2006 News

Way cleared for berm planting at Tequesta Park

Project OK'd now that Tequesta has signed a new lease with state agency

By Michelle Sheldone
staff writer
August 17, 2005

Work toward creating a Tequesta Park berm can begin now that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection — the park's new land manager — has approved a Village of Tequesta application to sow the seeds of the project.

"We've been talking about the berm and cleaning up that portion of park since last winter," said Jack Cory of Tallahassee-based Public Affairs Consultants, Inc. The Village had long leased the 45-acre parcel as part of Jonathan Dickinson State Park and in March applied for the berm planting on behalf of the Jupiter Hills Club community to the north.

The Village in July signed off on a new lease agreement for the park with FDEP — a move that Cory, Tequesta's public affairs consultant, called "more expeditious" than "bureaucratic mumbo jumbo."

The State Division of Parks and Recreation, realizing the land had been under village's control for decades, decided it no longer needed the property and turned it over to FDEP, said Cory. Approval of the berm was contingent upon executing the new lease agreement, he said.

"I think it's a win-win for the state and the village," said Cory. "It places the land where it really probably should have been for the last 20 years. It hasn't been a part Jonathan Dickinson other than sitting on map."

Tequesta Park incurred extensive damage during the 2004 hurricanes and the Village to date has spent about $50,000 in Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) reimbursed funds to clear usable areas, including baseball field, tennis and basketball courts, playground and restrooms. The storms also destroyed park lighting and downed fencing around the facility's tennis courts, playground and baseball fields.

The Jupiter Hills Golf Club and Jupiter Hills Property Owners Association abutting the park to the north contributed $45,000 so that the Village in May could begin clearing the balance of downed and snapped trees.

Planting the berm along the park's northern perimeter could cost those groups an additional $45,000, according to Assistant Village Manger Bob Garlo. The effort would aesthetically improve the rear of the park and serve as a buffer between Jupiter Hills residents and the public property, said Tequesta Mayor Jim Humpage.

Fencing repairs at the park have been complete, and the village is soliciting bids to repair the facility's lighting, said Garlo, who hopes to bring a contract for the project before Tequesta councilors in September.

Back to Top

What Happened in Florida?

Track Greed Kills Slots Bill

By: Jack Cory
June 1, 2005

Tallahassee Florida: Since the Florida Legislative Session has ended, I have been receiving phone calls and emails from Greyhound men and women from all over the country asking, “What happened in Florida?”

To fully understand the situation you need to go back six years to February 1999. Representatives from “ALL” the Greyhound Tracks in Florida, the National Greyhound Association (NGA) and the Florida Greyhound Association (FGA) were meeting to prepare a proposal to be submitted to the Florida Legislature authorizing video lottery terminals (VLT) in all pari-mutuel facilities.

The tracks wanted NGA and FGA members to support their proposal. The NGA and the FGA representatives agreed to support the proposal from the tracks that included purse enhancement; protection of live racing; protection of kennel operators; a breeders program; and intent language committing the state to live racing.

The tracks agreed to all these proposals in a written memo dated February 12, 1999.

Greyhound men and women are known for keeping their word for as long as it takes to get the job done.

Now, fast-forward to the winter of 2004 when we had the opportunity to talk to the manager of the Hollywood Greyhound Track. He asked if NGA/FGA were going to oppose his proposal to authorize slot machines in existing pari-mutuel facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade County, Florida. He expected some track operators in other parts of the state to oppose his proposal. (Miami-Dade County later defeated the proposal in a second local referendum.)

We told him whatever benefited one greyhound person benefited ALL, but that we would need to keep the promise that the tracks had made on VLT’s; he was very appreciative of our support and assured us we would get together soon.

The system in Florida to amend the Constitution is very complex. The language for the proposed amendment must contain only one subject. You must first obtain 61,114 signatures on a petition containing the proposed amendment and then submit the language to the Attorney General for language certification before it goes to the Supreme Court. Then, you must obtain 611,009 signatures in at least 13 of the Congressional Districts. In the case of the slots proposal, it was submitted as a State Wide Referendum in November of 2004 and approved. It then required a second referendum in March 2005 in Broward and Miami-Dade County. The Broward County referendum was approved but the Miami-Dade County referendum was defeated.

Throughout the entire referendum process the greyhound men and women of the National Greyhound Association and the Florida Greyhound Association did all they could to support the passage of the slots referendum.

The third part of the Constitutional Amendment stated that it “requires implementing legislation” by the Florida Legislature.

The Florida Legislature is in Session for 60 calendar days or 9 weeks. The 9 weeks of the Florida Legislative Session are very similar to the 9 innings of a baseball game. It doesn’t matter who is ahead in the third or the fifth inning. The only score that counts is after the completion of the 9 innings or 9 weeks.

Because of this short-fixed period, things move very quickly during the regular session. It is like when the box opens, there is no stopping the greyhounds; they are off and running and they are extremely focused.

The Legislature also had Interim Committee Meetings that began this year in November, similar to the pre-season in baseball. Throughout this time we testified several times before House and Senate Committees that we supported the slots bill as long as it had purse enhancement and the protection of live racing. We were in contact with the tracks in Tallahassee or when they called me on my cell phone with requests for help. Each time we assured one another that we were going to get together and work things out.

This continued through the first 3 weeks (or innings) of the Legislative Session.

At this time, The South Florida Greyhound Association, representing the men and women that run at Hollywood and Miami, Florida, contacted Mike Labun, President of the Florida Greyhound Association, and requested a briefing of their members on the status of the Legislative Session. A meeting was scheduled for Friday, March 25 in Hollywood, Florida. All kennel owners from Hollywood and Miami were invited. The track management wanted to attend the meeting and they were invited too. At the last minute the track management announced they would not meet with the kennel owners if representatives of the NGA or FGA were present. We had a great meeting with almost all of the kennel owners present including the NGA National President and two national directors. The members were very united in their goals to maximize purses in the Florida statute and to protect the current live racing schedule.

The following week, week 4 (or the 4th inning) we had our first committee meeting in which a bill was presented. The meeting was scheduled for Thursday, March 31st at 3:00 pm.

Up until this time all other greyhound tracks in Florida had been neutral on the slots bill. I reconfirmed their neutrality at 10:30 a.m. the day of the meeting.

Representative Frank Attkisson (R-Kissimmee), Chairman of the House Business Regulation Committee, drafted a Proposed Committee Bill (PCB) that would fulfill the requirements of Article 4 only.

Representative Thad Altman (R-Melbourne) had been working for weeks on an amendment that would provide purse enhancement.

By noon the other greyhound tracks had changed their minds and now opposed adding purse language in the Florida statutes.

The committee meeting got very confusing with some tracks putting forth half-truths, innuendoes and some out right lies. We all make mistakes from time to time, but when you try to use lying as a tactic in the legislative process it catches up to you quickly.

The manager of the track in Hollywood testified to the House Committee that he had “never promised purse enhancement.”

We followed his testimony by presenting the committee a copy of the amendment to the Florida constitution, which said, in part “…authorized slot machines in existing, licensed pari-mutuel facilities……that have conducted live racing….during each of the last two calendar years…” and advised the committee you cannot have live racing without purses.

Then we presented the committee a copy of a report from the Hollywood Greyhound Track. This same report was presented to the committee the previous week by the Innovation Group, which stated “purse enhancement will support agriculture breeding and related industries statewide.” The Innovation Group report went on to present a “Business Plan for Racinos in Broward County” (Miami-Dade had been eliminated by the loss in the March 8th local referendum). The business plan that the track had presented to the committee called for “12.5%…for purse and city and county development agreements.” The presenter went on to explain that there would be 2.5% for “city and county development agreements” and 10% “for purses.”

This misrepresentation of the facts in an open committee meeting was something that some of the House leaders never forgot and in the end never forgave.

As we moved into the 5th week of the session, and past the half way point, the track began trying to force all local kennel operators to sign contracts for 5.75% less the 2.5% they had promised the cities and county. The 3.25% would have been ONLY during the live meet; making it one of the lowest purses from slots in the country and the only ones without statutory protection. This would have also set a very bad precedent for all of the NGA members throughout the country as other tracks added slots or other types of gaming machines.

After a couple of kennel operators started to try and negotiate their own side deals, thus undermining the unity pledge of the March 25th meeting.

The proposed track contract was “…not effective in the event that legislation passes,” with purse enhancement. Therefore, all of the kennel operators were released from their unity pledge.

The tracks spent so much time and effort opposing purse enhancement and supporting Grey2K, the radical Boston animal rights groups attempt to reduce the requirement to maintain the live racing that had been conducted “during each of the last two calendar years” that they lost focus on the important issues of the tax rate on slot machines and the type of slot machines. While they were misrepresenting facts about purse enhancement the Florida House was locking down on a position of a 55% tax rate and type II machines.

Grey2K and their representatives had sat in the back of the committee rooms doing crossword puzzles. They never presented their radical animal rights position to any committee. They talked to the tracks directly about the reduction of live racing dates. Grey2K also had a regulatory amendment that would have required every NGA/FGA member to file with the Department of Business Regulation every time they transferred a greyhound from track to track, track to farm or disposed of a greyhound. The department estimated this unnecessary regulatory scheme would have cost over $1.5 million. They tried to run these amendments several times, but we defeated them several times. As we said the only score that counts is the score after the 9th week (or inning) is over.

With the tracks working with Grey2K and refusing to negotiate in good faith, it became obvious that we needed to make some decisions.

In consultation with offices, directors and members of NGA, FGA and the South Florida Greyhound Association it was determined that NO bill was better than a BAD bill. Such as one that did not have realistic purse protection and the protection for live racing.

We still continued to keep the door open to the track until the end, but without any positive response.

As we entered the last day of the Legislative Session the House Leadership never forgot the misrepresentation by the track in an open committee meeting and the House would not come off their tax and machine position.

In the end the tracks greed killed the slots bill for this year and it will cost the Hollywood Greyhound Track over $100 million in lost slot revenue!

Jack Cory is with Public Affairs Consultants in Tallahassee, Florida. He can be reached at jackcory@paconsultants.com.

Back to Top

Florida House of Representatives

Representative Joe Negron

District 82


Rep. Joe Negron instrumental in obtaining $7,500,000.00 in NEW Domestic Violence funding

Tallahassee, FL: State Representative Joe Negron (R-Stuart), Chairman of the Florida House of Representatives Subcommittee on Judicial Appropriations announced $7,500, 000.00 in new appropriations to help the victims of Domestic Violence. These new funds will be used by Domestic Violence Centers Statewide, including Safespace Inc. in Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River Counties.

"3.5 million of this funding is the largest single increase for operations of Domestic Violence centers that we have received in years and we could not have done it without Representative Joe Negron." – Tiffany Carr, Executive Director – FCADV

According to a report to the Legislature by the Florida Department of Children and Families (DCF) there has been a steady increase in demand for services from domestic violence centers.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) reported 121,834 domestic violence offenses in Florida during the latest reporting period. Of those offenses 188 were homicides.

Safespace, Inc. Director Hylan Bryan said, "We are very thankful to Representative Joe Negron for his hard work and dedication to the community programs in his District". Safespace, Inc. has served Martin, St. Lucie and Indian River County since 1979. They provide case management, counseling, support, community education and training at their two satellite shelters.

The Florida Coalition Against Domestic Violence is a Tallahassee based group that serves as the professional association for Florida's 38 certified domestic violence centers. Tiffany Carr, their Executive Director lauded Representative Negron's efforts on behalf of Domestic Violence victims.

"Our state has an obligation to protect victims of domestic violence," Rep. Joe Negron said. "Domestic violence centers are a high priority as the state takes over primary funding of our court system."

For further information Contact Cheri Vancura at (850) 488-8832 or (772) 221-4904

Back to Top

State Grants $200K to upgrade Tequesta park

Tequesta has received $200,000 state grant to renovate and improve facilities at Constitution Park. The grant matches the $200,000 the city had already set aside fro the park, bringing the total budget to $400,000.

Constitution Park, located at 399 Seabrook Road, is the centerpiece of Tequesta's Parks and Recreation Department, hosting community events including concerts, picnics, and basketball tournaments.

"The plans that we have for the park right now are uncertain," said Greg Corbitt, Tequesta's Parks and Recreation Director. "We are going to address specific needs. Currently, we have a gazebo in the park, and we'd like to address the needs there to accommodate our concerts in the park. We're going to address the needs of bathrooms. We still haven't really had a chance to put together some idea, speak to engineers and find out if things are feasible at his point."

Currently, park patrons must use the restrooms within the Recreation Center. Corbitt admitted to being a little surprised to receive the matching grant, given the state's famously tight budget and the youth of the department.

"I couldn't tell you (where they found the money)," he said. "That's a question for the governor, I guess. It's (the result of) a really tedious application process and a lot of following up in Tallahassee, pushing for the grant. It was a surprise that we did get it, given that the Parks and Recreation Department has only been in existence for three years or so."

Right now, the department is in the peak of its summer camp season and is preparing for the fall programs, not capital improvements. "We have a whole set of programs slated for the fall for kids and adults and out senior population. The new fiscal year starts Oct. 1, so the upgrades won't start sooner, but could begin as soon as October.

Back to Top

Public Affairs Consultants Partners with Cassidy & Associates

Cassidy & Associates, a leading Washington lobbying firm and Public Affairs Consultants, Inc. a Tallahassee-based lobbying firm announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement.

Martin A. Russo, President of Cassidy & Associates and Keyna Cory, President of Public Affairs Consultants, Inc. in Tallahassee, Florida, jointly announced the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between the two firms.

Cassidy & Associates was rated the number one lobbying firm in Washington, DC, in the March 2004 issue of Washington Business Journal. The firm represents over 145 clients nationally for Federal Lobbying and Federal Procurement.

Public Affairs Consultants, Inc. is one of the oldest and most respected lobbying firms in Tallahassee, Florida. The firm was founded in 1970 by Jack Cory who continues to serve as Founding Partner. The firm represents clients before the Florida Legislature, state agencies, as well as local governmental entities in the State of Florida.

Keyna Cory is President-Elect of the FSAE Foundation and a member of ASAE. She was named Associate Member of the Year for 2001.

Back to Top


Public Affairs links with D.C. Firm

Posted on Wed., Dec. 15, 2004 Public Affairs Consultants, one of Tallahassee's oldest lobbying firms, founded in 1970 by Jack Cory, has formed a partnership with Washington, D.C.-based Cassidy & Associates. Cassidy & Associates, which represents more than 145 clients nationally for federal lobbying and procurement, was rated the number one lobbying firm in Washington in the March issue of Washington Business Journal. The partnership allows both firms - which will continue to operate independently - to offer a broader base of representation to their clients, said Kenya Cory, president of Public Affairs Consultants.

Back to Top

Cassidy & Associates leading Washington lobbying firm and Public Affairs Consultants, Inc. Tallahassee based lobbying firm announce signing of strategic partnership agreement.


Martin A. Russo, President of Cassidy & Associates in Washington D.C. and Keyna Cory, President of Public Affairs Consultants, Inc. in Tallahassee Florida jointly announced today the signing of a strategic partnership agreement between the two firms.

Cassidy & Associates was rated the number one Lobbying firm in Washington D.C. in the March issue of Washington Business Journal. The firm represents over 145 clients nationally for Federal Lobbying and Federal Procurement.

Public Affairs Consultants Inc. is one of the oldest and most respected Lobbying firms in Tallahassee, Florida. The firm was founded in 1970 by Jack Cory who continues to serves as Founding Partner. The firm represents clients before the Florida Legislature, State Agencies as well as local government entities in the State of Florida.

"We are happy to announce this strategic partnership agreement today," Mr. Russo said from his offices in Washington D.C. "The Cory's firm is one of the most respected professional organizations in the State of Florida".

"This strategic partnership will benefit each firms' current clients and we will be working together to develop new business opportunities for both firms" said Keyna Cory from her Tallahassee, Florida office. Public Affairs Consultants Inc. will continue to operate as an independent company. "We will now be able to offer the Florida business and non profit community Federal Lobbying on Legislative and Budget issues and Federal procurement assistance through our strategic partner Cassidy & Associates" Mrs. Cory said.

For further information contact:

Keyna Cory
Public Affairs Consultants

Aimee Steel
Cassidy & Associates

Back to Top

The Florida Society of Association Executives (FSAE) Holds Annual Conference

AMELIA ISLAND, FL - July 16 - The Florida Society of Association Executives held its Annual Conference at Amelia Island Plantation, Amelia Island, Florida, July 11-14. A record number of attendees participated in this educational and networking event. The program included sessions on Associations in the Year 2005; Building the Best Team; Keeping Members; Creating Non-Dues Revenue; Association law; Emerging Trends; Florida Legislative Reapportionment; and Mastering Your Palm Pilot.

A highlight of the conference was the presentation of the FSAE Executive of the Year Award to James 'Jim' Brainerd, AAI, CAE, Vice President and General Counsel of the Florida Association of Insurance Agents. This award honors the association executive who has displayed the highest commitment to professional growth and pride in association management. This professionalism and leadership are evident in both service to the association management profession and to the community.

The FSAE Associate of the Year Award to Keyna Cory, President of Public Affairs Consultants, Inc. in Tallahassee, FL. This award honors the associate member who has displayed the highest commitment to professional growth and pride in her progression through active involvement and contributions to FSAE. The candidate's professionalism and leadership are evident in both service to the profession and to the community.

Back to Top

Shores News & Views

Greater Miami Shores Chamber of Commerce
Spero Canton Notes from the 1998 Chamber President Chamber President

Money from Heaven? No, Tallahassee!

Last month, in the waning days of this year's legislative session, I was standing on the 4th floor of the Capitol Building - just outside of the house of representatives' chamber - when I ran into Jack Cory. Jack, one of the most respected lobbyists in Tallahassee, was tracking a few bills. When he found out that I was from the Village, he took a break from his bill-watching and enthusiastically dug into his briefcase for his Miami Shores' file.

Shores' Lobbyist Gets Bucks

You may not know Jack; but, he certainly knows us! Jack is the lobbyist who worked in Tallahassee for the Village of Miami Shores. During the past three years, he secured more than a half million dollars in state grants for your little village. (For you number crunchers, that's more than 1.5 mills received from the state during the past three years.) In the past, this money has been used to build the new police station, add police programs, and to pay for an at-risk summer jobs program.

Jack has given his notice and won't be working for the Village next year. But, I didn't want him to leave us without saying thanks for the hard work and all the additional revenue he brought us.

Last Week True Adventure

The last week of the legislative session is a true adventure in organized chaos. Legislators, lobbyists and attorneys are racing around the Capitol Building, making sure that their piece of legislation doesn't get lost in the fracas. Jack was the guy who made sure Miami Shores received attention.

Jack couldn't do it alone. He had a strong ally in our state Rep. Beryl Roberts-Burke, who every year works hard to make sure our Village gets its share of the state grant pie: This year she had $800,000 earmarked for Miami Shores and approved by the legislature ... only to have the governor cut $600,000 from the budget. Chopped was money to clean up the water at our Bayside Park (96th and the Bay), costs related to an ADA improvement program, and a cadet crime prevention program.

Village Captures State Funding

But, the glass was still one-quarter full with some $200,000 coming to Miami Shores this year, compliments of the State of Florida. The money is going to be used for a summer jobs program for at-risk youth, a new "reverse 911 program" being initiated by the police department, and $100,000 for the planning and development phase of downtown redevelopment. Making yearly requests for the funding of local projects from the state legislature is one of those illusive tasks we've spoken about in the past. For the past couple of years, at least it's been a reality. Let's hope that even with the loss of Jack Cory, this source of additional revenue somehow continues.

only about 2000-2500 people are politically active and make a difference in the election by contributing, raising money from their friends, volunteering, etc. for one or the other of the candidates.

There are two types of grassroots lobbying: *Quantitative - where you can get sheer, huge, numbers of people who will telephone, write, or otherwise let the member know your viewpoint. * Qualitative - where someone has a relationship with the member and can personally influence the decision that member makes.

Once people understand how the political process really works, they'll insist on speaking out for their own interests.

In politics, perception is reality. If something is perceived to be a problem, then the members will address that perception. There are two methods of changing perceptions: *Have the member know your group and issues so well that they see the issue through your eyes. * Elect people who share your perceptions in the first place.

In the legislative process, it helps to have two "French Uncles." One is "Count DeVote" and the other is "Count DeMoney."

When contacting your member, keep in mind the easier the medium is to use (e-mail, phone, etc.) the less effective it is.

When writing your member, it is always helpful to mention the bill number, the committee, and subcommittee, to which it has been referred, the action that is pending (it's up for a hearing, it will be voted on tomorrow etc.) and what course of action you want them to take on it.

If you aren't able to exercise your political power, then you don't have any.

The best standard of how well you know a member is: do they address you by your first name when they meet you on the street or elsewhere.

There are two types of participants in politics: victims and players.

The most concrete method of influencing a campaign is money. However, if you raise $5000 from constituents, it has more impact than $20,000 from political action committees because there are votes attached. If someone gives a candidate money, they've made an investment in the campaign and are thus far more likely to vote for the candidate.

Later that day, Dunn's program was followed by a presentation from Christopher Simpson. Simpson began his career as a newspaper reporter, later became press secretary for U.S. Senator Strom Thurmond and recently resigned as Indiana University's Vice President of Public Relations and Government Affairs to open his own political consulting and communications firm.

Simpson delivered six rules of crisis will occur:

1. When you least expect it, a crisis will occur

2. Plan carefully for any and all types of crises. There are two major types: *Smoldering: i.e. the tobacco company lawsuits and settlements. * Sudden: the Challenger Shuttle disaster.

3. Anticipate worst-case scenarios such as workplace violence, natural disasters, computer sabotage, CEO related problems.

4. Develop a plan for each crisis - within reason; otherwise you may plan your life away: *Designate a crisis team *Define your internal (employees, families, friends, etc.) and external (media, competitors, etc.) audiences

5. Control the message and the flow of information: *Have only one spokesperson throughout the entire crisis * Develop clear, simple messages that can be "sound bites" of eight seconds or less (17-20 words). *Identify key audiences that must be reached * Deliver all messages clearly and repeatedly.

6. Constantly evaluate your message. Note the role of the internet and television. Think strategically about how you can use the video that's available. An interesting fact: 22 percent of 4,000 media people surveyed stated they would use information gleaned in an internet chat room. Note the importance of apologies in how quickly an issue is forgiven and forgotten. Learn from your crisis experience by debriefing your crisis team.

It was an honor to be chosen a Hyatt Scholarship winner but the FSAE Foundation. I encourage all eligible FSAE members to apply and take advantage of the wonderful educational opportunities that are available as a result.

Following the conclusion of the ASAE Legislative Summit educational sessions, 16 FSAE members, visited the office of Florida members of Congress to discuss issues of importance to Florida Associations including HR 527.

Back to Top

The Interface

Your Voice in the Legislature
Florida Pay Telephone Association

Meet your Lobbyists: Jack and Keyna Cory

When it comes to keeping a watchful eye on the state legislature, the Florida Pay Telephone Association turns to professional lobbyists Jack and Keyna Cory. The husband and wife team are seasoned veterans fo teh legislative process who have earned a reputation for getting the job done.

Earlier this year, the Tallahassee Democrat named Jack one of the 10 most influential Capitol lobbyists. In response to the recognition, he was quick to point out that "I wouldn't be as effective if it weren't for my partner in life as well as my partner in business, my wife, lobbyist Keyna Cory."

While there are other lobbyists in Florida who are married, the Corys are the only couple we know of who work together as a team to represent their clients. Jack uses a basketball metaphor to describe their working relationship: "When we're driving down court, I don't have to look over my shoulder to pass the ball. I always know that Keyna will be there to make the play."

Both Jack and Keyna have their roots in political campaigning. In fact, they met at a function for a Broward County legislative campaign that Keyna was managing, shortly after the 1980 redistricting. Jack had made the transition to lobbying 10 years earlier, and in 1982 Keyna followed suit, joining his practice after they were married.

While the Corys maintain strong ties with South Florida legislators, they say they try not to align themselves too tightly with any one group. In addition to working with both Republicans and Democrats, they also work closely with the increasingly Black and Cuban Legislative Caucuses.

According to Keyna, the key to effective lobbying is having a thorough understanding of the issues, and being able to provide honest, accurate information at the appropriate times. It is also critical, Jack adds, that legislators hear from the people back home who are affected by their actions. (Especially in our industry, where the local exchange companies have a paid employee network contacting legislators throughout the year.)

"Too many people put their legislators on a pedestal," he says, "when they are just hard working people like you and me who can't do their jobs effectively without hearing from their constituents."

"The unique thing about lobbying for the Florida Pay Telephone Association, the Corys say, is that the unusual nature of the industry -- private businesses competing against their suppliers in a monopolistic marketplace -- creates a constant challenge to level the playing field.

Speaking of playing fields ... Jack and Keyna turn to sports for a diversion from the rigors of legsilative life. Keyna is an avid football fan who serves on the team selection committee for the Blockbuster Bowl. Jack, on the other hand, prefers baseball, and enjoys visiting Atlanta to see the Braves play. While they may not see eye-to-eye on the ultimate athletic contest, they certainly agree on the ultimate sport of all - politics.

Back to Top

Friends in High Places

by Jack Cory and Keyna Cory

Establishing quality relationships with legislators is absolutely critical to our industry's success (and it's easy!)

1995 was a great year for independent public payphone (IPP) providers in Florida. The Florida Legislature totally rewrote the state telecommunications statute, which resulted in major changes to the way telecommunications services are delivered to consumers and opened many areas to competition that were previously reserved for monopoly providers. As a result of this legislation, IPP providers in Florida enjoy the most favorable payphone line rates in the nation. 1996 is turning out to be an even better year, because IPP providers throughout the country will be seeing numerous benefits as a result of the Telecommunications Act of 196, which Congress passed earlier this year.

With all of this good news, some of you may be thinking you can take a break from all the political activity, but you can't! While things may look quiet after the flurry of activity leading up to the passage of critical legislation, no law is ever "safe" once it is passed. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) and the various state public utility commissions will be interpreting and implementing the new law over the next year. And legislators will be watching and listening at both the state and national level

That is why we feel it is important to talk about candidates and campaigns at this time. 1996 is a big election year for the Florida Legislature, as it is for many other state legislatures. In addition, on the federal level, many critical elections are taking place. Every member of the U.S. House of Representatives has a two-year term of office, while one-third of the U.S. Senate also faces reelection every two years.

We cannot overemphasize the importance of every member of the American Public Communications Council Inc. (APCC) becoming involve din the election process. There are several ways you can do this.

First, give money. Every candidate needs money and elections can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars in heavily-contested races. Every campaign contribution counts. Give as much as you possibly can and remember those legislators who were there when you needed them. The APCC and your state payphone association can provide you with this type of information.

Another way you can help in the election process is to have the candidate come to your facility to meet your employees. You can have the candidate meet your employees and leave his or her literature for your employees to review. Again, the APCC and your state payphone association will gladly help you plan for such a visit.

Next is manpower. Every campaign needs bodies to help put up signs, distribute literature, stuff envelopes, etc. If you can volunteer some of your employees to help with any of these activities, it would really be appreciated by any candidate.

Finally, allt he money in the world will not necessarily win an election - you must have the votes. Each APCC member needs to encourage their employees to vote. Give them a few minutes either before or after work to go tot he polls and cast their vote. Again, you can get background information on candidates from the APCC or your state association.

You need to think of members of the legislature and Congress almost as customers - they can cost oyu money or save you money, and the choice is yours. If we help elect pro-business people into office, we will be saving ourselves and our industry a lot of money over the long run. If we ignore the election process and candidates are elected who are not pro-business, it will cost your companies dearly. The choice is yours.

1996 may have been a better year than we have had in the past, but we can expect 1997 to be a busy one for our industry. Let's make it a great one!

Bio: Jack and Keyna Cory own Public Affairs Consultants, a Tallahassee, Fla.-based governmental affairs company that provides public and governmental relations services. The Corys, who have more than 30 years of combined experience, have been working with the Florida Public Telecommunications Association.

November '96 Perspectives: Official Magazine of the APCC®

Back to Top

The Orlando Sentinel

Lobbyists pay attention to politics

The most influential ones can command six-figure incomes as well as politicians' futures. by John Kennedy - Tallahassee Bureau

TALLAHASSEE - Lobbyists outnumber legislators 12-to-1, but only a few can be counted among the Capitol's most influential movers and shakers.

Some 2,100 corporations, organizations and industry groups will be represented this spring by Florida's 1,900 registered legislative lobbyists. Everyone from Boy Scouts of America to the Beer Industry of Florida are represented. Artificial limb manufacturers have a lobbyist. So do nude sunbathers.

But only the most powerful command six-figure salaries. They have access to lawmakers and the big-money political contributions that fuel election campaigns.

Some also represent trade or professional associations whose members' voting power helps open legislative doors.

Either way, their thumbprints will be on much of the legislation approved or killed this session. Here are some lobbyists to watch:

Jack Cory

A lobbyist for 25 years, Cory has been dubbed an ex-officio member of the Broward County legislative delegation because of his close ties to those lawmakers.

Cory continues to represent Fort Lauderdale-based Discovery Cruises, along with greyhound breeders, health care companies and waste management firms. His peers say Cory, 53, is among the profession's hardest workers. Cory also is a successful fund-raiser for lawmakers.

QUOTE: "Campaign contributions help, but they're only one finger on the hand of getting things done."

Back to Top

FGA Holds 23rd Annual Meeting

After several years of legislative disappointments, members of the Florida Greyhound Association celebrated their recent victory during the 23rd Annual Meeting of the group on May 19, 1996 in Orange Park, Fl.

FGA President Michael Labun opened the meeting with "How Sweet it is!", He then welcomed NGA President Dutch Koerner and NGA Executive Director Gary Guccione and thanked them for attending the function.

Following the introductions, State Rep. Randy Mackey of Lake City, Florida was introduced. Rep. Mackey has been the point man for the FGA and NGA in Florida. This year he served as Subcommittee Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee on General Government. All pari-mutuel legislation had to go through his committee. This alone was a strong reminder to both the greyhound tracks and to the other legislative participants to treat the greyhound men and women fairly.

Rep. Mackey told the group that he had all the respect in the world fro the greyhound farmers and breeders in this state. He reminded all that he came from a family of farmers and knew the work involved in raising animals.

He urged those attending to not stop working now that some progress was made.

"There is much more to do here in Florida for greyhound racing," he stated. "Please don't quit now."

He assured all present that he would be in there slugging away for what he feels is a fairness issue and complimented the FGA and NGA leadership for its dedication and commitment to the sport.

A full legislative report was then given by FGA/NGA Chief Lobbyist Jack Cory. Mr. Cory thanked Rep. Mackey for his support and also praised the work of State Rep. Steven Geller of Hallandale. Rep. Geller was the chairman of the House Regulated Industries Committee, who together with his staff engineered CS HB 337 and with the assistance of Senator Roberto Casas of Hialeah, chairman of the Senate Regulated INdustries Committee, managed to steer the Bill through both the House and the Senate.

Tribute was also paid to Senator W.D. Childers of Pensacola. Sen. Childers filed a Senate Bill identical to last year's Bill and secured 32 Senators from the 40 member senate to co-sponsor this Bill for Greyhound Tax Relief. Mr. Cory remarked, "Sen. Childers represented the Greyhound people and held on stronger than any legislator I have ever seen." He added that Sen. Childers repeatedly stated in open public meetings that the Greyhound breeders in his area "would not be hurt this year."

Back to Top

Women Lobbyists' influence is growing

Little by little, women are getting in on some of the really big deals -- and some of the dirty ones, too.

by Barbara Ash - Democrat staff writer

When it comes to lobbying, women play the game just as hard as the men. But it's the men who run the high-stakes tables.

If you need someone to steer a pro-business amendment through a reluctant committee, Jodi Chase is among the toughest. But if you need a last-minute favor from House Speaker Bo Johnson, call her boss at Associated Industries of Florida, Jon Shebel.

Women lobbyists acknowledge that even among the top women in their field, you won't find one who's attained the rank of "super lobbyist". That title is held by men like Shebel, John French, Guy Spearman, Ron Book and Jack Cory. They command six-figure fees from clients such as Anheuser-Busch, Phillip Morris and Alamo Rent-A-Car.

But Capitol insiders insist it's changing. They say that especially in the past eight years, women like Chase, Martha Barnett, Sandi Walters, Mary Ann Stiles, Keyna Cory and Amy Young have made noticeable cracks in the glass ceiling. Individually, they represent such clients as IBM, the Florida Bar Association and AIF.

"Our time is coming," said Chase, who's been fighting for the governor's health-care reform package and against a bill that pits insurance companies against trial lawyers, one of the nastiest battles this session.

"These days," she said, "it seems you can't make a deal on a big bill without at least one woman involved. We're getting in on all the big ones -- and the dirty ones."

Women have now been around long enough to have built relationships. But what's made the big difference for them is what's made a difference for men: money.

Women are now advising clients on where to spend major campaign dollars. And like other successful lobbyists, they've begun to raise money for candidates from both parties.

Still, women are aware that the perception -- women still need help from men -- is the reality.

Take, for instance, a strategy meeting in early March at which lobbyists were working on the bill that pitted business against the formidable Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers.

A woman lobbyist recounted what happened when the trial lawyers offered to explain their position.

"We contemplated having them come over," she said. "Then we looked around the room and saw that there were mostly women present (Another woman lobbyist) said: 'No offense, but if we're going to do that, we're going to have to have a few more men in here.' The clear implication was that we needed the heavy-hitters, our bosses."

In the end, they decided they didn't need the meeting.

Early friendships ensured future access for men

For lobbyists, access to power is the difference between success and failure. In an industry where access comes with the length of friendships and the depth of clients' pockets, women still pay the price for getting in the game late.

Until the last decade, there were only a handful of women lobbyists. Most of them represented "soft cuases." Now, they're getting in to big-league hard-ball: AIF, IBM, the Florida Greyhound Association.

Still, women never have enjoyed the same networking opportunities that men have.

Guy Spearman of Cocoa started his career as an aide to then-Gov. Reubin Askew 25 years ago, and go to know Bo Johnson when the House Speaker was an aide to then-U.S. Sen. Lawton Chiles. Tallahassee attorney John French began his career as a legislative staffer in the late '60s and another protégé of Askew.

Over the years, male lobbyists have frequently cemented friendships with lawmakers with lavish gifts, and all-expense-paid hunting and fishing trips and Super Bowl junkets. Today, they're reaping the benefits of longstanding friendships. Those friends who were freshmen legislators 10-12 years ago are now legislative leaders.

But the women pioneers are starting to catch up.

Holland & Knight attorney Martha Barnett, who represents IBM and the Phosphate Council, and AIF's Mary Ann Stiles, also an attorney, were the only women representing business in the '70s. They remember having to fight hard for recognition and respect.

Amy Young recalls those days well. When she started lobbying on pre-natal care in 1982, legislators would listen to her.

But when she approached them for Martin-Marietta, "they thought the information I was giving them couldn't possible be reliable," she said.

Women who fought for social issues had trouble just getting in a legislator's door. Nikki Beare recalls how she sat for hours watching men file in and out, while she waited to explain the Equal Rights Amendment.

"Years ago, men wouldn't pay attention to women," said Gayle Andrews, who covered the Legislature and Florida politics for WCTV from 1973-89. "They fought the ERA like crazy. You know if they did that, they weren't going to take women seriously."

"Women had to struggle to get men to pay attention to their issues, because they were too busy looking at their bodies," said Andrews, who now owns a media consultant company.

Intense sessions take toll on normal lives

Sandi Walters has seen a lot of women lobbyists come and go during the 14 years since she became the first woman to open her own firm.

"When you sign on to be a lobbyist, your life is consumed for that two-month period," the annual legislative session, she said. "A lot of women don't last because of the stress. Competition is fierce, and they feel like they're fighting the battle alone. Because they're female, they think they have to fight harder and be better."

Even Chase, who's proud of the nicknames her colleagues have stuck on her -- "In-Your-Face-Chase" and "Attila the Honey" -- admits lobbying is the kind of job that requires nerves of steel and thick skin.

"Two times this session I had bills I had to argue against the attorney general in the judiciary committee," she said. "Here's this man who everybody respects standing there, and I had to look him in the eye and tell him he was wrong. That's a pretty scary thing, but if I stopped to think about it, I'd be too afraid to do it."

But Chase the tiger is also Chase the mother. Three years ago, she went into labor on the fourth floor of the Rotunda with her second child, Adam. She rarely sees him, or his 5-year-old sister, Jackie, during the week.

"This business is real hard on families," said Chase, over coffee in the Capitol's snack bar, where she waited for a draft of the health-care reform bill and took calls on her tiny cellular phone.

Sometimes she feels guilty about the toll the job takes on her family.

"But, I'm also proud of what I do," she said. "I think my children will have great role models, because they have parents who support and help each other, and a mother who doesn't let the world take control of her."

Women explain the power of politics

Women lobbyists are learning to take control of the legislative world with campaign contributions. They've always recognized the value of deep pockets -- especially during the frenzied final weeks of a session. But until recently, they haven't had a say in how the money is spent.

"Women are just now starting to get the big clients who contribute to campaigns, and that's made a definite difference," said Walters, sitting on a bench in the Rotunda, where she traded quips with former House Speaker Don Tucker, now a lobbyist.

Her client list includes the Florida Bar, and Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, which doesn't make political contributions.

Amy Young is luckier. Her clients, including Ashland Oil, Kraft General Foods and the Florida Medical Association, rely on her to tell them which legislators they should back. It makes a difference when you influence the purse strings.

"Raising money is a way of making sure people who get elected support your issues. And early money is most important -- and longest remembered. It helps with friendships," said Young, a top money-maker for Chiles' 1990 campaign. She's already compiling a list of candidates to put her clients' money on this summer.

Competition among lobbyists for the big clients who have the big bucks is fierce, says super lobbyist and lawyer French, who represents Philip Morris, Burger King, Florida Power & Light, and the Florida League of Hospitals.

"If a Fortune 500 client has a big issue and a lot at stake, they want to go with a known entity," he said. In most cases, that's been men.

But the good news, says French, is that women are getting more exposure since the emergence of team lobbying.

Clients discovered, he says, that it's impossible for a lone lobbyist to have a rapport with all members of the legislature, that it's better to build a diverse team. The result has been more women and minorities in the arena.

"Now," said French, "the Amy Youngs and Jodi Chases have the opportunity to walk the walk and show clients that they can play at first-team levels.

"Women who stick around will reap the benefits of the contacts they're making now. You'll see women on the super-lobbyist list in the next five years. It's inevitable."

Back to Top

Volunteers Make a Difference in Legislative Issues

By Keyna Cory and Allison Tant

With the 1996 Legislative Session upon us, your association is busily reviewing legislation that will impact your industry or profession and formulating positions on that legislation. As executive director and/or lobbyist you are no doubt feeling a bit overwhelmed as you read the hundreds of legislative bills being printed daily, and hear about other issues coming up in the months ahead that will impact your association.

Your members' input on legislative issues and your assistance in getting your association's message out about the impact of those issues is critical to your association's success in the legislative arena. Any legislator will tell you that a voice from home carries a great deal of weight. In fact, Rep. Les Miller, D-Tampa, was quoted in a recent St. Petersburg Times article as having said, "The constituent is the top priority. They are the ones who put you in office and they are the ones who say, 'I want you to handle my issues'." This is a view all legislators share. So, your members' voice brings great credibility and impact to your association's efforts to protect your interests.

The following are some tips you can pass on to your members:

F Do not underestimate your value as an advocate for your profession, association, organization, or cause. You are a constituent, a taxpayer, a voter, and a potential campaign supporter. If you're not registered to vote, do so.

F Make sure you fully understand the issue you want to discuss with your legislator and be able to explain it clearly, concisely, and in an organized manner.

F When explaining your position on an issue, tell your legislator what the opposition's position will be, if there is any, and why. Be ready to refute your opposition's position.

F When providing written information to your legislator about your issue, limit it to ONE page and put it in bullet format.

F Meet personally with your legislator. When visiting your legislator in Tallahassee during the session, make an appointment BEFORE you arrive, and be flexible. Do not ask for more than 15 minutes with your legislator during the session and be able to relay your message in a clear and concise manner within that timeframe. Understand that scheduling changes and delays will occur.

We recommend meetings with your legislator three times a year: once prior to the session, once during the session and once during late summer or early fall. Meetings with your legislator prior to and after the session can take more time and be more informal. During your first meeting you should keep it general and tell your legislator about you and your business. It is beneficial to you and your association if you can get to know your legislator before you go to him or her with a problem.

F Write sincere, individualized letters to your legislators, and be sure they're legible. (They do not have to be typed.) Do not use form letters. Keep your letters short and state your concerns clearly. Include your name and home address so that your legislator can see that you are indeed from his or her home district.

F Do not hesitate to call your legislator before his or her vote on issues that concern you. ALWAYS be courteous when talking with your legislator or the staff. Be prepared to leave your name, home address, and phone number when you call.

F Do not take it as a personal failure if your legislator will not support your position on an issue. While your legislator may not be able to support you on one issue, he will likely support you on another, and it is important that you work to keep the lines of communication open for future discussions. While you can certainly relay your disappointment, never threaten your legislator.

F Never lie to a legislator or legislative staff.

F If you don't know the answer to a question you've been asked, don't be afraid to say that you don't know the answer. But tell your legislator you will get back to him or her with the answer, and then make sure to follow up with that information.

F Get to know your legislator's assistant for he or she is the gatekeeper of your contact with your legislator.

F ALWAYS coordinate your legislative contacts and your message with your association Executive Director and your lobbyist, if your association has one.

Each of these tips is equally important and can serve as a guide as you work with your legislator. While it's never too late to get involved in the legislative process, we strongly encourage you to contact your association now so that you can participate fully in its legislative program for 1996! u

Keyna Cory and Allison Tant serve on the Florida Society of Association Executive Governmental Affairs Committee and lobby the Florida legislature for a wide variety of trade association and corporate clients. Keyna Cory is with Public Affairs Consultants and Allison Tant is with Holland and Knight law firm.

Back to Top