Politics' Hired Guns
Today, Florida's professional political consultants know more about voters than the voters might like. But for all the tools at their disposal, it's still tough -- and more expensive -- to get a message out.
POLITICAL CONSULTANTApril Schiff
Strategic Solutions of Florida
Political leaning: Republican
April Schiff: “You have to earn enough money in six months to live on for two years.” [Photo: Jeffrey Camp]
Boys club: Schiff says her male counterparts initially thought they were just a couple of “bored housewives.” Eight years later, she says “I don’t think any of them are saying that anymore.”
How to: Schiff provides each client with a big binder that includes the candidates’ walk plan, fund-raising plan, mail plan, media plan and get-out-the-vote, or GOTV, plan. “We guide the candidate through the entire process and start early with a very detailed plan so they can understand what the goals are.”
The money: If you’re good at budgeting, you can make a good living as a political consultant. “You have to earn enough money in six months to live on for two years.”
Registration trends: “The biggest surge in voter registration is (voters) with no party affiliation. NPAs are going up faster than Republicans and Democrats. I think that’s somewhat telling about our system.”
Clients: U.S. Sen. Mel Martinez; former Gov. Jeb Bush; former state Sen. Jim Sebesta; state Rep. Faye Culp; former state Reps. Rob Wallace and Sandy Murman; Hillsborough State Attorney Mark Ober; Hillsborough County Property Appraiser Rob Turner; several members of the Hillsborough County Commission and the Tampa City Council.