Capitol Weekly’s Top 100: Gale Kaufman

Illustration by Chris Shary

61. Gale Kaufman

The words “campaign strategist” and “Gale Kaufman” are synonymous in Sacramento, and with good reason: She usually wins, and she leaves clients who have a lot of dough – The California Teachers Association, for example –  well satisfied. There was a wrinkle this year, however. She was all set to handle one of the biggest battles of the year, the November ballot initiative dealing with MICRA, when a compromise was reached between an array of deep-pocket interests and the measure was yanked from the ballot. That left her in the lurch, but not to worry: She’s also handling the “no” side of another ballot measure – she didn’t say which one – and all’s well. Meanwhile, her campaign consulting firm, Kaufman Strategies (formerly Kaufman Campaigns) is in the fray with assorted IEs and outside labor consultancies. Her campaign victories – for both lawmakers and ballot measures – are too lengthy to detail here, but two stand out: She led the charge to defeat a quartet of ballot measures pushed by Arnold Schwarzenegger during his governorship, and she successfully led Jerry Brown’s budget-balancing initiatives.

Updated Aug. 9, 2022

Want to see more stories like this? Sign up for The Roundup, the free daily newsletter about California politics from the editors of Capitol Weekly. Stay up to date on the news you need to know.

Sign up below, then look for a confirmation email in your inbox.


Support for Capitol Weekly is Provided by: