93. Dean Cortopassi
Though we catch a lot of flak for salting this list with old white guys, it would be hard to leave off Dean Cortopassi, the 78-year old Delta farmer who just might blow up the Delta tunnels and derail the bullet train. The Stockton-born Cortopassi insists that it is his concerns about public debt, not his landholdings in the Delta, that drove him to create a ballot measure to force a public vote on public works projects over $2 billion that would be financed by revenue bonds. To that end, he had Nielsen Merksamer draft the No Blank Checks initiative, Proposition 53. Cortopassi has put $4.5 million into the effort, and has inspired a coalition of strange bedfellows in opposition, including CalChamber and the State Building and Construction Trades Council. Gov. Brown has come out in loud opposition, and foes of the initiative are hoping that he will shake loose some of his $20 million campaign war chest to fight the measure. We’ll see.
Updated August 9, 2016