Life and politics from the Sunshine State's best city

4th Floor Files talks with Reggie Garcia about winning, The Fugitive and getting it in writing

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Lobbyist Reggie Garcia is the subject of the newest chapter of the “4th Floor Files.” Garcia is also a clemency lawyer who spends a lot of his time lobbying the governor and Cabinet for clemency on behalf of clients.

Garcia has his own practice and his lobbying clients include Clinton Treadway, the Florida Justice Association, the Florida Education Fund, Florida Association of Broadcasters and the Drive Safely Forum. He recently authored How to Leave Prison Early, a do-it-yourself guide for parolees and clemency petitioners to navigate the complex Florida correctional system.

Here’s the file on Reggie Garcia:

In 25 words or less explain what it is that you do.

As a lawyer/lobbyist my job is to help my clients win. Lobbying the governor, Cabinet, Legislature and state agencies is challenging and rewarding.  (Did it in 23). 

Who is your favorite Florida Capitol press corps reporter and why?

Steve Bousquet: the first CPC reporter I met in the mid-’80s.  Smart, fair, good dresser and he covers my clemency + parole cases.  

Other than, your reading list includes…

Sayfie Review, Tallahassee Magazine, James Patterson + Vanity Fair.

If you have one, what is your motto?

If the strategy and plan are not in writing, they don’t really exist.

What are your three favorite charities?

The Boys and Girls Clubs; Ronald McDonald House Charities (college scholarships); and Patriotic Partners of North Florida.

Lobbyists are often accused of wearing Gucci loafers; do you own a pair of Gucci loafers and if not then why not?

No, but I tried a pair on in Charleston. There are too many other good ways to spend $600.

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

Prison reform.

Any last-day-of-session traditions?

OLD tradition – drink with clients and legislators. NEW tradition — take my wife to Shula’s for dinner + wine.

What swear word do you use most often?

Sorry, I am calling B-S on that …” 

What is your most treasured possession?

My grandparents’ inlaid color-serving tray from Brazil — used for serving Cuban coffee and other “shots.” 

The best hotel in Florida is…

The Breakers in Palm Beach — especially with the new lobby sushi bar + lounge.

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?

That’s easy:  Govs. Graham, Martinez, Bush + Scott to discuss their prison commutations! 

Favorite movie

The Fugitive with Tommy Lee Jones….  “We are always amazed when we find (prison) leg-irons with NO legs in them.” 

When you pig out, what do you eat?

Kool Beanz Cafe: great fish, red beans & rice, bread + wine.  My friend Keith Baxter owns it — and is expanding.  

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

A toss-up between Marilyn Monroe and Richard Nixon.

What would you discuss with President Nixon?

How someone who bounced back from a 1960 close loss for the presidency and then later a 1962 loss for governor of California wins the presidency in 1968 and was a foreign policy visionary could risk and lose his presidency with such a brazen cover-up.

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