It’s my list.
I’m responsible for the facepalming, out-of-left-field choices, as well as the glaring sins of omission.
I’m the one who decided not to rank the list (at least not this year). I’m the one who moved so-and-so from the “100” section to the honorable mentions.
I’m the crazy one who – clearly with not enough to do already – decided to compile a list as ambitious as the INFLUENCE 100.
Like it, love it, or hate it: The buck stops here.
At first I thought of inviting a blue-ribbon selection committee to help me sift through the avalanche of nominations. I attempted to set a firm criteria for how someone would be included. I spent countless hours on the phone, picking the brains of much smarter people than myself, including the legendary Lucy Morgan. She used to compile her own list of 100 most important people in Florida politics in a still-worth-reading feature for the then-St. Petersburg Times.
At the end of the day, though, I realized it had to be my list. People won’t discuss it and say, “The selection committee decided …” This is not March Madness.