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 political career. But at the end of the day, how much direct influence do they have on politics and policy? We’ve never come up with a good answer, so some years we’ve had several fundraisers on the list, and others, none. This year we have one: Kristin Bertolina Faust, a Democratic fundraiser and strategist who founded BB&G, a Sacramento-based fundraising and political consulting firm, in 1999. Over the last 20 years, the firm has grown to include partners Rhianon See-Barnato and Angie Georgoulias. Their current client roster includes over 25 elected officials and committees including Lt. Governor Eleni Kounalakis, the state senate Democratic Caucus and Governor Newsom’s bid to defeat the recall. Faust is also working with U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla for his 2022 Senate run.