Q&A: House District 51 candidate John Block - Albuquerque Journal

Q&A: House District 51 candidate John Block

House District 51 candidate John Block (Courtesy John Block)

NAME: John Block

POLITICAL PARTY: Republican

OCCUPATION: Founder and editor of the Piñon Post, New Mexico’s No. 1 online conservative news publication

CITY OF RESIDENCE: Alamogordo

RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Managed one of the largest independent ally organizations of President Donald J. Trump, the Committee to Defend the President, worked as a staffer at the state House of Representatives and fought for the right to life as a manager at Americans United for Life. Through the Piñon Post, we have exposed waste, fraud and abuse in New Mexico politics while bringing a conservative perspective to our state’s media.

EDUCATION: B.A. in business from Rutgers University, MBA from Eastern New Mexico University

CAMPAIGN WEBSITE: JohnBlock.com

1. New Mexico is highly reliant on the oil and natural gas industries to generate revenue to fund state programs, as evidenced by recent oil boom and bust cycles. What steps should the Legislature take to diversify the state’s economy and revenue base?

We must expand oil, gas and coal by striking bad legislation such as 2019’s enviro-Marxist Green New Deal (Energy Transition Act). Laws like this cripple energy producers and kill jobs. I will sponsor legislation to expand oil, gas and coal production while making it easier to do business in New Mexico.

2. During the last regular legislative session, there was an unsuccessful push to make it easier to keep certain defendants behind bars until trial. Should New Mexico law be changed to make it easier to hold individuals charged with violent offenses such as murder and first-degree child abuse behind bars until trial?

Violent criminals must be taken off the streets, and if that means changing our laws to guarantee those who terrorize our communities stay behind bars, I fully support such a measure. Criminals, such as pedophiles, murderers and rapists, must be locked up, period.

3. What steps should the Legislature take to address crime and public safety as New Mexico faces one of the highest violent crime rates in the nation?

New Mexico must secure our border to stop criminal alien invasions. We must strengthen state statutes to stop violent offenders from returning to our streets. Victims and their families must get swift justice. I do not believe in “restorative justice.” If someone breaks the law, they face the consequences.

4. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, do you support or oppose codifying abortion protections in state law? And do you support or oppose enacting any restrictions on abortion in New Mexico?

I believe in the right to life from conception to natural death. If radical Democrats even think of “codifying” abortion up-to-birth into state law, they should expect the fight of their lives. I will sponsor pro-life legislation if elected. I will never stop fighting for the right to life.

5. New Mexico has already implemented several gun control laws in recent years. Would you support or oppose legislation that banned or restricted the sale of AR-15-style semi-automatic weapons, such as raising the age limit for purchasing such weapons? And what about legislation making it a crime to fail to safely secure firearms around children?

I oppose any law that restricts the Second Amendment. I will sponsor a bill to implement Constitutional Carry in New Mexico. I will fight day and night to stop extremist Democrat legislation that would restrict New Mexicans’ rights to own and carry a firearm.

6. The state agency tasked with keeping New Mexico children safe has faced recent scrutiny over transparency issues and its handling of high-profile child abuse cases. What changes would you support to improve the operations of the Children, Youth and Families Department?

CYFD is an absolute dumpster fire. We must first ensure time and effort are put into each case, including recruiting former law enforcers to help alleviate the workload of those already in the department. We must ensure oversight measures, so no child slips through the cracks and other measures.

7. What changes, if any, should New Mexico make to its gross receipts tax code?

Gross receipts taxes must be heavily cut at the state level, giving localities the sole authority to oversee GRT.

8. New Mexico is currently the only state that does not pay its legislators a salary, though lawmakers do get per diem payments and can qualify for a legislative pension. Do you support or oppose a salaried Legislature and, if so, how much should lawmakers be paid?

No. New Mexico’s Legislature must remain a citizen legislature. Public service should not be a money-making opportunity — only the corrupt desire to make money from their political positions. I also reject increases in monetary benefits to legislators, including increases in pensions that exceed inflation.

9. What more, if anything, should the Legislature do to address a court ruling that found New Mexico is failing to provide a sufficient education to all students, especially Native Americans and those who don’t speak English as a first language?

New Mexico must completely abolish the New Mexico Public Education Department and give control to each individual school district. Parents and local leaders know the needs of their communities, and the state must not dictate what a local community must teach. At the state level, we must ban racist critical race theory and sexual content in the classroom.

10. In recent years, New Mexico has steadily increased spending on early childhood programs, such as home visiting, prekindergarten and child care assistance, and created a new early childhood trust fund. Do you support or oppose the proposed constitutional amendment on the November ballot that would withdraw more money from the state’s permanent school fund to increase funding for early childhood services and K-12 education?

New Mexicans should not be forced to fund socialist “free” daycare programs and should not allow the government any more control over our state’s children. I am vehemently against the proposed constitutional amendment. It must be rejected.

11. In order to address climate change and air quality issues, do you support or oppose legislation limiting greenhouse gas emissions and requiring the state achieve net-zero emissions by 2050?

I 100% oppose enviro-Marxist legislation to waste more taxpayer money on a “climate” hoax by meeting arbitrary benchmarks outlined in the Green New Deal (Energy Transition Act). The Green New Deal is a socialist vehicle to destroy the fabric of our state. It must be stopped.

12. Do you believe changes should be made to the emergency powers held by a governor during a pandemic or other time of crisis. If so, do you believe such powers should be expanded or reduced and in what specific ways?

Never again should a governor be allowed to lock down, cripple and hunt down businesses and churches under the guise of a health emergency. I trust citizens — not the Legislature or the governor — to know how to protect themselves and their businesses during a crisis.

13. Would you support a merit-based evaluation system to determine how the state spends its capital outlay funding?

I believe the hardest-working areas of our state that bring in the most tax revenue should be rewarded according to what they produce. Localities having to beg their legislator, who may or may not be politically inclined to approve their requests for funding, does not sound fair to me.

14. Do you believe former President Donald Trump’s claim that he was the legitimate winner of the 2020 presidential election? (Yes or No answer only, please)

Yes.

15. What changes, if any, would you support to New Mexico’s election laws?

New Mexico must institute voter ID, remove ballot “drop-boxes,” and hand-count ballots. No ballot-counting machines. Ballot harvesting must be banned, poll watchers must be allowed full access to oversee the administration of elections, and voter rolls must be cleaned. Citizens must have confidence in our elections again.

Personal background

1. Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?

No.

2. Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?

No.

3. Have you ever been arrested for, charged with, or convicted of drunken driving, any misdemeanor or any felony in New Mexico or any other state? If so, explain.

No.

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