All politicians like to say that they're the little guy's best friend. But with so much big-business money floating around the Beltway, perhaps it's no surprise that entrepreneurs are generally ignored while all manner of legislation favoring a small number of giant multinationals gets passed. In Washington, D.C., Corporate America still reigns supreme.

Thankfully, a small group of smart power brokers understands the importance of entrepreneurship, and they push to keep the needs of company builders on the agenda. Who are they? How effective are they? And (ahem) where can you find their phone numbers?

Based on our own extensive reporting, Inc. has compiled a list of 19 politicos and advocates who are the entrepreneur's best friends in Washington. In Congress, three Republicans and one Democrat make the grade. Officials in the Executive Branch, lawyers, judges, activists, and policy wonks round out the list.

On the following pages, you'll find short biographies of these 19 allies, plus a list of three former friends who have let you down. You'll also find seven tips from experts on how to play the access game smartly. And on page 97, we've compiled contact information for everyone on the list. Given their track record, we're sure they'll be happy to hear from you. Just don't call all at once.

Best Friends in D.C.

Clay Risen is an assistant editor at The New Republic. He can be reached at