The relationship between lobbyists and legislators is a delicate subject and cloaked in language that is meant to obscure and confuse. But the lobbyist is always looking to get something for his client and sweet reason is not necessarily sufficient to make the case. There are legislators who require a little more. But the conventions – and in some cases, the law – put limits on just how far a lobbyist can go. So things are done clandestinely. That, anyway, is what many people suspect.
So the openness – not to say, brazenness – of a Florida lobbyist is almost refreshing. According to the Tampa Tribune, a lobbyist named Dave Ramba, reserved "a private room at Shula's 347 Grill ... arguably the swankiest venue in Tallahassee," to entertain a half-dozen legislators to include the majority leader of the Florida state senate.
Mr. Ramba represents Florida optometrists and:
... the dinner comes before the first volley in the annual firefight between Florida's optometrists and ophthalmologists on Thursday. The House Health Quality Subcommittee will vote on a bill to expand the power of optometrists to prescribe oral medications, a measure bitterly fought by the Florida Medical Association and their eye specialists, the opthalmologists.
The dinner, we are assured, was purely "social and political" and the people attending discussed, among other things, the desert.
Which was crème brûlée.