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No. 63: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

63. Tom Hiltachk

Attorney Tom Hiltachk started out handling civil litigation, but for the past three decades he’s focused on political and election law. He’s the managing partner at Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk in Sacramento, a major Republican political law firm (Chuck Bell and Colleen McAndrews also have been on the Top 100, FYI). Hiltachk has

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No. 66: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

66. Cassie Gilson

Jason Kinney (No. 65) might get the headlines (good and bad), but true Capitol insiders understand how much of Axiom’s deft thinking and heavy lifting is borne by longtime lobbyist Cassie Gilson, the only female Managing Partner among Sacramento’s top five contract firms.  A Stanford-trained lawyer, Gilson helped build the fast-growing firm

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No. 71: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

71: Anne Irwin 

Anne Irwin is the Director of San Francisco-based Smart Justice California, which “works to elect and educate state and local policymakers who champion smart, meaningful criminal justice reforms.”  The group launched in 2017, and since then has notched significant victories: helping elect reformist District Attorneys Chesa Boudin and George Gascón in San Francisco

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No. 79: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

79: Matt Rexroad

Matt Rexroad is the chief legal counsel for Redistricting Insights, a former Yolo County Supervisor and former legislative staffer. Rexroad is a key adviser to Republicans, including House Minority Leader, and Speaker-in-waiting, Kevin McCarthy. He has also become a leading business community consultant, even leading independent expenditures for  several moderate Democrats in

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No. 80: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

80. Juan Rodriguez

It’s a good bet that at least one person from Ace Smith’s shop will be on this list every year, and this time we’ve got Juan Rodriguez, who is managing the governor’s campaign against the recall. Rodriguez has been with Smith since 2017; Rodriguez was the “R” in SCRB when the firm

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No. 91: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

91. Jacob Mejia

There’s an old saying that success has many fathers, and the hard-fought effort to put a sports gaming initiative on the 2022 ballot is no exception. A consortium of 18 tribes, including the Pechanga Band of Luiseño Indians, the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation and the San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, submitted more

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No. 92: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

92. Scott Rodd

In just over two years covering politics at the Capitol, Scott Rodd’s work has shown that he and his employers at Sacramento’s Capital Public Radio won’t settle for pedestrian daily coverage. Rodd’s investigation into California’s failed wildfire prevention efforts led to a $500 million increase in this year’s state budget— not bad for

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No. 98: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

98: Kristin Bertolina Faust

A question that has dogged this list for over a decade: What to do with the fundraisers? It’s a given that the state’s top political fundraisers are in close proximity to the elected officials they work for, and the money they raise — or don’t — can make or break a

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No. 99: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

99: Mandy Lee

A newcomer to this list is Mandy Lee, the founder and principal of Omni Government Relations, where she represents a small but potent client list that includes household names like TESLA, CVS and Kaiser.  She may be new to the Top 100, but we aren’t the first to recognize her achievements; The National

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No. 100: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

100: Alexei Koseff 

Fodder for national pundits, ambitious Republicans and a Saturday Night Live skit, Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attendance at a maskless birthday party for lobbyist Jason Kinney (see No. 65) at The French Laundry was the game-changing California politics story of 2020, thanks to San Francisco Chronicle reporter Alexei Koseff. It provided fuel

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