For more than forty years, John Marttila has been a leading political strategist and advisor for political candidates, elected officials and ballot campaigns.

Marttila’s history in Democratic politics began in 1970 when he was the campaign manager for Father Robert Drinan, the first Jesuit priest to be elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. For Marttila, this victory kicked off the first in a series of notable and successful elections from the Vietnam War and Watergate era.

In 1972, he co-founded his first company, which oversaw the strategy and produced advertising for Vice President Joe Biden’s upset senatorial victory. Forty years later, Marttila continues to be a close advisor to the Vice President.

Marttila has advised political candidates across the country, at nearly all levels of government, from U.S. Senate and House of Representatives, to elections for governor and mayor. For nearly two decades, his company provided ongoing strategic advice to African-American candidates, including Mayor Coleman Young of Detroit. He also advised Mayor Dutch Morial of New Orleans and later, his son, Marc Morial.

He was a senior advisor to John Kerry’s 2004 presidential campaign and Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick’s 2006 campaign. In 1996, Marttila’s company became more active internationally, conducting research and advising political campaigns in Russia, Israel, Hungary and Greece.

Marttila’s company also has a long and successful history of managing victorious ballot campaigns in different regions of the country. These victories include increasing the income tax in Detroit, increasing the sales tax on tobacco in Massachusetts, passing the authorizing referendum for New Orleans’ only major casino, defeating a proposal for draconian cuts in the Massachusetts state budget, defeating a law that would have banned universities, hospitals and unions from speaking out on ballot questions in the state and preventing the unlimited expansion of retail outlets selling wine in Massachusetts.


In 2011, 50 percent of American voters said they are worse off financially than they were five years ago. Just 12 percent said they were better off.

Want to learn more?

View the presentation »