Occupation: Managing principal, Walton Street Capital
This billionaire's enormous real-estate portfolio and connections to Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, and Michael Madigan (No. 2) may give him swagger, but he also holds serious influence through his Rivers Casino in Des Plaines. The closest gaming complex to Chicago, it spins off some $1 million-plus a year in charitable giving and is credited with reviving nearby towns. The question now: Can Bluhm help land Chicago its first casino?
Photograph: STEPHEN LOVEKIN/GETTY IMAGES