Golf tournament to raise cash for Block Sr.'s defense

Posted 6/16/2009 11:26:00 AM

Earlier this month, a send-off party held for Manny Aragon, the prison-bound former president of the New Mexico Senate, created controversy. Now, a golf tournament is being held to raise money for the legal defense of former Public Regulation Commissioner Jerome Bock Sr., who is facing felony charges related to the 2008 election.

“With this warm weather that is now upon us, it is time to go out and hit some golf balls,” states an e-mail from lobbyist Maurice Bonal about the event, which, according to the e-mail, is being held June 25 in Pojoaque “in honor of Jerome D. Block, Sr.”

Registration forms and sponsorships are to be mailed to a post office box in Santa Fe listed under the name “Legal Defense Fund Committee.”

Block Sr. and his son Jerome Block Jr., a current public regulation commissioner, were indicted by a grand jury in April. They’re charged with violating the elections code, conspiring to violate the elections code, tampering with evidence and conspiring to tamper with evidence. The charges against the younger Block also include embezzlement of between $500 and $2,500.

Block Jr. was indicted on eight felony counts. Block Sr. is facing four felony charges. Both have pleaded not guilty.

The charges stem from the younger Block’s publicly funded campaign for office last year. Block Jr., who is in his first term on the PRC, paid a band to play at a rally that never took place. He later had to pay a fine and return $10,000 of the more than $100,000 in taxpayer money he received for his campaign after admitting to filing false reports.

He was also fined for making a contribution to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, which is an invalid use of the public funds.

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At 8:28 PM, June 16, 2009, Blogger wedum59 said...

If father and son don't have the funds to pay for a legal defense, they must not be big enough crooks.

At 7:22 AM, June 17, 2009, Blogger Doyle Pruitt said...

When a politico gets into a jam, it is of his/her own making and should be paid for out of his/her pocket. the old adage is 'you made the mess, you clean it up'.

Anyone who donates money to a fund to aid in the defence of a politico for his/her defence is very foolish. It is like asking someone to donate more money from their pocket to defend a person who has already taken money from that person's pocket. I would call it very brazen on the part of the Blocks.

At 4:10 PM, June 17, 2009, Blogger politicagal said...

I don't think it is the raising of the funds that offends us. More disturbing to me is the fact that Mr. Bonal is a lobbyist raising funds for Block's defense. The PRC is a quasi judicial position. They have more power than the legislature.And they are highly restricted in what money and from whom they can accept it. Would we think this kind of fundraising for a seated district Judge, Appellate Judge or even Supreme court judge would be appropriate? Especially by a lobbyist! If Mr. Bonal wants to raise funds for Block, let him do it as a private citizen. And I think if lobbyists are inclined to do this in the future they should be denied lobbyist stature. This is not the first time Mr. Block Sr. has seen difficult days. Back when he was on the State Corporation Commission and Eric Serna was being investigated, Larry Barker, investigative news reporter was following Mr. Block to his office at the State Corporation Commission to get him to answer key questions when Block went out the window to the ledge so that Barker would end his questioning.This is absolutely the truth, you can contact Larry Barker at KRQE for verification. So, in the case of Block Jr. the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. As much as I would like to believe that our lawmakers and citizens of New Mexico want honest, ethical people to run government, I do not find that to be the case. I find government in New Mexico to be incestuous, generational and a God given right for some. Those in the legislator, not all but some feel since they don't get a salary it is somehow ok to take what they feel they deserve. But the PRC on the other hand has a salary of $90,000 plus perks.The part that really makes my blood pressure boil is that Block Jr.thought he could screw with public money. The very thing that people think will help to make elected officials more ethical. Well, Block certainly proved that theory wrong.

At 7:09 PM, June 17, 2009, Blogger Greg said...

Looks to me like Mr. Bonal is doing this as a private citizen. The fact that he is a lobbyist is just being highlighted.

If your friend needed your help, would you help them? That's what Mr. Bonal is doing: HELPING A FRIEND.


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