As a kid, John Block marched up to the fourth floor of the state Capitol and demanded an audience with the governor.

“I was quite a precocious young child,” recalled Block, who was 8 or 10 years old at the time and serving as a legislative page in the state House of Representatives, where his late grandmother, Eloisa Block, was assistant chief clerk.

Though it didn’t happen on the spot, John’s assertiveness paid off. He said he met face-to-face with former Gov. Bill Richardson.

“I really don’t remember what I talked about with him,” he said. “But I just thought it was interesting to be able to meet someone like that and, you know, get there through force, I suppose.”

Now 24, Block is an even bigger force.

He has become one of the biggest champions — and bullhorns — of conservatives in New Mexico as the founder and editor of the Piñon Post, a no-holds-barred website of news and opinion pieces that routinely fling Democrats into the crosshairs of unflattering coverage.

Block, who remains convinced Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election, has been called the unofficial spokesman of the Republican Party of New Mexico — given to writing incendiary things on politics and politicians that perhaps the party structure would not.

He started blogging about politics in New Mexico in 2018 and said readership “grew exponentially” from 2019 to 2020 as he wrote more about the administration of Democratic Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham — a favorite target of the website, which generates about 100,000 page views monthly.

“We were pushing back as one of the only conservative outlets that was bringing the true news about what she was doing in office and how we could fight back,” Block said. “I think it really had the activism arm tied to it, which gave it that popularity that it has today as the Piñon Post.”

The website of “conservative journalism” was born in 2020, he said.

But is it really journalism? Or is it, as some critics contend, a tool for far-right propaganda?

“It is journalism,” Block said. “Every piece that we do, we cover all the bases. We look to bring the true story. Like all these Michelle Lujan Grisham articles for instance, every time we run something about her, we call and ask for comment.”

Block said he has never received a response from the Governor’s Office.

“But that doesn’t mean that we won’t keep on asking,” he said. “We’re not here to just run a propaganda website. This is actually to bring a conservative perspective to New Mexico.”

Block doesn’t just call the Governor’s Office for comment.

Earlier this year, he filed an ethics complaint against the governor, alleging she violated New Mexico’s campaign finance laws by spending $6,000 on hair and makeup services. The Secretary of State’s Office found no evidence of violations. Block said he filed the complaint in a personal capacity, not as the editor of the website.

“I’m not going to let corruption slide,” he said.

Nora Meyers Sackett, the governor’s press secretary, declined to comment about Block.

“We’re not interested in participating in this kind of story,” she wrote in an email.

When Block writes about the governor, she is repeatedly referenced as a “scandal-ridden alleged serial groper” on the website.

But Lujan Grisham, whose campaign has paid $150,000 in a settlement with a former campaign staffer who accused her of grabbing his genitals, isn’t the only Democrat to get roasted on the Piñon Post. Among the headlines in recent days:

“MLG’s spokesman who called GOP a ‘death cult’ quits over mental health”

“Vengeful Dem Senate boss to boot ex-Democrat from Finance Committee”

“Open gov’t watchdog group blasts Dems’ partisan closed-door special session”

‘Fundamentally dishonest’

For his part, Block said his reporting is factual — and there’s a big appetite for it across New Mexico.

“I think people in this state didn’t really get the full picture the whole time, conservatives especially,” he said. “We read the Albuquerque Journal or the Las Cruces Sun-News or another one of these publications and a lot of the editorial content is very far to the left. Maybe there’s a letter to the editor here and there, but there is not a news organization that is predominantly there to bring the full picture of news that the mainstream media doesn’t necessarily cover.”

The website runs off mostly small donations and digital ads.

“It runs more like a nonprofit because we don’t make too much money,” said Block, who declined to disclose annual revenue.

“Mainly what we run on is a massive amount of small-dollar donors — $5, $10, $3 — and these people are what really build a movement,” he said. “That’s why we call ourselves a grassroots movement because the regular everyday New Mexican is funding this news.”

Block calls himself a reporter, but critics say he’s anything but objective.

Rep. Matthew McQueen, D-Galisteo, called the Piñon Post “fundamentally dishonest.”

“Everything I see is just a disingenuous, negative spin,” he said, adding he tries to avoid the website. “I think they’re intentionally and dishonestly stoking the negativity, and that’s why they exist.”

McQueen said the website doesn’t contribute to the political discourse in New Mexico.

“It contributes to the discord,” he said.



Asked whether the website has a slant, Block said “there’s a slant when it comes to all journalism.” He said the Piñon Post distinguishes news from opinion, though many news articles contain an obvious bent.

The road to red

The son of an elementary school teacher and a state government employee who are now both retired, Block said he had an average childhood. He attended Santa Fe’s Piñon Elementary and De Vargas Middle School and then started high school at Santa Fe High.

But “I just didn’t really see what I was looking for in an education” at Santa Fe High, said Block, who later enrolled in The MASTERS Program, a dual-credit charter high school at Santa Fe Community College. He graduated in 2015 and finished his associate’s degree in film production and documentary and environmental media the following year.

After attending a semester at Dallas Baptist University, Block returned to New Mexico.

“I just couldn’t afford it, so I came back home,” he said, adding he worked while taking online classes that led to a bachelor’s degree in business administration. He has since obtained a master’s from Eastern New Mexico University in Portales.

Block said he started delving into politics from a young age. He was galvanized by former President Barack Obama, whose policies he could not tolerate. When Obama was elected, Block said, he remembers a teacher holding the front page of a newspaper up to the class and remarking that history had been made with the election of the first African American president.

“I wasn’t one of the people celebrating,” he said.

Santa Fe to Alamogordo to controversy

That Block is now a right-leaning resident of Alamogordo isn’t so surprising; Otero County is largely conservative.

But his roots suggest a different political path.

Block’s family name is well known in the north: His late grandfather, John Block Jr., was the mayor of Española from 1948-52. A cousin, Jerome Block Jr., is also a former public regulation commissioner, though his political career ended in scandal when he pleaded guilty to fraudulent use of a government credit card and embezzlement in 2011.

Block, who is Hispanic, said members of his father’s family have been Democrats “since the dawn of time.”

“I guess they probably brought their Democrat streak with Oñate,” he joked, referring to conquistador Juan de Oñate.

Block, who is gay, said his political beliefs have made him something of a family outcast.

“I don’t talk to many people in my family anymore,” he said. “Politics is just very important to them, I guess, and they’re all very Democrat. So, yeah, it’s pleasantries at Christmas and stuff, but I don’t exactly get a red carpet.”

The family strains grew when Trump ran for office and then won the presidency, he said.

“It was kind of like a bubble popped,” he said.

He said he likes Southern New Mexico so much he’s preparing to run for the Alamogordo-based House District 51. He didn’t volunteer his looming candidacy during interviews but later confirmed he plans to seek elective office.

As Block gets ready to launch a campaign, incumbent Rep. Rachel Black, R-Alamogordo, said she’s not too concerned about facing off against someone from Santa Fe.

“I’ve been raised here,” she said, referring to Alamogordo. “I have deep community roots, so I feel confident that we’ll keep going.”

Black said she doesn’t know much about Block. But she knows how Santa Feans think.

“Generally speaking, people with mindsets from Northern New Mexico have a different mindset than people from Southern New Mexico,” she said. “I guess that’s the best way to say it. I think he would be better off running for one of those districts up there. I mean, I think he fits in better.”

In the middle of things

Regardless of where he is, Block always seems to find controversy — whether he’s chronicling it or is just in the general vicinity.

In January, he flew to Washington, D.C., to attend a massive pro-Trump demonstration that turned violent when a mob stormed the U.S. Capitol. Block has said he didn’t get close to the building.

“Everyone I spoke to was very peaceful and just fired up to take our country back,” he said at the time.

And last year, he was one of more than a dozen New Mexicans featured on a virtual deck of “PokeFash” cards — modeled after the Pokémon card game. A group that identifies itself as anti-fascist created the cards and posted them on Twitter.

The card with Block’s image showed him posing with Gavin McInnes, founder of the right-wing extremist group the Proud Boys.

Block has said he posed with McGinnis after the Proud Boys leader spoke at a rally but didn’t know much about the group.

Block also has volunteered for years as a “pro-life sidewalk advocate” outside Planned Parenthood.

He said he plans to continue the Piñon Post, which he describes as a side gig for now. He said he also writes for Pop Acta, a conservative news site.

“That’s my main gig, but the Piñon Post is my passion,” he said. “I would like it to be my main gig someday once it grows to that size, which I believe it will.”

Block said he’s “very proud” of the website.

“It’s probably the most proud I’ve been of anything that I’ve done so far in my life,” he said. “I think the Piñon Post has truly made a difference in our state and finally brought back opposition to the crazy left-wing extremism that has seeped through unaccountable for years.”

Follow Daniel J. Chacón on Twitter @danieljchacon.

(161) comments

Tom Ribe

For buying Don Trump's lie that he won the election, Block can be dismissed completely. He never learned critical thinking and his love for Donny Trump blinds him to Trump's efforts to destroy our country for his own personal reasons. Why republicans can't see that Trump is a total self centered narcissist criminal is beyond me. Goodbye Block. You are not a leader, you are a nobody. You are a blank empty space.

Jim Terr

concisely expressed, Sir.

John Onstad

It's entertaining to witness 150+ leftist loons simultaneously foaming at the mouth regarding Block. Cancel culture and ad hominem attacks are the order of the day.

Tom Ribe

It's touching to see this adolescent loving Don Trump, a father figure to the far right. Donald won't return the favor. He will knife his followers in the back first chance.

Jim Terr

Who's foaming? Just low-key, thoughtful responses.

brian meehan

An unlikely voice?? Just another grifter trying to con the base. One of a thousand frauds. When is the not-so-insane wing going to re-take the party from these freaks?

Jim Terr

Perfectly said, Sir.

Khal Spencer

Required reading.

PICT Voices #23: Nadine Strossen, To Speak or Not to Speak

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz3CAy_X0LY

Jim Terr

I came across the Pinon Post once, and remember being morbidly fascinated, but never gave it another thought til seeing this article. I appreciate the article as I appreciate anything that throws a little light on this sort of mental illness and delusion.

And I appreciate this discussion, as it is encouraging that not one person so far has anything positive to say about this guy without one original thought in his pretty head. "Journalism," Mr. Block? I'm afraid not.

I also appreciate being made aware of some thoughtful, bemused voices I was not aware of, such as Mr. Fields and Ms. Roberts. I love Santa Fe, enough to have lived here once.

Jim Terr

Las Vegas, NM

Jim Terr

I meant ROWE, not Roberts.

Alexander Brown

A Puff Piece for one denying an Election Certified by all Election Officials, relevant Republicans included. Lending credence to such spurious claims is not neutral reporting but a disservice. A propaganda boost.

Where does an Insurrection , a Jan 6th come from ?

From ill-informed zealots, the last of which we have not seen.

Laurie Harris

The Republican party has become America's Nazi party. Kinder, Kuche, Kirche for women (except if you are mentally ill and a white supremacist - then you can be in Congress or the Senate!) The sane part of the population will have to join together and resist the fascists.

Khal Spencer

Wow. Up to 117 posts. Didn't anyone take time off for Christmas?

There are so few right of center outlets in this state. Maybe that's why Daniel wrote this up. I still find it rather amusing that the left here, which dominates the state government and the two principle outlets in Santa Fe (the Reporter and New Mexican), gets its knickers into such a tight knot. Are people that easily frightened by someone right wing?

Thing is, quickly perusing the Pinon Post leaves me pretty disappointed. A lot of cheap jabs at Democrats, but not much in the way of fresh ideas or discussion, at least so far as I have found. With this sort of online "newspaper" I see little hope for the GOP in this state.

If we are going to have a conservative party, it is going to have to create itself outside the two party system. Maybe the quarter to third of voters who are not in the D or R party will find a home in a new center-right or centrist party rather than being iced out of the primaries and be reduced to choosing between the stale chicken and smelly fish chosen chosen by the activists in the D and R parties and offered up to all of us come the general elections.

If I were Mr. Block, I'd be soliciting more pieces from locally and nationally recognized and well known conservatives. Maybe Paul Gessing, David French, David Brooks, the folks at The Dispatch, etc. One should learn to swim in the deep end of the idea pond. Operative word is should.

Robert Fields

Khal, I can’t speak for everyone else but the reason I don’t like the guy and oppose him and his paper is he spreads the fringe right gospel that is hurting this country and even his own party. He has the freedom to rot society but it’s not good for the state.

I’m not scared of him. I just don’t want to see his readership grow or his damage continue. He’s got his hopes set on running for office and there’s no way a sentient being can look at his “news” site and think that’s good for New Mexico. He caters to an anti-vax, anti-mask, anti-abortion, zealot, pro-oil and gas constituency. He seems chummy with the proud boys (declared by Canada to be a terrorist organization). Condemning him and his positions in his self-serving rag isn’t being scared of him. It’s being prudent and doing maintenance so things keep working and our problems with the fringe right don’t grow even more out of control.

I agree with you that the GOP has ruined itself in New Mexico. Republican leaders like Steve Pearce, Yvette Herrell, Couy Griffin, and running for gov Mark Ronchetti are all poster kids for dysfunctional politicians thick with trumpism and “muh raghts” in a pandemic. Until republicans in the state reject them and start running moderates to replace them, they will hopefully remain mostly powerless heroes to Mr. Block.

But make no mistake - Block is a threat. Leave him unopposed and his way of thinking festers in others who need what he is selling. All the good and bad in this world starts with an idea. If the person pushing it is effective, it catches on. We simply can’t let puff pieces on this guy pass without comment. Anyone who reads the comments sees that most do not like Block or his whacked ideas and that’s good counterpoint to his own self promotion and go-easy bits. But it isn’t fear.

“The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good [people] to do nothing,”

Khal Spencer

The value of this piece, and of wandering over to the Pinon Post, is that people who are centrists or conservatives need to recognize the need for new leadership, either in the GOP or in a new center-right party. The value for liberals is we need to know what the other side is thinking.

I posted a piece by one of my longtime heroes, Nadine Strossen, above. Will repost the link here.

PICT Voices #23: Nadine Strossen, To Speak or Not to Speak

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tz3CAy_X0LY

Edward Baca

Si nce he now lives in Alamogordo, Block needs to team up with Couy Griffin and breathe some life into his Cowboys for Trump organization--kinda like Pee Wee Herman joining forces with Tiny Tim, only further out of touch with reality.

Jim Klukkert

[thumbup]

Barry Simon

None of his schooling was in journalism but he claims to be a journalist. To prove it, he calls the governor's office and asks for a comment. To him, this is journalism.

He won't let corruption slide yet he supports The Big Lie that Trump won the 2020 election. Plus, if his scandal-ridden cousin attends the family Christmas dinner I wonder if he tells him he was wrong to commit fraud and embezzle public funds.

He calls himself a conservative because.... What does he believe that makes him a conservative. Does he even know what that means?

And now he wants to dive into the political pool by running for state office which means he'll be benefiting from the taxpayers...like his cousin did.

He is definitely a protégé of the Republican Party PR wing as exampled by Project Veritas and its discredited media ploys.

All this at 24. I can only imagine what his future holds. Perhaps someday he will be the Republican candidate for president, following in the footsteps of his idol, D.J. Trump, the 2-time impeached grifter.

Steve Martinez

The GOP needs to play the game the way liberals do. They need to promise the stars, moon and the Sun to get votes. When they don't deliver, they just blame the left for not voting for those promises.

Kirk Holmes

Just came for the comments - kind of a sport. Up to 95 now? What is the record number of comments for a SFNM article? Nothing gets more comments like politics. Merry Christmas / Happy Holidays!!

Khal Spencer

Same back at you, Kirk. 105 comments for a nothingburger. Musta been a slow news day.

James Martinez

another wackerdoodle

Carlos Vasquez

[thumbup]

Carolyn DM

"Block, who remains convinced Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election," That's all I need to know about this ignorant, brainwashed child.

Sabine Strohem

Ditto @Carolyn: "remains convinced"? Yeah, he's in a cult.

Mike Johnson

When the GOP endorses these kind of people, and then they claim to be "conservatives" I know why I am still in the Democratic Party. I still have hope the moderate/real conservative Ds will gain traction again. This person is not a conservative.

Lupe Molina

I still hope Christy Todd Whitman or John Huntsman get back into politics. But they were forced out by tools like this.

Mike Johnson

I still hope John Arthur Smith, Mary Kay Papen, Diane Denish and others get back into politics. But they were forced out by radical extremist tools like this too.

Khal Spencer

[thumbup]

Margaret Eyler

Thank you for this article, New Mexican! I was about to cancel my subscription but appreciate you covering someone on “the other side of the aisle”!

Emily Hartigan

I'd say the other side of the solar system, but he seems too impaired to do space travel on his own.

Sabine Strohem

@Margaret: what "side" is that?

Dave Larson

A quick read through of his website tells me all I need to know. Its not journalism, its not thoughtful commentary, its just hack garbage. I can put up a web site in 2 hours, fill it with bullsh$t, and call myself a journalist, but i have more integrity than that. This guy lives in an echo chamber where all he hears is other bullsh$t hacks spewing idiocy that reinforces his own idiocy. This is what the internet has brought us, and it's damaging to our civic polity.

Dave Larson

Writing about this fool, and especially putting this on the front page, is a serious mistake. Did no one at the New Mexican review this story? And before anyone thinks I'm closed minded, this isn't about conservative vs liberal. This person doesn't represent legitimate conservative thought; this guy is deluded and more akin to Fascism, if he even knows what Fascism is. I think Daniel Chacon has some explaining to do.

Carlos Vasquez

Chacon is a hack and this proves it...

William Walker

Danaiel Chacon did the people of New Mexico a service in writing this piece for the New Mexican. If we think that last January's attempt at insurrection will not recur, we are wrong. It is folks like Block who are the foot soldiers of insurrection. The more we know about them, the better.

Robert Fields

@William Walker - and Block was there in DC January 6th and posting photos of himself and various proud boys, singing Trump’s praises as Trump fomented an insurrection, etc. All with ear to ear smiles. Foot soldier indeed.

Vern Maresh

“I was quite a precocious young child”

OK, and now as adult his childlike naivety has him deeply delusional. I wonder why this young man isn't over in Dallas, awaiting the arrival of the Kennedy Father and Son? Oh wait, never mind, he must be tied up waiting for the tooth fairy and Easter Bunny.

Andrew Lucero

I’m neither a Democrat nor a Republican. The sad truth is that this fruit loop is just as credible as the Santa Fe New Mexican. Frankly, neither publication is known for its journalistic integrity. Neither objectively reports the news. Both are nothing but rank propagandist spewing out the same divisive rhetoric, just from opposite sides of the spectrum. They are both yellow journalists and they are both equally worthless.

Lyndell Vallner

My goodness, just one pro-Right article and everyone here on the comments section gets triggered. It would be good for everyone to calm down and just for once... consider the 2 sides of any argument. You must do your own research because the right side arguments will not appear on most left leaning media in New Mexico.

Khal Spencer

The article sure did trigger people, Lyndell!

David Heath

It's not the first article about him in this paper. I think the SFNM just does this so you all can spar with each other like the last one:

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/news/local_news/santa-fe-man-says-his-experience-outside-capitol-was-peaceful-jovial/article_932de110-513c-11eb-8a5c-b7254e0a851b.html

though not so much in the one before that:

https://www.santafenewmexican.com/opinion/my_view/we-ll-fight-to-protect-innocent-humans/article_330b4539-2703-5e2d-8658-19938775d250.html

Carlos Vasquez

let the Block name whimper away in Peace - writing about this is Chacon's way of remaining vapid

Sabine Strohem

@khal: trigger? Umm, no. Remember that lots of nuts are in a cult? Yes.

Jim Klukkert

Khal, with all due respect, you would do well focus on the more thoughtful reflections prompted by this SFNM piece.

You are not at all served to fall inline with Trumpian toadies such as Ms. Varenell.

Sorry if anyone is offended by this characterization, by at some point those posing as Nativist or Centrist Moderates must be called out for the interests they serve, as Apologissts for the Fascist Right.

Robert Fields

[thumbup]

Jim Klukkert

Few here are 'triggered,' Lyndell Vallner.

As Wiliam Walker correctly writes on this page: "If we think that last January's attempt at insurrection will not recur, we are wrong. It is folks like Block who are the foot soldiers of insurrection. The more we know about them, the better."

If you think that we Americans are not informed as to the machinations of the Trumpian fascists, you are as mistaken as you are naive!

Beware the Ides of January, 2023, Ms. Vallner.

Allan Lucero

This young man is a typical troll that has found an audience by embracing click-bait conspiracy theories. To put icing on the cake, he plays his conservative gay card, decides to ignore basic facts like President Obama made history by being the first Black President as well as spinning the "Trump really won" nonsense. When are we going to see him posting pictures holding a gun while talking about someone named Brandon? Sad what people will do for attention these days.

Katherine Martinez

Allan Lucero, kind of like Jussie Smollett playing his gay race card for attention? Umm Hmmm.

Allan Lucero

Yeah. Like that.

Carlos Vasquez

[thumbup][tongue]

Emily Koyama

Exactly like that. But Smollet did WAY more damage to race relations than Block has done (or will do) IMHO.

Dottie Butler

I wonder if Mark Ronchetti has a political relationship with Block.

Do they correspond?

I would think that the rest of the Republican Party in New Mexico would not want anyone to know anything about Block.

Block might further harm Republicans statewide electorally.

I say let the man talk.

Lupe Molina

Guess again! He's good friends with NM GOP chair Steve Pearce!

Dottie Butler

Tell us more.

Carlos Vasquez

[thumbup][thumbup]

Lyle Corton

Why is everyone so upset and threatened by the SFNM interviewing this kid?

I've read the Pinon Post a few times and it's pretty obvious it's heavily biased and seems like some random blog you'd find on the 10th page of Google.

Regardless, I don't see how SFNM interviewing him is such a big deal. I didn't glean any bias from this article, if anything it was obviously a bit skeptical and critical of this goofball.

Are we that polarized now that we can't tolerate media about people with different (albeit delusional) ideologies? If you're confident in your beliefs and intellect, seeing stuff like this shouldn't freak you out. We still live in a democracy, somewhat, and need to allow all types of reporting and opinion to be expressed.

Don't agree with the ideologies? Fine, neither do I, but don't act like a tribal fool who can't tolerate opposing views. That's where we get in to truly scary territory.

Santa Fe has always been left leaning, that's totally fine, but staying in an echo chamber is doing yourself as much harm as the kind of culture and attitude it perpetuates.

Russell Scanlon

It’s the same reason we can’t use racial slurs in public or have “Whites Only” restrooms, or that we don’t have laws that keep from women getting their own credit cards.

Khal Spencer

Unless you can show where Pinon does any of those things, you are engaging in the appealing to extremes fallacy. Lyle's point is a good one. Absent the Trumpology, this is garden variety right wing insular populism. Not new. Folks need to be educated to know the sh** from the Shinola.

We've always had extremists, whether it be Communists, the KKK, American Nazi Party, No Nothings, John Birchers, Weather Underground, and others. Fortunately in my youth, they were relegated to passing out mimeographed leaflets, cheap newsletters, haranging from soap boxes in the town square, or huddling in basements. The problem nowadays is everyone has an electronic world wide soap box, so admittedly, it is easier to intellectually drown in one's own poisonous ideological bubble. I imagine today, Jim Jones could be elected to Congress if he didn't kill off his constituency instead.

I forget the name of his organization, but there was this young man at the U of Rochester who would, during dinner in the campus cafeteria (Usually in Frederick Douglass Hall) jump on a tabletop and harangue us about the joys of Marxist-Leninism. He was usually ignored but when he went on too long, he was driven off forcefully with a massive volley of mashed potatoes launched by his exasperated audience.

Maybe we should suggest to Inez a Mashed Potatoes Award on the Editorial Page. It should be nondenominational, equally aimed at those on either extreme.

Khal Spencer

"Know Nothings"

Lupe Molina

Right so why, WOULD they interview this punk? What is newsworthy here? This is sensationalist clickbait where good journalism could be.

Emily Koyama

Lupe, if you think (and I suspect you do), that all left-leaning pieces printed in the SFNM are "good journalism", then you're either not paying attention, or have the need to be fed a steady red meat diet of pro-liberal "news". I suspect it's a bit of both.

Lupe Molina

Lol. Ok boomer.

Khal Spencer

[beam]

LeRoy Sanchez

Yes, ALL left-leaning pieces printed in SFNM ARE good journalism. So there!

Emily Hartigan

Wish there were an emoji for "no duh" ....

Emily Hartigan

Lupe, just agreed with your earlier post, but find "OK Boomer" seriously prejudiced.

Emily Koyama

It's a common insult with the under 50 crowd.

They think the boomers ruined the country for them, etc etc.... Yet they'll be more than happy to inherit the wealth the boomers created. Some already have.

Khal Spencer

To some degree, we Boomers did grow up with a silver spoon in our mouths, handed us by the Greatest Generation. That said, namecalling doesn't substitute for meaningful discourse.

Emily Koyama

Could not have said it better, Lyle Corton.

The majority of commenters here who are triggered by the article don't get it. If you live in your little Blue Liberal enclave that is Santa Fe, and want to squash/silence opposing views, ideologies, or even erroneous facts, how to do keep a complete worldview?

I suspect the SFNM and Daniel Chacon knew exactly what they were doing with this piece, and it was certainly not to "help" Mr Block, although he's probably having a good chuckle reading this thread today.

Russell Scanlon

Because it’s a waste of time to dignify BS. I suspect that you realize that, but feel compelled to justify wackadoodle white supremacists to “take one for the team”. Put up just one credible Right Wing voice with some policies and viewpoints and we will all indulge you.

Jim Klukkert

Good to know, Ms. Koyama, that my name remains an annoying goat head beneath your saddle.

Emily Koyama

Oh, there you are, Mr Klukkert. Late to the party, as usual.

Katherine Martinez

We've missed you Jim!

LeRoy Sanchez

I love living in my little BLUE LIBERAL enclave that is Santa Fe and always will!

Khal Spencer

I don't understand the frothing. If folks don't like the article, there is a simple solution. Don't read it.

Mark Specter

For those of us that subscribe, we don't see the value in giving oxygen to a troll who has done nothing newsworthy. Trump won in 2016, in part, because he got 8 minutes of coverage for more reasonable candidates' every 1. The choices that journalists make matter and when they choose sensationalism over substance, our democracy loses.

Emily Koyama

It's all free speech. The media is not supposed to influence elections by leaning one way or another (although left and right leaning media outlets do just that).

Your job as an informed voter is to sort it out.

Khal Spencer

Who is "we"? I subscribe too. Doesn't give me veto power over the newspaper. I do have the power to turn the page.

Mark Specter

Who says we have veto power? We're displaying our distaste with the paper's choice. You have a different opinion. That's ok.

Richard Reinders

[thumbup]

Carlos Vasquez

I think the biggest problem was Chacon's choice of a "story"

Larry Larrichio

How pathetic, and how very sad that the Santa Fe New Mexican would provide a public forum to a young man who spews such toxic nonsense and who openly identifies with the Proud Boys. I see no difference between what they stand for and the KKK. Perhaps if he strived to get more out of his education at Santa Fe High School, he might have learned more about American Democracy.

LeRoy Sanchez

So true!

Jan Johnson

I almost canceled my subscription with the news of your excessive monthly rate increase. But now, your lack credible/useful news reporting, I wonder what has happened to the Santa Fe New Mexican!

LeRoy Sanchez

I have lived here all my life. The SFNM is doing just fine.

Henry R.

I cut short my reading of the article at the point where it stated that he still is convinced that Trump win the election. No need for me to waste my time after that.

E P Johnson

Why in the world is the New Mexican doing a Sunday front-page puff-piece feature article on a truth-denying, insurrection-attending, Proud Boy sympathizing blogger who is running for office far from Santa Fe? Why give his candidacy and far right views such prominent placement and so much oxygen, especially when he has his own media outlet?

Katie Stone

Question for the editors: How many showcases of racists trying to overthrow our government should a subscriber tolerate?

Lupe Molina

Need the clicks! The paper has gone through many editors in the past couple years and I deduce isn't doing well financially. It used to invest in longer form investigative pieces. Now, this is the sensationalist stuff we get.

Tamara Lichtenstein

[thumbup]

Mark Specter

For this reporter's sake, I hope he has different assignments coming up. Most of his pieces seemed plucked from tabloids or the toxic Santa Fe Bulletin Board.

Roy Chavez

This Block guy is a traitor to this country with Donal Trump and you’re helping him propagate his lies.

Peter SISLER

A New Mexican editor assigned a reporter to interview a delusional insurrectionist who denies American democracy. For good measure he also threatens women at health clinics. This election denier receives free publicity, gains the legitimacy of print, and can spread his filth further afield. Why? Poor editorial decisions like this give voice to hate and help push our country closer to autocracy.

Mark Specter

The editor of this paper needs a longer ladder, he only goes after low hanging fruit.

Angel Ortiz

Ugh. I can't believe that I wasted several minutes of my life reading this article.....another Trump follower who does not deserve recognition of any sort!

Floyd Cable

The closest this self-deluded, egoistic denialist has gotten to the truth was when he referred to his own "propaganda website."

Lupe Molina

Archbishop Desmond Tutu died today. Use the space of these pages to celebrate the lives of heroes instead of the misdeeds of half rate fascists.

Khal Spencer

Saw that.

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/12/26/world/africa/desmond-tutu-dead.html

Paul Branch

Ah, Los Sin Verguenzas. All they know is endless Jackass remakes but go farther every time to keep their dwindling audience’s attention. Get a conscience.

Khal Spencer

Sigh. More evidence for why the GOP in New Mexico is becoming irrelevant.

Lupe Molina

Why give this insufferable dolt the attention? This traitor was at the January 6th insurrection. Giving him this platform is irresponsible for this paper.

Gay Block

Totally agree. He IS a traitor. Maybe he’s too young to be published - maybe he’ll earn something. But no, Conservative idiots like this don’t learn. They’re close-minded. How did this young idiot become so closed and stupid? I hope he begins to learn from facts, not propaganda.

Lupe Molina

It's not that he's too young, he's a terrible writer. Bill O'Reilly and Tucker Carlson are awful people too but they write well. Block is a grifter. He'll now never be able to find a real job and is probably using public support and Medicaid to get by as a result. Ironic.

Robert Fields

When you don’t have real skills… grift! Profit!

Block should read up on Ayn Rand.

LeRoy Sanchez

👍

Emily Hartigan

Anyone participating in the Insurrection is traitorous and should not be given voice. Mercy, yes. Amplification, no.

Emily Koyama

Based on recent numbers (relating to charges) those that participated in the riots and unlawful entry to the Capitol number around 700 people.

There may be another couple hundred who participated, but for one reason or another, have not yet been charged. Tens of thousands more were at the rally, and many even walked over to the Capitol, but made no attempt to get in. In fact, many left the area when they saw what was happening.

However, to hear the left wing media, and Dem politicians, everyone there that day was a white supremacist traitor. In fact, some go further, and just accuse all 74 million Trump voters of the same.

If the left thinks that that is a way to win any of those voters over to their side, I got a bridge in Alaska.......

Russell Scanlon

Just do a thought experiment Emily K. (If you are capable).

Imagine they were all Black people on Jan 6th.

How would you feel today?

Emily Koyama

Facts are facts, Mr Scanlon. Matters not the color of the skin.

Russell Scanlon

“Facts are facts”—yet here you are trying to spin the events of Jan 6th and downplay the fact that a gang of 99% white men tried to change the outcome of the election by violent means. And that the riot was organized and instigated by a known white supremacist group.

As much as you wish to make the “left wing media” your bete noire, the real enemy to democracy are the losers and misfits that you are defending.

LeRoy Sanchez

👎

Jim Klukkert

Emily Koyama– Please, before the next time you, again, wish to diminish or disparage the claims we mount against the Trumpian insurrectionists who attempted to over throw our experiment in Democracy, through the 6 January 6th assault on our electoral process in the very seat of our great experment: the US Capitol.

Yes, before the next time you, again, wish to diminish or disparage the claims we mount, please take a listen to the NPR interview with Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell about the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/29/1068895482/capitol-police-officer-still-hurts-after-jan-6

I look forward to your reflections on the ‘Republican house party gone awry’ experince to which Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell was subjected, and the possible consequences for our experiment in Democracy.

Should you perchance overlook this question, or challenge, believe me, I will be available to ask again.

Thanks, Ms. Koyama!

Jim Klukkert

Emily Koyama– Please, before the next time you, again, wish to diminish or disparage the claims we mount against the Trumpian insurrectionists who attempted to over throw our experiment in Democracy, through the 6 January 6th assault on our electoral process in the very seat of our great experment: the US Capitol;

Yes, before the next time you, again, wish to diminish or disparage the claims we mount,

PLEASE take a listen to the NPR interview with Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell about the one-year anniversary of the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol.

https://www.npr.org/2021/12/29/1068895482/capitol-police-officer-still-hurts-after-jan-6

I look forward to your reflections on the ‘Republican house party gone awry’ expereince to which Capitol Police Sgt. Aquilino Gonell was subjected, and the possible consequences for our experiment in Democracy.

Should you perchance overlook this question, or challenge, believe me, I will be available to ask again.

Thanks, Ms. Koyama!

Charlotte Rowe

Sad commentary on the US education system that Repubilicans actually are dumb enough to believe this BS. But not surprising, considering. It will be their own undoing, thank goodness.

Augustin de la Sierra

This boy is a Trumplican (not a Republican nor Conservative).

With his degree in business, I bet he prints his lies for the advertising revenue.

Russell Scanlon

Great. You run a front page editorial calling Beto O’Rourke (who has actually served in government as a Mayor and a representative) am”loser” and then run a long profile of this hack, a disingenuous huckster whose resume reads like every other grifter in the current GOP. And he won’t reveal his finances. No wonder NM Democrats are so confident.

Khal Spencer

Exactly.

Khal Spencer

That was Milan who wrote about O'Rourke as commentary. Milan probably wouldn't go after such small fish as this guy. Honestly, I started skimming about halfway through. Had more important things to do, such as fold t-shirts.

Speaking of Texas, for all the talk about voter suppression, TX turnout in 2020 was the highest in a quarter century, according to this article below. So in terms of a statewide office, gerrymandering is irrelevant and turnout rules.

https://www.texastribune.org/2020/11/04/texas-voter-turnout-democrats/

I am not terribly worried about the GOP capturing this state. As long as folks like Block are the leaders, they will capture the usual suspects but not the majority. Heck, the GOP barely managed to hang on to the 2nd CD and that was before the Legislature fixed their wagon.

I long for a two party system that keeps itself honest and in quasi-equilibrium with reality. It ain't gonna happen.

Mike Johnson

[thumbup]Exactly Khal, the left wing D turnout myth has been exposed in many places in the last few elections. Higher turn out does not always favor Ds, and most people know that:

https://www.nytimes.com/2021/11/04/us/politics/democrats-turnout-virginia.html

Texas is not suppressing voters, they are only requiring vote integrity and not allowing political operatives to ply voters with food and drink, or allow 24/7 drive through voting with no supervision.

Russell Scanlon

That is absolutely and blatantly false. The GOP’s own operatives have admitted as much (when they thought the microphones were turned off.)

Robert Fields

Mike, you want to talk about vote fraud? Do you know who is committing vote fraud? It’s mostly republicans. What you are doing here is trying to make it sound like it’s democrats doing so you can justify disenfranchisement of democrat voters.

There are lots of people who can’t spend a whole day in line to vote especially when republicans crowd voting sites by eliminating polling places in largely democrat precincts. It’s by design and that design is to suppress democrat votes now that republicans are a minority.

There weren’t near enough cases of vote fraud to change the outcome in 2020. Trump didn’t win. And who was committing vote fraud? Republicans in most cases.

https://www.thebulwark.com/the-pattern-of-gop-voter-fraud/

“In case after case from 2020, it turns out that Republicans were the ones misbehaving at the ballot box.”

And then there’s these…

https://www.politico.com/news/magazine/2021/11/29/true-tale-absentee-voter-fraud-north-carolina-523238

https://www.cnn.com/2021/11/21/politics/fact-check-republicans-voter-fraud-kirk-hartle/index.html

https://www.brennancenter.org/issues/ensure-every-american-can-vote/vote-suppression/myth-voter-fraud

And remember Texas lieutenant governor Dan Patrick’s reward for provable voter fraud in the 2020 election? He had to pay out for a case of republican vote fraud. The first and apparently only payout. Please update if he ever paid out for democrats committing fraud. Thanks.

https://www.seattletimes.com/nation-world/nation-politics/texas-gop-lt-gov-patrick-offered-25000-for-election-fraud-tips-the-first-payout-was-for-a-republicans-illegal-vote/

Emily Hartigan

Russell is right, Mike. GOP operatives have given talks on how to keep down Dem voters. One drop box in Harris Co. (Houston) is prime example. Most Dems have jobs they have to go to. And openly "plying" people forced to stand in line for hours with water on a non-partisan basis is bad how?

Russell Scanlon

Khal—voter turnout in Texas was the highest because a majority of voters became really frightened about the possibility of a second Trump term, among other things. And many of the changes in 2020 like drive thru voting and later voting hours have since been outlawed by the GOP state legislature. So much for an honest two party system.

Mike Johnson

Seriously? So many people (a majority??) were frightened by Trump in Texas they turned out to vote??? Then why did 52%+ vote for Trump? You sure you don't have that reversed from where logic and data would indicate?

Khal Spencer

There was one sentence in that article that stood out. When people really wanted to vote someone out of office (Trump) they got to the polls. I'm not taking bets on Abbott vs. O'Rourke, but I think it will be a genuine horse race. Unlike here in NM next year.

Russell Scanlon

Mike: Just FYI the amount of Texans voting Democratic in the 2020 election rose over 3 percentage points from 2016–even with blatant voter suppression by the GOP.

Russell Scanlon

And I forgot to mention: Abbott’s ruling in late October of 2020 mandated that there would only be ONE drop off box for every county in Texas—a clear attack on voter’s access in large urban areas like Houston.

This is a political party with absolutely no faith in it’s agenda or it’s policies to obtain popular support of the majority. The only way for the GOP to succeed is gerrymandering, voter suppression, and rigging the existing system.

Robert Fields

They are now a minority in this country and it’s the only way they can win after endorsing an unpopular radical far-right Trumpian agenda.

“On December 17, 2020, Gallup polling found that 31% of Americans identified as Democrats, 25% identified as Republican, and 41% as Independent.”

Mike Johnson

It would appear from that data that Independents have the plurality, and GOP and Ds are in the minority.

Emily Koyama

Exactly, Mike, and it is Independents, as well as moderate Democrats and moderate Republicans that Dems need on their side, to win in the midterms and 2024, otherwise they'll be very disappointed. The hard left, despite being very loud (shrill, in fact), do not have the numbers.

Russell Scanlon

We may be “shrill” but at least we don’t try to overturn an election by violent means. . . Or pal around with racists.

Emily Koyama

So Russell, as I said in another post, there were less than 1000 rioters/trespassers at the Capitol on Jan 6th. They should, and for the most part, are, being prosecuted for the laws they broke.

The rest in attendance did nothing illegal...

so stop trying to paint them all with the same broad brush.

As for people violently rioting in support of leftist causes? You gave plenty of them on your side too. I have no sympathy or support for extremists in either case.

LeRoy Sanchez

👍

Al Chavez

“It is journalism,” Block said. “[...] we call and ask for comment.”

Isn't that like asking Machiavelli to comment on the accuracy of "The Prince?"

Reda Sandoval

I get that the Santa Fe New Mexican publishes articles from all New Mexicans, but this is disappointing. A delusional individual that is not making any sense and does not seem to have the cognitive skills to understand basic election metrics. The issue with this article and this individual is this type of banter and highlighting this individual is kin to highlighting the capital riot individuals as a viable opinion to the elctions that was LOST. It is dangerous because sooner or later someone (as in during the riots) may think all this is real and take it that next step to violence. What is next Santa Fe New Mexican? This is not news, this is propaganda and frankly your newspaper is close to becoming Fox news or the National Enquirer. I long for a paper such as the NYT (that I read daily) that has better writers and stories that are well researched and not just to sell papers.

LeRoy Sanchez

Also, the LA Times that I read daily on my phone.

Stefanie Beninato

It makes sense--he sounds as crazy as the former guy and anyone else who thinks the 2020 presidential election was stolen--notice no state or local races and never in a GOP won race!!

John Cook

This reporter is entirely too modest when he asserts that it is John Block who is the unofficial spokesman for the Republican party.

Emily Hartigan

[beam]

Robert Fields

Another article on this guy? He’s a self-promoting wannabe Fox talking head. Why does SFNM give that guy air? He’s corrosive, wrong, and his whole empty-headed grin schtick is bad for the state.

Richard Reinders

Robert, first I hope you had a good Christmas, Block is an American and entitled to an opinion just like you, I have never read anything that he has written but I am an American who would fights to make sure we all keep our rights as citizens. Its Ok for you to dislike what he writes and say so but the paper doesn't have a right to silence him.

Charlotte Rowe

Being entitled to an opinion is one thing. But spewing what are demonstrably false "facts" is another. A lot of Americans believe in all kinds of mythological nonsense but what they don't get to do is argue that it isn't X number of miles between locations, the Earth orbits the Sun, gravity exists and there was a Holocaust. Whether they like these facts is their own business. But spewing demonstrably false nonsense is irresponsible and just makes people look pathetic. What's even more pathetic is that others swallow it.

Charlotte Rowe

Oh and nobody said anything about silencing these fools. The desire is for bigger fools to stop listening to them. Why on earth does this newspaper call this guy "conservative?" This nonsense isn't conservative by a long stretch. It's simply irresponsible, false spewage.

Lupe Molina

Nice straw dog argument, Richard. Nobody says he doesn't have right to an opinion, just that covering him in an arguably flattering way is irresponsible. Point still stands.

Robert Fields

Richard, I never said he wasn’t entitled to his opinion. I never said his trash website should be shut down - as much as I wish it was. You are trying to attribute things to me that I never said.

What I objected to was another puff piece on this guy. Instead of giving the guy any credibility, he and his “paper” need to be taken apart and exposed. It’s harmful misinformation this country doesn’t need. Sure, he’s a new “republican” voice and young people should get support and encouragement, but not when their mission is spreading delusional lies and poisoning the politics of the state.

If SFNM doesn’t do a story on a far right misinformation problem, that’s not silencing Block.

Richard Reinders

The question was why does the SFNM give this guy air? I answered it

Khal Spencer

I don't know, Robert. It may be the SFNM wrote this guy up to pile more dung on the state GOP. As if the GOP needs it.

Robert Fields

Maybe so. The article seemed kind of soft on him but the responses point to even a soft article being damaging. Sunlight does disinfect.

The GOP definitely needs it, though. They’ve let their party be hijacked by Trump sycophants. Yvette Herrell partied it up with Trump at his birthday party. Steve Pearce called him “our president forever”. Couy Griffin got charged in Trump’s January 6th insurrection. And Mark Ronchetti tied himself so tightly to Trump when he ran for senate he could almost be charged with kidnapping. He’s ramping up his campaign for governor now. All are bad for New Mexico and Block loves them all.

Mainstream republicans need to show these people the door because they are killing the party.

Khal Spencer

"Mainstream republicans need to show these people the door because they are killing the party." Sadly, its those Mainstream Republicans who seemed to have bailed out, leaving the party dominated by a cult of personality.

John Wilson

Delusional fellow. I am interested in his views on unicorns, alien abductions, ley lines, flat earth, leprechauns, ouija boards, trickle down economics, etc.

David Ford

You have a gift for understatement John. Don't forget Chemtrails! Those are real![beam]

https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2017/may/22/california-conspiracy-theorist-farmers-chemtrails

Charlotte Rowe

Wait - you mean ouija boards aren't legit? Sacre dieu!

Charles W Rodriguez

There's a fool born every minute.

Michael Kiley

So, answer the question I have asked in national commentary for 30 years: name ONE thing the Republican party, now staying barely alive through voter suppression and a dozen other forms of election fraud, name ONE thing the Republican party in this country has done for the average American. Just one. No one has so far. John. Who would VOTE for a Republican?

Charlotte Rowe

Inspired opposition, perhaps? I mean they just look so silly and dimwitted and whacko these days that they are driving a lot of otherwise indifferent people to shake their heads in disbelief and feel nauseated at the sheer criminality of the party writ large.

Russell Scanlon

Michael—they (the GOP) has been remarkably successful at dividing the “common folk” against each other to win elections. Oh—and cutting taxes for the extremely wealthy.

Margaret Eyler

74,222,958 people in the 2020 election voted for a Republican. You’ve just never been tolerant enough to befriend one I think.

Russell Scanlon

My “tolerance” ended when they tried to overturn the election. And you still lost.

LeRoy Sanchez

👍

LeRoy Sanchez

And YOU are so wrong!

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