17. Allan Zaremberg
Allan Zaremberg has become a Capitol institution – a significant force here since the 1990s, and he’s not going anywhere soon. He heads the California Chamber of Commerce, the sprawling pro-business group that finances political campaigns, launches full-court-press lobbying efforts on issues critical to its members – taxes? job creation? regulations? – and annually puts forward its “Job Killer” list, a compendium of pending legislation that the Chamber contend will wound the economy and hurt hiring. The latest list of 13 bills – some of them gutted and others blocked/defeated – are all authored by Democrats. The Chamber describes itself as the “largest broad-based business advocate to government in California, working at the state and federal levels for policies to strengthen California,” and that’s probably true, given its financial backing and reach. Certainly, Zaremberg deserves much of the credit for that: People who should know describe him as canny and pragmatic. He got his start in the administration of former Republican Gov. George Deukmejian, and he has led the Chamber for more than two decades through four governors.
Updated Aug. 11, 2020