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4th Floor Files talks with Allison Liby-Schoonover about solutions, good red wine and a big tent

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Today’s chapter of the “4th Floor Files” talks with Allison Liby-Schoonover of Metz, Husband & Daughton. Alli brings more than a decade of government experience in both legislative and executive branches.

In addition to serving as a legislative analyst in the Senate Majority Office, specializing in education and agriculture, Alli had played a key role as deputy Senate finance director at the Republican Party of Florida in the 2012 election cycle. Prior to that, she worked in legislative affairs department of the Florida Department of the Lottery.

Significant other? Children? Grand kids?

Schoonie (husband Chris Schoonover) and I have been together for 10 years, and we are blessed with our daughter, Liberty Chandler (9 months) and Beau the bulldog.

In 25 words or less, explain what you do.

Track policy and present solutions, interpret the realities of the political world, and fundraise.

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

I’ll borrow from my church’s values: firm at the core and open at the edges.

I believe the “tent” is big enough for us all, small government is better, I believe in individual independence and responsibility, and I support the free market.

If you have one, what is your motto?

“If you look good, you feel good. If you feel good, you play good. If you play good, they pay good” — Deion Sanders

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

When it comes to volunteer time, I like to get out of the Capitol and work with student leaders, I serve as an adviser to two organizations at FSU.

Three favorite charities.

We spend our time, talent, and treasure on supporting Florida State University and St. John’s Episcopal Church.

Any last-day-of-session traditions?

Close out strong, drink good red wine, and look forward to spending time with my family and friends.

What are you most looking forward to during the 2015 legislative session?

This will be my first session in the private sector after having been a Senate staffer. I miss my former colleagues on the inside, but really enjoy my new team and I like the challenge of tracking a diverse set of issues. 

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

Our clients at MHD are a great mix of corporate and niche, I’d be crazy to trade them!

Professional accomplishment of which you are most proud?

My first job—I worked as a Barbie toy tester at Mattel in Los Angeles.

In all sincerity, I’m most proud of balancing the trifecta: a challenging career, a rock-solid marriage, and a daughter who behaves in restaurants.

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

Flats are for quitters, no loafers for me.

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

Fineout for all subjects, Solochek for education.

Other than, your reading list includes…

It’s session: bills, amendments, and looking forward to some budget Excel sheets.

What swear word do you use most often?

I’ll never tell.

What is your most treasured possession?

The watch I received when LC was born.

The best hotel in Florida is…

North Florida: Watercolor.

South Florida: The Brazilian Court.

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?

President (Don) Gaetz, Joel Springer, Mac Stipanovich, and Speaker Hudson to liven it up.

Favorite movie.

Zoolander (yes, I have terrible taste in film).

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Sweetgrass Dairy for wine and a cheeseboard.

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


Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, 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.

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