100. ROBERT DUFFY
The former mayor of Rochester is in a largely symbolic role now, standing in for the governor at ribbon-cutting ceremonies and serving as Cuomo’s personal cheerleader. But he could be the next David Paterson. You never know.
99. DAVID GRANDEAU
ETHICS COMPLIANCE CONSULTANT, DAVID GRANDEAU & ASSOCIATES; BLOGGER
The ethics gadfly has been a consistent thorn in the side of the governor and the Legislature. But amid the ongoing string of public corruption scandals in Albany, the influential blogger’s tough love has come across as prescient and given him ample opportunity to claim, “I told you so.”
98. BILL MAHONEY
LEGISLATIVE RESEARCH COORDINATOR, NEW YORK PUBLIC INTEREST RESEARCH GROUP
Nobody digs into the numbers like Bill Mahoney. By whipping up stunning statistics faster than anyone, he has found his niche in influencing the way that good-government issues are framed in the media and in policy discussions. Mahoney proves that one can be a wonk and still have a real-world impact.
97. JOHN CORDO
PRINCIPAL, CORDO & COMPANY
The influential lobbyist was a key player in Genting’s successful bid to develop the Resorts World New York casino in Queens and in securing a living wage for home care workers. Cordo cut his teeth as special counsel to the state Senate majority, where he learned how to deliver for a wide range of clients spanning business and labor.
96. RICHARD RAVITCH
FORMER LIEUTENANT GOVERNOR
Ravitch is handsdown the expert when it comes to sorting out government fiscal crises. The former lieutenant governor has been a savior of New York before—he brought the MTA back from the brink in the 1970s and imbued the Paterson administration with some credibility. He could play a similar role for cash-strapped municipalities in the near future.
95. RICHARD RUNES
Richard Runes is a strategist and consultant for the real estate and publishing interests in New York, but he’s under the radar and likes it that way. His knowledge and roots in Albany are deeper than almost anyone around, and he’s so connected that he can keep his number unlisted and still do quite well.
94. MICAH LASHER
ATTORNEY GENERAL’S CHIEF OF STAFF
Mayor Bloomberg’s former lobbyist in Albany recently took over as the attorney general’s chief of staff. Joining the progressive AG is a shift for Lasher, whose last job was as one of the leading advocates for the charter school movement in New York, but he is a formidable political strategist with the chops to build Schneiderman’s re-election campaign and to lay the groundwork for his future aspirations..
93. BILLY EASTON
EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR, ALLIANCE FOR QUALITY EDUCATION OF NEW YORK
Easton has shown himself to be one of the most effective advocates in Albany, pushing successfully for an increase in school aid—the principal goal of his organization— and moving the ball down the field with key initiatives like the expansion of prekindergarten education.
92. ALFONSE D’AMATO
FORMER U.S. SENATOR; FOUNDER & MANAGING DIRECTOR, PARK STRATEGIES
Those who forget that D’Amato’s voice still matters in New York politics do so at their peril. With a long relationship with virtually every power player in the state, the former senator is still a key figure in New York politics as a consultant, commentator and consigliere.
91. TONIO BURGOS
FOUNDER AND CEO, TONIO BURGOS AND ASSOCIATES
Burgos has been roaming the halls of the state Capitol as a lobbyist since Mario Cuomo’s administration, and he still knows his way around. Burgos and Associates may not haul in as much money as some of Albany’s other top lobbying firms, but its CEO has been an enthusiastic fundraiser and ally to the governor.