8. Allan Zaremberg
Allan Zaremberg is president and CEO of the California Chamber of Commerce, which leads 13,000 members in encouraging economic growth of the nation’s richest state and world’s fifth-largest economy. That’s a lofty goal, but what it all comes down to hardball politics and pushing for the election of lawmakers that go by any number of labels — “business friendly” and “moderate” immediately come to mind — that are supportive of the Chamber’s political agenda. Zaremberg, who has been the Chamber’s top executive since 1998, and his team (see Nos. 73, 78) are good at this, and every election cycle the Chamber’s JobsPAC is front and center in legislative races. Zaremberg, a protégé of Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, is usually identified with Republican causes, and rightly, too. But Zaremberg joined with Jerry Brown and Democrat-led forces to win legislative approval of the new 12-cent gasoline tax to raise money to fix potholes. That tax faces a Republican-led repeal on the November ballot, and the Chamber and the Democrats, among others, are fighting that too. And so it goes.
Updated Aug. 15, 2018