No. 70: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

70. Jason Kinney

Jason Kinney has served as an adviser in one way or another to Gavin Newsom for 15 years, including volunteering as part of his transition team. Kinney also makes strategic policy and political recommendations and is a trusted source for the governor. He helped screen and recommend people for key administration jobs when Newsom first took office, and Kinney’s wife, Sacramento stylist Mary Gonsalves Kinney, is close to First Partner Jennifer Siebel Newsom (No. 11). Kinney is a lobbyist with the firm Axiom Advisors, and some see his fingerprints on the governor’s recent decision to reverse an earlier fracking moratorium and extend permits to Aera Energy, an Axiom client. Kinney may lobby now, but his background is in communications. He worked with Newsom to help legalize recreational marijuana and was the communications director for Proposition 64, the 2016 marijuana initiative. He previously worked at the lobbying/communications firm California Strategies, where he handled several bigwig clients, including AT&T and the California Medical Association. Before that Kinney was a speechwriter in the Davis administration.

Updated Aug. 11, 2o20

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