Gale Kaufman was campaigning in California before Arnold Schwarzenegger was Conan the Barbarian. Kaufman, a bare-knuckled Democratic strategist, is as little known to the public as she is famous among political pros. When talk in the political world turns to “Gale,” everyone knows it’s a reference to Kaufman.
California’s economy may not be booming, but it is definitely on the mend. The Bay Area is churning out high-tech profits and high-wage jobs. In other parts of the state, unemployment is inching down toward full-employment levels. And as always when California’s economy improves, tax revenues are soaring. With an income tax system highly dependent on the wealthy and their investment income, the state treasury typically sees a windfall whenever times are good.