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Capitol Weekly looks at 100 political warriors

Capitol Weekly Staff | Tuesday, April 24, 2012 at 12:00am

Well, here it is: Capitol Weekly’s list of 100 political players. But since we don’t want you to gag, we’re giving it to you piecemeal. This week, we’re providing 51 through 100. Next week, we’ll do 1 through 50.  After that, we’ll disconnect the phones and head to Puerto Penasco.

The most interesting aspect of this year’s rundown is that it clearly reflects the impact of the new Brown administration. Jerry Brown owes his election, in large part, to organized labor. And labor’s clout is demonstrated throughout with a number of labor chiefs and their lobbyists. The list really is a snapshot in time and “Top 100” may be a misnomer here: The rankings change yearly, even quarterly or monthly, as new players arrive, veterans depart and the administration goes through growing pains.

Lists like these are interesting not only for who’s on them, but for who isn’t. There’s no Maria Shriver, no Susan Kennedy, no Henry Gomez. There’s no Grover Norquist, despite a dozen demands that we put him on – if he wants to be on our list, he can move to California.

You’ll also see a greater number of political fund-raising professionals, vital players in the Capitol’s politics.   

Finally, thanks to everybody who emailed or phoned in tips. We received some 270 suggestions in dozens of emails, letters and phone calls. (My favorite: “I don’t care who you put on, but make sure this bastard doesn’t make it.” Sorry, he made it.)

81. Wendy Warfield

Wendy Warfield heads a fund-raising operation that targets GOP candidates, and when the conversation turns to successful fund-raising, her name always pops up. Her clients include many Republican lawmakers – Diane Harkey, Sharon Runner, Martin Garrick and Mimi Walters – immediately come to mind and she’s got a donor list of 30,000 names. She handles regional fund-raising – she’s got ties to the Senate Republican Campaign Committee, and she also targets PACs and lobbyists.

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Local Romney event cracks $1 million, breaks $750k Bush record

John Ellis | Thursday, May 31, 2012 at 4:37pm

It's pretty much official: Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney raked in more than $1 million at a Wednesday lunch fundraiser at the Sanger-area home of prominent west-side rancher John Harris and his wife Carole.

It's the first time a Valley fundraiser has hit the $1 million mark, and is the largest area fundraiser ever, local political watchers from both parties said. The event shattered the $750,000 raised in October 2003 at the Fresno Convention Center by President George W. Bush.

The crowd at the Romney event was overwhelmingly from the Valley's agricultural community, and preceded a similar Romney event in Bakersfield later on Wednesday, which also hit the $1 million mark.

Longtime Sacramento-based Republican fundraiser Wendy Warfield spearheaded both events.

The event at Harris' home was only for the richest of the local rich, and is likely the last time Romney will hit up the Valley for money -- at least during this election cycle.

Through March, he had raised more than $280,000 from donors in the region. Add thismillion-plus from the Harris event, and the local ATM machine is pretty much dried up, local Republicans and Democrats agreed.

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