53. Michael Rubio
Michael Rubio seemed to be on a meteoric rise in the Legislature, when, on February 22, 2013, he abruptly left his Senate seat to become government affairs director at Chevron. Four years later, the surprise move is still a topic of discussion. The talented, youthful Rubio (he turned 40 on Aug. 24) is right at the center of the petroleum industry’s efforts to influence California’s cap-and-trade program, fuel price increases and assorted other issues affecting the industry. As Chevron’s lead lobbyist, Rubio was involved in the brutal battle to pass of one of the year’s biggest bills, AB 398, which extended cap-and-trade until 2030. Rubio started his career at the U.S. Department of Justice, later returning to his hometown in Kern County. Rubio worked in the office of State Senator Dean Florez for four years, learning the legislative ropes, then went on to become a Kern County supervisor before being elected to the Senate in 2010.