81. Eli Broad
If money talks – and it certainly does in Sacramento — then everybody listens to Eli Broad, the billionaire L.A.-area developer. Cited as the fourth-richest person in Los Angeles, he’s bankrolled numerous causes over the years. This year, he put money into an effort to support Proposition 55, which would extend temporary tax increases that voters approved in 2012. Last September Broad remapped L.A.’s cultural landscape with the opening of The Broad, a stunning $140 million museum that houses his 2,000-piece collection of contemporary art (don’t miss Yayoi Kusama’s Infinity Mirrored Room if you visit). But Broad’s spending on art pales in comparison to his spending on education – nearly $600 million since 1999. Broad has a strong interest in education reform, and The Broad Foundation funds accordingly; a 44-page draft of a plan to replace half of LAUSD public schools with charters evoked howls from the teachers’ unions when it leaked last year. (Ed’s Note: Corrects to show Broad in support of Proposition 55 and deletes reference to law firm).
Updated Aug. 10, 2016