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Annual lobbyist conference starts today in Tampa

in Statewide/Top Headlines by

The Florida Association of Professional Lobbyists‘ 11th annual conference kicks off later this week in Tampa.

This year’s conference runs Wednesday-Friday at the Grand Hyatt Tampa Bay on Bayport Drive.

The keynote speaker, however, is still in flux after the planned headliner had to cancel because of a last-minute scheduling conflict, executive director Mark Landreth said.

Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, commander of the U.S. Central Command in Tampa, was going to talk on “Making America Secure in the 21st Century.”

The military command is responsible for security from Egypt through the Middle East and north to Kazakhstan.

But the rest of the three-day conference still includes nearly a dozen topical breakout panels:

  • Ethics: What Everyone Needs to Know to Stay Out of Trouble
  • Medical Marijuana: The Impact of the New Rules and Their Status
  • Florida’s RFP/Procurement Process and the Rules That Govern It
  • Gaming: A Review of the Statutes and Issues Moving Forward
  • New Strategies in Digital Media for Advocacy
  • Cybersecurity: Protect Your Data and Yourself While You Are Online
  • Beat Reporters: The Great Questions of 2016 and Beyond
  • Media’s New Direction (rumor-mongering, to blogging, to hard news)
  • The Chiefs of Staff and Their Role in the Process
  • Water Policy: The Statutes and Rules Necessary to Protect Our Most Valuable Natural Resource

Other invited speakers include House Republican Leader Dana Young, Republican Party of Florida Chair Blaise Ingoglia, Florida Democratic Party Chair Allison Tant, Department of Management Services Secretary Chad Poppell, lobbyist and former appellate judge Paul Hawkes, and many more.

The association’s mission “is to establish and maintain high standards for the lobbying profession,” including ethics, its website says.

“Each member must complete an initial course in lobbying regulation and ethics and then participate in periodic continuing education,” according to the site.

For more information on the conference, click here.

Before joining Florida Politics, journalist and attorney James Rosica was state government reporter for The Tampa Tribune. He attended journalism school in Washington, D.C., working at dailies and weekly papers in Philadelphia after graduation. Rosica joined the Tallahassee Democrat in 1997, later moving to the courts beat, where he reported on the 2000 presidential recount. In 2005, Rosica left journalism to attend law school in Philadelphia, afterwards working part time for a public-interest law firm. Returning to writing, he covered three legislative sessions in Tallahassee for The Associated Press, before joining the Tribune’s re-opened Tallahassee bureau in 2013. He can be reached at

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