He had all the attributes of a winning mayoral candidate: handsome, smart, and connected, as the middle brother of a Cuban-American political oligarchy. And as a reformer on the county commission who introduced legislation creating the Miami-Dade Inspector General's Office, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla had the credentials to clean up county hall. But it didn't work out for him — he lost mayoral bids in 2000 and 2004. So he turned to twisting county commissioners' arms on behalf of real estate developers seeking rezoning approvals and companies wanting to do business with Miami-Dade. He's mighty good at it too, as evidenced by the corporate titans on his client roster: development giant Lennar Homes, leading red-light camera provider American Traffic Solutions, and national heavy hitters such as Ryder, TD Bank, and Walmart. His lobbying career was bolstered by his return to politics in 2010, when he was elected to the Florida Senate, taking his termed-out brother Alex's seat. When his clients can't get their way at the county level, they can count on Diaz de la Portilla to use his influence in Tallahassee to fulfill their agendas there. Talk about bang for your buck.