29.Donna Lucas

Communications strategist Donna Lucas of Lucas Public Affairs worked as a campaign press aide and learned the insides of the Capitol during the Deukmejian administration. She learned her lessons well: She has developed into a major communications force and is a go-to person for companies and people — State Fund, Chevron, Maria Shriver (Lucas was Shriver’s chief of staff), assorted businesses, health care issues, etc. — looking for communications advice in the Byzantine world of Capitol politics. She’s also connected: Her brother is top Senate staffer Kip Lipper, a gatekeeper for major environmental legislation in the Capitol, and her husband is Greg Lucas, the former Sacramento bureau chief of the San Francisco Chronicle and perhaps the best-sourced newsie in the Capitol. Greg, by the way, publishes “California’s Capitol,” is a contributing editor to Capitol Weekly and hosts our “Politics on Tap” TV show. When we created Open California, a public benefit corporation to publish Capitol Weekly, we needed a board of directors — she was our first call.