Martin Block

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Martin Block
Martin Block.jpg
California State Senate District 39
In office
December 3, 2012-present
Term ends
December 5, 2016
Years in position 2
Assistant Majority Whip
Base salary$90,526/year
Per diem$141.86/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionNovember 6, 2012
First electedNovember 6, 2012
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limits12 years
Prior offices
California State Assembly District 78
Bachelor'sIndiana University
J.D.DePaul University
Campaign website
Martin "Marty" Block is a Democratic member of the California State Senate, representing District 39. He was first elected to the chamber in 2012. He previously served in the California State Assembly, representing District 78 since from 2008 to 2012 and serving as Assistant Majority Whip from 2010 to 2012.


Block earned his B.A. in Political Science/Education from Indiana University and his J.D. from the DePaul University College of Law. He was the director of Student Legal Services at Western Illinois University from 1978-1979 and a history teacher in Illinois School District 68 from 1972-1978. He was a professor and dean at San Diego State University and a judge pro tem for the San Diego Superior Court. Block was a delegate to the Democratic Party's national convention in 1988, 1992, 1996, 2004.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Block served on the following committees:

California Committee Assignments, 2013
Budget and Fiscal Review
Business, Professions, and Economic Development
Public Employment and Retirement
Public Safety
Veterans Affairs
Fisheries and Aquaculture


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Block served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Block served on these committees:


Block's sponsored legislation includes:

  • AB 347 - Sales and use taxes: failure to furnish information
  • AB 385 - Community colleges: funding
  • AB 497 - Vehicles: high-occupancy vehicle lanes

For details and a full listing of sponsored bills, see the House site.

Political Courage test

Block did not provide answers to the California State Legislative Election 2008 Political Courage Test. The test informs voters how a candidate would vote on the issues if elected.[1]

Legislative scorecard

Capitol Weekly, California's major weekly periodical covering the state legislature, publishes an annual legislative scorecard to pin down the political or ideological leanings of every member of the legislature based on how they voted on an assortment of bills in the most recent legislative session. The 2009 scores were based on votes on 19 bills, but did not include how legislators voted on the Proposition 1A (2009). On the scorecard, "100" is a perfect liberal score and "0" is a perfect conservative score.[2][3]

On the 2009 Capitol Weekly legislative scorecard, Block ranked as a 91.[4]



See also: California State Senate elections, 2012

Block won the 2012 election for California State Senate District 39. He and George Plescia (R) advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, defeating Patrick Marsh (D). Block was victorious in the general election on November 6, 2012.[5][6]

California State Senate, District 39, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMarty Block 58.4% 221,012
     Republican George Plescia 41.6% 157,305
Total Votes 378,317
California State Senate, District 39 Blanket Primary, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngMartin Block 46.3% 85,930
     Democratic Patrick Marsh 10% 18,510
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngGeorge Plescia 43.7% 81,214
Total Votes 185,654


See also: California State Assembly elections, 2010

Block won re-election to the 78th District seat in 2010. He had no opposition in the June 8 primary. He advanced past the blanket primary on June 5, 2012, defeating Republican Rick L. Powell in the November 2 general election.[7]

California State Assembly, District 78 General Election (2010)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Martin Block (D) 72,036
Rick L. Powell (R) 49,455


In 2008 Block was elected to the California State Assembly District 78. Block (D) finished with 93,938 votes while his opponent John McCann (R) finished with 75,350 votes.[8]

California State Assembly District 78
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Martin Block (D) 93,938
John McCann (R) 75,350

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Block is available dating back to 2008. Based on available campaign finance records, Block raised a total of $5,514,783 during that time period. This information was last updated on September 17, 2013.[9]

Martin Block's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 California State Senate, District 39 Won $885,486
2010 California State Assembly, District 78 Won $1,760,592
2008 California State Assembly, District 78 Won $2,868,705
Grand Total Raised $5,514,783


Block won election to the California State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Block raised a total of $885,486.
California State Senate 2012 election - Campaign Contributions
Top contributors to Martin Block's campaign in 2012
California Democratic Party$57,536
California Federation of Teachers$15,600
California State Council of Laborers$15,600
California Dental Association$15,600
California Labor Federation, AFL-CIO$15,600
Total Raised in 2012$885,486
Source:Follow the Money


Martin Block[10] Campaign Finance Reports
ReportDate FiledBeginning BalanceTotal Contributions
for Reporting Period
ExpendituresCash on Hand
July ReportJuly 31, 2012$176,292.38$110,583.00$(44,541.21)$242,334.17
Running totals


In 2010, Block raised $1,760,592 in contributions.[11]

His four largest contributors were:

Donor Amount
California Democratic Party $649,962
San Diego County Democratic Party $165,000
Los Angeles County Democratic Party $155,000
Kern County Democratic Central Cmte $45,000


Marty Block TV ad from 2008 campaign

In his 2008 race for the state assembly, Block ran against Republican John McCann. Block's campaign committee spent $2,868,705, while McCann's campaign committee spent $1,388,638.

Some of Block's major contributors in the 2008 election were:[12]

Contributor 2008 total
California Democratic Party $1,477,062
Sacramento County Democratic Central Cmte $220,000
Mendocino County Democratic Central Cmte $200,000
Marty Block $34,000
Santa Barbara County Democratic Party $25,000
Democratic Central Committee of Marin County $20,000
Stanislaus County Democratic Central Committee $20,000
California State Council of Service Employees $14,400
California Teachers Association $14,400
California Labor Federation $14,400
California Federation of Teachers $14,400
Service Employees Local 1000 $14,400


See also: State legislative scorecards and State legislative scorecards in California

Legislative scorecards are used to evaluate elected public officials based on voting record. Some scorecards are created by political advocacy groups with a focus on specific issues, while others are developed by newspapers and are broad in scope. Scorecards are meant to be used as a tool for voters to have a quick picture of whether their views align with a particular legislator's record.

Because scorecards can be specific to particular issues or general to a state’s legislative term, for example, each report should be considered on its own merits. Each entity that publishes these reports uses different methodologies and definitions for the terms used.

An overview for scorecards in all 50 states can be found on this page. To contribute to the list of California scorecards, email suggestions to

Please see our writing guidelines if you would like to add results from an individual scorecard to this legislator's profile.


In 2013, the California State Legislature was in session from December 3, 2012 to September 13, 2013.[13]


In 2012, the California State Legislature was in session from January 4 to August 31.[14]


Block is married to Cindy Block.

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See also

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Political offices
Preceded by
Christine Kehoe (D)
California State Senate District 39
Succeeded by
Preceded by
California State Assembly District 78
Succeeded by
Toni Atkins (D)