70. Craig Cornett
If you were to rank people on this list based upon their knowledge of state finances, Craig Cornett would be close to the top. He was the Senate’s top budget adviser, the Assembly’s top budget adviser, and he served several years in the Legislative Analyst’s Office, the nonpartisan budget adviser to the Legislature. But for the past five years, Cornett has headed the 71-year-old California Association of Health Facilities, representing 800 skilled nursing facilities and 500 intermediate care facilities throughout the state, with their patients largely developmentally disabled. This is a daunting task, given the restrictions and health threats surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic. CAHF’s facilities serve about 370,000 patients annually. (By the way, CAHF’s principal spokesperson for years was Deborah Pacyna, a former TV reporter who hung up her own public affairs shingle in April of this year.) Cornett received his Master of Public Affairs degree from the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin and his B.A. from Washington and Lee University.
Updated Aug. 9, 2022