*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

26. Los Angeles Downtown News

25. Cardinal Roger Mahony/Archbishop Jose Gomez

24-23. Pat McOsker, United Firefighters Los Angeles City – Paul Weber, Los Angeles Police Protective League

22. Charlie Beck, Los Angeles Police Department

21-19. Rick Orlov, Los Angeles Daily NewsDave Zahniser, Los Angeles TimesDave 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

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.


LA Weekly