65. Jason Kinney
Kinney might be more famous these days for his ill-considered choice of dinner venues. But, long before his 50th birthday made headlines and “French Laundry” synonymous with “faux pas,” Capitol observers have known him as a ubiquitous political fixer and strategist-about-town who not only served governors, senators and mayors but some of the state’s biggest companies and campaigns. An Indiana native and former speechwriter, he advised Gavin Newsom and helped him with the campaign to legalize marijuana as the spokesperson for Proposition 64. In 2019, he spun off from consulting juggernaut California Strategies and co-founded his own Axiom Advisors with lobbyist Cassie Gilson (see No. 66) and ex-Newsom staffer Kevin Schmidt. He’s since added a thriving media shop with ex-Airbnb comms head Molly Weedn. Axiom’s meteoric rise shows no signs of slowing, with marquee clients like Facebook, Netflix, AT&T, Centene, CBIA, CMA and the National Football League leading the way.
Updated Aug. 25, 2o21