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A Paean to the Superheroes of The Process


es, we did it. Yes, we based the cover of this quarter’s INFLUENCE Magazine on the poster from a comic book movie, “Captain America: Civil War.” Because why can’t lobbyists be superheroes? Actually, the perception lately of lobbyists seems to be anything BUT super. Upon taking the gavel of the Florida House, Speaker Richard Corcoran promulgated new rules designed to rein in the power of the influence industry. To extend the superhero metaphor, it’s as if Corcoran is serving up a healthy dose of Kryptonite to Florida lobbyists. But will the new rules have the impact Corcoran — whose brother Michael is a lobbyist and actually was in the very first edition of INFLUENCE Magazine — seeks? Our Jim Rosica explores the issue beginning on page 82. Whatever impact Speaker Corcoran’s new rules have on The Process, the consensus among many of the most successful lobbyists is that they will quickly abide by and adapt to the changes. In fact, INFLUENCE Magazine’s 2015 Lobbying Firm of the Year — Capital City Consulting —was the first to register with the House under the new guidelines. Also ready to embrace the new day: Ron Book, perhaps the most well-known

lobbyist walking Florida’s halls of power. In an in-depth interview, Book talks about the privilege of working in the people’s Capitol, while also opening up about the toughest battle he’s had to face — his fight against prostate cancer. It’s simply mustread stuff. Anchoring this edition of INFLUENCE are two major features. The first is a look at the re-emergence of the legal-lobbying firms, like Foley & Lardner and Greenberg Traurig. If the last decade saw the decline of the one-man (or woman) shops and the rise of the networked mega-firms, the end of this decade is seeing this other trend, where major legal firms are also major players in the governmental affairs industry. For the first time in some time, one of these firms (GT) is in the Top 5 for compensation, while several other law firms, like GrayRobinson and Gunster, are seeing increased revenues. The second big feature in this edition is the debut of the 2016 class of Rising Stars in the governmental affairs industry. One thing we’ve prided ourselves on is identifying early on the fresh faces to watch … people like Katie Ballard and Sydney Ridley, who we took notice of quickly and are now watching as they bloom into power players.

Do yourself a favor and get to know the 2016 class. These are the men and women who could be your next big hire — or competition. A housekeeping note: Instead of publishing the INFLUENCE 100 every year, we’ve decided to alternate it with the list of Rising Stars. The truth is, the INFLUENCE 100 ebbs and flows with the election cycle and there’s just not enough movement within a year to publish it annually. So, for those looking to see who made that list — or are angling to get on it — you have 12 more months. All of this leads me to say goodbye to 2016, a truly annus horribilis, although not entirely so for the influence industry. It seems even in difficult years, the governmental affairs business prospers. Perhaps this says something about the essential nature of the work done by those in “The Process.”

Peter Schorsch Publisher

PHOTO: Via Marvel


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INFLUENCE Florida Winter 2016  

The people, professionals and lifestyle of Florida politics

INFLUENCE Florida Winter 2016  

The people, professionals and lifestyle of Florida politics