About Gale Kaufman

Gale Kaufman is a renowned California-based political strategist and the founder of Kaufman Campaign Consultants. Kaufman has successfully managed over 100 prominent initiative campaigns. As one of the few female consultants offering full-service campaigns, she is widely regarded as a pioneer in campaign management. Kaufman’s strategic leadership has helped her clients successfully navigate some of the most significant campaigns in the US.

Kaufman is one of four women who have been inducted into the Hall of Fame of the American Association of Political Consultants. She consistently appears on the Top 100 annual list in Capitol Weekly and was named by Campaigns & Elections Magazine in 2012 as one of the most influential political figures in the US.

Background

Gale Kaufman has a strong background of collaboration with business and labor groups in running independent campaigns. She founded Kaufman Campaign Consultants in 1987 and has since served as a political consultant in California where she resides with her husband Steve Murakami. Kaufman and Murakami have three sons—Sean, Michael, and David. Since the start of her career, Kaufman has played a major role in every statewide electoral cycle where ballot propositions were made. In one of her most recent ventures, Kaufman led a highly successful independent campaign supporting the election of Tony Thurmond as superintendent of Public Instruction.

Career Overview

In 1992, Gale Kaufman was tapped by Assembly Speaker Willie L. Brown to be the first female director of the Speaker’s Office of Majority Services. Kaufman’s extensive experience in campaign strategy and organization made her an ideal candidate for the role. For the following three years, she headed a team of 35 staff members providing leadership to constituents of the Assembly Democratic Caucus. Kaufman ran several candidate campaigns and became widely known for her pivotal victories on major statewide ballot initiative campaigns.

In 2005, at the state-wide special election, Kaufman served as lead for the Alliance for a Better California, which successfully fought against several ballot initiatives aimed at reducing workers’ rights, cutting public school funding, and placing teacher tenures under threat.

During the 2012 general election, Kaufman fought against Proposition 32, an initiative aimed at restricting the collection of union dues. She also played a pivotal role that year in the inclusion of Proposition 30 on the ballot. The proposition assisted the state in restoring cuts that were implemented at K-14 public schools after the recession of 2007-2009.

The 2014 general election brought Kaufman further success in opposing Proposition 46. Despite the proposition receiving over 70% support in initial polls, Kaufman’s team defeated it by over two to one. During this election, she assembled an unmatched bipartisan coalition and delivered an accurately crafted message across multiple media channels.

In 2016, Kaufman led successful campaigns for Proposition 55 and Proposition 64, both major ballot measures. Proposition 55 involved extended income tax rates on the state’s wealthiest and was won with a majority vote of over 60%. Proposition 64 involved the legalization of marijuana and attracted the highest share of the votes of any of the states.