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Block's resignation: wishful thinking?

His former opponent thinks so

August 10, 2011, 4:45 pm
By Joey Peters

It's unlikely Jerome Block's will step down from his role with the Public Regulation Commission amid two high-profile scandals, his former opponent says.


Rick Lass, who ran for the District 3 PRC seat on the Green Party ticket, says Block will likely wait it out.

"I think he's going to fight it out to the end and wait for the legislature to impeach him," Lass tells SFR.

While Block is currently under investigation for allegedly spending $8,000 of state money in gas receipts and stealing and abandoning a Honda Accord, he's shown that he can make it through rough stretches like this.

In 2008, Block marked $2,500 worth of public campaign money to a band for playing at one of his rallies on a campaign finance reports. It turned out that band never played at the rally, even though Block repeatedly said so. He eventually admitted he lied.

Around the same time, Block made a donation to then-Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign with his own public campaign money, something he's barred from doing.

Still, Block won the general election easily that year after winning a six-way Democratic primary with about 20 percent of the vote. Lass blames this on a broken electoral system in a blog post today for Voting Matters, an election-reform oriented nonprofit which he runs.

Block has often been MIA at his PRC job since winning it. As of May, he had missed 11 of the commission's 31 meetings in 2011. This doesn't include the proceedings he missed yesterday when the PRC's four other members signed a statement recommending his resignation. 

Block's family has political legacy in New Mexico.

"He's someone who felt entitled to his position," Lass says. "His grandfather and father did it before him."

Long before serving the PRC, he had a minor criminal history. Today, he makes about $90,000 a year for his PRC role.

 

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