Thursday, January 14, 2010
Jackson vs. Plusquellic, reform's coattails: the Inside Business Power 100
Give up on those "quiet mayor" complaints already. Frank Jackson keeps gaining in power and influence, not in spite of his mild personality, but because of it. That's my conclusion in one of several pieces I wrote for the Power 100, in the January issue of Cleveland Magazine's sister publication, Inside Business.
Plenty of politicians appear among the business and non-profit leaders on our list of Northeast Ohio's 100 most powerful people. Jackson ranked #2, below only the Cleveland Clinic's Toby Cosgrove. Hotheaded Don Plusquellic, Jackson's mayoral polar opposite, came in at #12, after shaking off his enemies in last year's recall election while retaining the confidence of the Rubber City's business community. U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown and congressmen Steve Latourette and Tim Ryan also made our top 25.
I handicapped Northeast Ohio's congressional delegation, scoring who's gained and lost power lately (George Voinovich down, Betty Sutton up). I also calculated Issue 6's effects on local political figures -- Jimmy Dimora, Tim Hagan, and Peter Lawson Jones dropped out of our top 100 entirely.
Of course, political buzz can shift fast: since IB went to press just before Christmas, Chris Ronayne seems less likely to run for county executive, Joe Cimperman lost some city council committee assignments, and Bill Mason's presence in the car when his campaign treasurer was pulled over on suspicion of drunk driving has sparked speculation about his political fortunes. (Oh, and Frank Jackson's "no layoffs" record? No longer true.)
One more Power 100 piece may appeal to political junkies: my interview with Sam Miller, Forest City co-chair and influential political donor. "The very person that, let’s say, is a precinct committeeman, a relative nobody politically — one day, you wake up and discover he’s a senator for the state," Miller counsels aspiring power brokers. "When you helped him as a precinct committeeman, that he’ll never forget."