Shameful actions

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By Ralph Damiani

Generally we don’t question voters, the will of the electorate is how the wind blows. But this year, we have to.

The election of Jerome Block Jr. to the Public Regulation Commission is nothing short of disgusting. And we believe it is due in part to the fact that people can straight party vote in this state – something that should be as out-dated as voter tests.

What makes this all the more shocking is the fact that the Associated Press reported Friday that Block went ahead and paid more than $21,000 in penalties to the secretary of state for campaign finance violations.

And there are even questions of where the money he paid the fines with are coming from.

The newly elected Democrat who represents the northern New Mexico district of the PRC, made the payments Thursday.

He was fined $11,000 for making false statements on a campaign finance report and misusing public money provided for his campaign. He also had to return $10,700 in public funds.

Block, who complained the penalties were excessive, defeated Green Party candidate Rick Lass in last week’s general election, winning 56 percent of the vote.

It is a sad fact that we can’t understand the voters on this one and we really fear – especially how he acted in the campaign (like avoiding all questions, forums and the like) – that we all be paying a heavy price for putting this man into office.

Failure to understand

Each election we here at the Monitor publish the results of a general election in a precinct-by-precinct format so you can all see how you and your neighbor voted.

But this year we will not be doing so.

See, the county clerk’s office says it cannot provide that information. And we simply can’t bring ourselves to understand why.

The folks at the office were cooperative and friendly, only they were not helpful. They said they reported the results to the state by senate district and that is all they had.

And here is where we just don’t get it. They get the results from each and every precinct on election night separately, by precinct. It does not matter how they put them altogether for the state, they have the results broken down.

As much as we like those folks, we just can’t understand how they do not have these results for us. And remember, they are not doing this for us, they are being asked to do this for you the public.

This is important as how we vote is important. We wish that we could provide this information to you the reading public but we can’t make up numbers that we can’t obtain.