No. 67: Capitol Weekly’s Top 100

Illustration by Chris Shary

67. Rob Lapsley

Rob Lapsley, the head of the California Business Roundtable, is a cool-headed, old-school moderate, and not given to hyperbole, so when he likens the COVID-19 crisis to “another 9/11,” people take notice. The California Business Roundtable, a pro-business nonprofit, specializes in economic research and projections, taxation research and data crunching, and the numbers Lapsley is seeing must be daunting. The Air Force veteran has solid political chops — he used to be political director at the California Chamber of Commerce — so he knows the ins and outs of the Capitol’s political wars, a definite help in a deeply blue state where pro-business advocates are viewed with suspicion. And, while Lapsley is well regarded in the Capitol on both sides of the aisle, some of his suggestions for dealing with the crisis (like suspending AB5 and holding off on any new laws and regulations for 180 days) are likely to land on deaf ears in the Democratic-controlled Assembly/Senate/Horseshoe. Lapsley served as chief of staff to former California Secretary of State Bill Jones, one of California’s last Republican statewide officeholders.

Updated Aug. 11, 2o20

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