10. Elaine Howle
It doesn’t really pay to mess with Elaine Howle, the California State Auditor. Just ask the University of California. Last year, Howle released an exhaustive audit: The most common word the media used to describe the document was “scathing.” She noted that the UC was not cooperative when the audit was underway and reported that UC had squirreled away $175 million. A pair of top UC executives, including UC President Janet Napolitano’s chief of staff, resigned last November after it was disclosed that one of them emailed several campuses to disclose confidential information and coordinate answers to Howle. It was all very, very messy. Howle is in her 18th year as the leader of this essential component of checks and balances. She answers to the Joint Legislative Audit Committee, which supervises Howle and orders audits.
Updated Aug. 15, 2o18