The great scribes at Capitol Weekly who report on the deeply unpopular California State Legislature and only slightly less disliked Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger have issued the first 50 names in their widely read Capitol Weekly Top 100 List of influential Californians. It may shock and delight and horrify you.
One fascinating choice, and the power number assigned to him (note: the Top 100 does NOT include elected politicians), is that of Los Angeles billionaire Haim Saban, who made a mint off the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers and pours his cash into political causes to protect the political hacks and the status quo in California. Yet poor little rich Haim barely makes the grade at Number 99.
It's wonderful fun to see who beats Haim Saban at Number 90, suggesting that self-aggrandizing men with money can in fact be bested by decent men with less money:
Number 90 is Charles Munger, the fascinating, some would say horribly annoying, Stanford University scientist (and presumably eventual heir to a fortune, since he is the son of Charles T. Munger, Berkshire-Hathaway's vice chairman).
Scientist Munger is quietly driving nuts all those elected buffoons in the failing, embarrassing California Congressional Delegation who cannot win money for California and cannot get their basic act together.
A brilliant number-cruncher with time on his hands, Munger has, as Capitol Weekly points out:
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Made it his
to take drawing Congressional districts out of the
hands of the Legislature. He has dedicated millions
to qualifying a measure for the November ballot to
do just that. Congressional Democrats, fearing their
incumbency threatened, have responded in kind with
millions of their own.
In plain English, Munger is trying to stop the sick practice in California and many states of letting the "politicians pick their voters, instead of the voters picking their politicians" through the evils of redistricting and gerrymandering.
Munger's devious plan to wrest the democracy back for we voters is explained by the irascible and brilliant John Mecklin, right here, in the magazine Miller-McCune.
Having Munger land at Number 90 is just the sort of thing to really, really upset a nasty old billionaire out to protect the world as he knows it, Haim Saban, Number 99.