named something on the menu for me.  I feel like I’ve arrived.

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Again, not into fancy stuff.  I love a good Philly Cheesesteak, good pizza and a good burger.

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

John Fitzgerald Kennedy

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.