A few months ago former Assemblyman George Plescia’s shot at beating current Assemblyman Marty Block was shaky. The 39th State Senate district, where Plescia and Block are facing off, has a seven point Democratic registration advantage and a likely November Dem turnout advantage of four points. That isn’t huge, but without a funding infusion the steady advantage goes to Block. The common and accurate feeling was Block would have to make some major screw ups. Everyone knows where this is going…
Fast-forward to today. There are two things voters everywhere, but especially in the 39th State Senate district, don’t like: Public Pensions and Sex Offenders. And Block has managed to screw up in both places, big time.
Block receives a pension from his time in the California public education system (a model for efficiency, performance, and student-focused teaching). Not “will receive a pension,” but “currently collects.” You can say “oh he deserves it,” fine, but actually currently collecting a pension and then double-dipping with the taxpayer funded salary just doesn’t look like you’re putting taxpayers first. Worst of all, he lies about it. If it really wasn’t that bad then Block would just be over the top honest. But he isn’t. Strike 1.
When the Democrat controlled State Senate overwhelmingly passed a bill to hold teachers accountable if they deal drugs to, assault, or molest their students, all eyes turned to the State Assembly. There, the uber-powerful California Teachers Association had the bill killed in committee. Republicans in the Assembly tried a last minute move to add the language of the protect-the-kids bill to another unrelated bill, but Marty Block voted to block the addition. His reasoning? It would have jeopardized the original bill he felt needed to be passed. In what world does adding “people who molest children get fired quicker and go to jail” make something more controversial, not less? Strike 2.
Marty Block is up to bat with two strikes, both big swings and misses. It is looking more and more like a month from now Marty Block, Steve Bartman, Chipper Jones, and Bill Buckner are going to be sitting together in a bar, quietly wondering what went wrong.