Michael Bustamante


"Michael is one of the best communications and political professionals in California. His counsel and strategic thinking helped me and my administration immensely. Nobody does it better."

- Governor Gray Davis

Michael Bustamante applies a more than 25-year record of creating winning public affairs strategies for businesses and state and local governments. This history helps California Strategies’ clients to develop sound strategic messaging and outreach campaigns and to successfully meet crisis communications, land-use, political and legislative challenges.

Michael Bustamante has a long and successful history of helping clients enact legislation, reduce regulation and influence behavior through social marketing and education campaign strategies.

Since joining California Strategies, Bustamante’s work has focused on assisting companies who have found themselves in a crisis situation, on health care issues, providing counsel to companies to help them win approvals at the local government level, and assisting companies, corporations, and non-profits achieve their strategic goals.

Bustamante brings California Strategies’ clients an extensive resume, having worked for some of California’s most successful elected officials, including U.S. Senator Alan Cranston, Congressman Henry A. Waxman, and Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina. He also served as Press Secretary and Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Gray Davis, serving first as the Governor’s chief spokesperson and then overseeing the administration’s communications and outreach efforts. He was instrumental in helping to create several successful advertising campaigns for both California tourism and agriculture.

His public service has led to a deep understanding of policy issues affecting California, including green technology, energy conservation, health care, K-12 education, land use, development and environmental issues, agricultural and farm labor matters, immigration reform, transportation initiatives, and voting rights efforts. He was also involved in the creation of Los Angeles’ light rail, subway and commuter rail systems, helping to oversee the communications and federal affairs at a critical juncture during the start-up of L.A.’s transportation effort.

Bustamante ran his own successful public relations company from 2004 to 2007, managing a variety of crisis communications situations for the public- and private-sector clients of all sizes. Whether the issue is concern over a Super Fund clean-up site or helping multi-national corporations develop successful public affairs or crisis management strategies, Bustamante has a proven track record of success, tackling complex issues and balancing varying messages for often competing audiences.

He was appointed by Governors Davis and Schwarzenegger to serve as a Board Member to the Agricultural Labor Relations Board, and currently is a gubernatorial appointee to the state’s Voter Modernization Board, which oversees a $200 million fund to assist with modernizing state voting equipment.

A native of California, Bustamante grew up outside of Los Angeles in Alhambra, attending Catholic schools until he attended Carleton College. Now a resident of Los Angeles, he lives with his wife Claudie and son Matthew.

Strategic Communications and Media Relation
Crisis Communications
Business and Government Issues Management
State Government Affairs
Public and Stakeholder Opinion Strategies


Employment Labor & Workforce Development
Federal State & Local Government
Health Care
Political Campaigns & Issues Management
Public Private Partnerships
Real Estate & Land Use
Strategic Communications
Transportation & Infrastructure
Career Highlights
Deputy Chief of Staff to Governor Gray Davis
Press Secretary and Senior Advisor to Governor Gray Davis
Former Board Member of the California Agricultural Relations Board
Board Member, CA Voter Modernization Board

Contact Michael Bustamante

California Strategies’ Matthew Klink, Kristin Olsen, Lily Mackayand Michael Bustamante help raise crucial funding at the Saint John’s Gala
California Strategies’ Matthew Klink, Kristin Olsen, Lily Mackay and Michael Bustamante help raise crucial funding at the Saint John’s Gala held October 17, 2021. Additionally, California Strategies Partners donated to help support...
California Strategies’ veteran political strategists Michael Bustamante and former Chair of the Californian Republican Party, Jim Brulte provide insight into the Republican National Convention in the San Francisco Chronicle
“Forced to flee from North Carolina and Florida because of concerns about the coronavirus, the nearly audience-free Republican National Convention has taken some time to get used to for the...