The Times has posted the full list of its anointed 100 most powerful Southern California players. After the first ten, which I gave you here this morning, they are in alphabetical order. Along with the usual Burkle, Baca, Bratton, Geffen and Gehry, here are some of the names that pop out, with excerpts:
Dean Baquet Editor, L.A. Times; 49, Santa Monica. Yeah, we know what some will say: How self-serving to put your boss on the list. But Baquet, who won a Pulitzer Prize in Chicago and served as the New York Times' national editor before coming to L.A. in 2000, sets the agenda for the most powerful media voice in the region. With resources shrinking, how well Baquet weathers budget pressures from long-distance owner Tribune Co. will go a long way toward determining how robust that voice remains.
Jim Gilchrist Anti-illegal immigration activist; 57, Aliso Viejo. This cofounder of the Minuteman Project...has put fresh heat on a perennial hot button, fomenting debate—and division—from national political circles to hometown parades in places such as Laguna Beach and Pacific Palisades.
Robert Hertzberg Attorney; 52, Sherman Oaks. The former California Assembly speaker is one of the few local politicians with credibility and solid connections on both the left and the right. Although Hertzberg lost his bid for mayor of Los Angeles, he remains a discreet advisor on civic issues such as economic development, transportation and term limits, and he's an important champion for the San Fernando Valley.
John Kobylt and Ken Chiampou Talk-radio hosts; 45 and 50, Beverly Hills and Hermosa Beach, respectively. Whether you agree with them or not, the impact of their angry-white-guy campaigns is unmistakable. When Villaraigosa declared that the nation relies on immigrant workers, saying, "We clean your toilets," John and Ken fans deluged City Hall with more than 1,000 toilet brushes.
Robin Kramer Chief of staff to Mayor Villaraigosa; 53, Windsor Square. Press-shy but preternaturally plugged in, Kramer has been the right hand of so many downtown heavy-hitters that even she may have lost count...Her fingerprints are, by the nature of her job, invisible, but her name brings instant credibility to any boss or cause.
Mark Lisanti Editor, Defamer.com; 32, Silver Lake. With 8.5 million page views a month, Lisanti has proved how scary an irreverent guy blogging in his underwear can be. He—and the legion of celebutainment gossips mimicking his mouthy online persona—have shortened the news cycle from 12 hours to 15 minutes and irreversibly changed the tenor and power structure of Hollywood coverage as Old Media has chugged to catch up.
Richard Meruelo Developer; 41, Whittier. Meruelo is said to be the largest private landowner in downtown L.A., controlling more than 100 properties with millions of square feet. But what made political types really take notice was the $197,300 he spent last year—more than any individual—to help elect Villaraigosa.
Anthony Pellicano Private detective; 62, U.S. Metropolitan Detention Center, Los Angeles. He's behind bars, where clout tends to be hard to come by. But information, as they say, is power, and Pellicano—alleged wiretapper to the stars for more than a decade—has amassed reams of it in his long service to the city's most high-profile entertainment figures and their lawyers.
Michael S. Sitrick Chairman and CEO, Sitrick & Co.; 59, Pacific Palisades. L.A.'s king of crisis PR. His firm has handled press for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles during the pedophile priest scandal. He helped Stanley Gold and Roy Disney fight Michael Eisner. He helped O.C. save face after its bankruptcy, and assisted Beverly Hills when it was accused of racial profiling. Longtime clients Michael Ovitz and Terry Christensen turned to him after their names came up in the Pellicano scandal. And he crafted strategy for Ron Burkle in his battle with the New York Post's Page Six.
Who's under 40? Only Lisanti, American Apparel boss Dov Charney, club impresario Sam Nazarian, music supervisor Alexandra Patsavas, DJ Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo and Caroline Styne, the co-owner and wine director at AOC and Lucques.
Seeing them all now, it makes the designation of CTA prez Barbara Kerr as #3 just seem kind of cute. There are plenty of listees with arguably more political clout — perhaps even a union leader like Maria Elena Durazo, also on the list. Here's how they make the case:
It's not clear if Kerr has ever gotten her first-grade class in Riverside to listen. But she sure has the attention of the mayor and governor. No issue is more critical to the future of the region than education, and nobody wields more influence in this arena than does Kerr, president of the 335,000-member union. With United Teachers Los Angeles President A.J. Duffy stepping back and letting her do most of the talking, Kerr engineered the deal in June with Villaraigosa that would, among other things, strip power from the LAUSD board and give individual teachers much more sway over classroom instruction. Critics say the mayor caved in to the unions, but it's no surprise that Kerr has Villaraigosa's ear. Under her direction, the CTA helped defeat Villaraigosa's opponent, incumbent James Hahn, with a TV attack ad in 2005. The LAUSD deal must next pass muster in Sacramento, where Kerr knows how to mix it up. Just look what she did to Gov. Schwarzenegger last year after he reneged on an education-funding agreement. Kerr and her troops went to war, helping defeat a slate of special election ballot measures that Schwarzenegger was pushing. Who's the Terminator now?
Well, come November it looks like it will be Schwarzenegger.