*Well, technically just in downtown Los Angeles, but that's where all the big players make all their big decisions anyway, right? Just ask a pissed-off Daily News outsider in the Valley.
Jon Regardie at the LA Downtown News knows a thing or two about the power structure in our beloved City of Egos. We're getting a kick out of his "42 Most Powerful People in Downtown" list today, in which the mayor's deputy ranks higher than the mayor himself (so Bush-Cheney) and No. 11 runs what should be a small-time union of city handymen. But there's money there, and money runs the show, as we learn from each entry in the Big 42.
We've reprinted his countdown below --
including "the top of the top in politics, business, labor and entertainment" and "a few media and nonprofit folk who guide the civic discussion" -- with some Weekly links for backstory. But first, a tip from Regardie, to better understand his methodology:
As you read the list, ask yourself, "Would I hang up on this person for this other person?"
42. Frank McCourt, Los Angeles Dodgers
41. Tom Gilmore, developer
40. Alex Padilla, state senator
39. Father Gregory Boyle, Homeboy Industries
38. The Blogosphere
37. Gary Toebben, Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce
36. José Huizar, councilman
35. Millage Peaks, Los Angeles Fire Department
34. Gustavo Dudamel, Los Angeles Philharmonic
33. Cedd Moses, barmaster
32. David Weinstein, MPG Office Trust
31. Rick Caruso, gazillionaire
30. Ron Nichols, Department of Water and Power
29. Ed Reyes, councilman
28. Blake Griffin, [L.A. Clippers] dunk machine
27. Richard Alatorre, connected
22. Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department
21-19. Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily News - Dave Zahniser, Los Angeles Times - Dave Bryan, KCAL9/CBS2
18. Jim Thomas, developer
17. Eric Garcetti, councilman
16. Gloria Molina, supervisor
15. Mark Ridley-Thomas, supervisor
14. Carmen Trutanich, city attorney
13. Wendy Greuel, city controller
12. The Lobbyists
11. Brian D'Arcy, IBEW Local 18
10. Richard Riordan, ex-mayor
9. John Perez, Assembly speaker
8. Maria Elena Durazo, labor powerhouse
7. Zev Yaroslavsky, supervisor
6. Carol Schatz, Central City Association
5. Antonio Villaraigosa, mayor
4. Austin Beutner, first deputy mayor
3. Jan Perry, councilwoman
2. Eli Broad, philanthropist
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1. Tim Leiweke, Anschutz Entertainment Group
We're blushing a little at Regardie's glowing review of fellow journalist David Zahniser -- "tenacious," "dogged determination," "adored" -- and would probably put lobbyists, and law-firm lobbyists in particular, ahead of, say, City Councilwoman Jan Perry. (Because Perry, along with her unanimous colleagues, are nothing more than vessels for the city's many special interests. It's simple: The more campaign contributions, the more special the interests!) And now that we know how much Rick Caruso can pay to get his way around here (ahem, $16 million for a janky hotel in the way of his mall), we might consider bumping him up a few spots.
But overall, on the real -- sweet list, Regardie. Especially loving No. 28. Take that, Frank McCourt.