15. Rick Rivas
This is one of the trickiest selections on this list. Rick is a V.P. with the American Beverage Association, and he has also worked as a consultant for Govern for California, the Bay Area-based group started by David Crane to act as “a permanent counter to special interest influence in the California State Legislature and on the statewide ballot.” Far more important, he is the younger brother of Assembly Speaker Robert Rivas, who emphatically refutes the idea that his brother will have undue influence on him. Okay, but in the same breath he will often note that his younger sibling is “a political genius” who has directed every campaign he has ever run. That would include tirelessly working behind the scenes last year to help Robert push then-Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon out of office, a historic takeover (coup?) that led to ferocious in-house fighting among the super majority Assembly Dems. Rivas eventually got his way, but only after a unique six-month waiting period that was almost as uncomfortable to watch as it must have been to be in the middle of. Will that behind the scenes influence continue? Stay tuned.