John Block

MLG pardons 19 criminals convicted of drug possession, burglary, larceny, and other charges

On Friday, Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham pardoned 19 criminals convicted of forgery, drug possession, burglary, larceny, issuing a worthless check, and conspiracy, among other crimes. The pardons are the first since the Susana Martinez Administration, where pardons last occurred in 2012.

In a statement, Lujan Grisham wrote, “The power of executive clemency is an exercise in compassion.” She continued, “Each of us, in our own way, in our own lives, has the obligation to find forgiveness in our hearts for those individuals who have paid their debts, who have expressed genuine contrition and made sincere and forthright amends for their offenses. The governor’s power of executive clemency is an avenue for that exercise available to me, and I am humbled by the opportunity to deliver it. My administration will continue to evaluate all applicants in a responsible, methodical, and even-handed manner.”

The Governor’s noted in the release that “the governor’s pardon restores certain fundamental rights, such as the right to vote, the right to hold public office and other positions of public trust, and the right to bear arms.” 

On Twitter, Lujan Grisham wrote, “Today I granted pardons to 19 individuals, all of whom have shown themselves to be reformed and contributing members of society.” However, she did not specify the criteria she based their “reformation” on.

The governor’s pardoning power extends to all offenses committed under state law other than the offenses of impeachment and treason. However, the governor does not have authority to pardon convictions for violations of municipal ordinances or convictions from another jurisdiction, such as convictions from other states and convictions under federal law.

The move does not appear to be coincidental, amid nationwide protests and mounting pressure by leftist groups to defund police departments and release criminals in the name of “social justice.” 

Blatantly racist anti-Hispanic hate groups target statues of Spanish leaders

Amid national protests against the unjust death of Geroge Floyd, radical anti-Hispanic hate groups have begun using the memory of Mr. Floyd as a channel to push through their anti-Hispanic rhetoric and take down statues of revered Hispanic figures.

Activists from the groups “The Red Nation” and “Three Sisters Collective” have been organizing vandals to destroy Hispanic monuments in Northern New Mexico and deface government property, including an obelisk in downtown Santa Fe, which was tagged with the word “racist” and the side inscriptions had been destroyed — the monument showing deep cracks.

Three Sisters Collective applauded the violence and destruction, writing on Facebook, “With regard to the graffiti written on the obelisk, although uncomfortable for some, the vandalism of this object pales in comparison to hate crimes against Indigenous, Black and Brown people.” However, the monument was erected to commemorate New Mexico’s role in fighting the Confederacy — the very opposite of support for racism or hatred for Black and Brown people.

The Red Nation is notorious for spewing anti-Hispanic propaganda, most notably by claiming in a 2016 blog post that “the ‘Hispanic’ or ‘Spanish American’ racial identity was a fiction created to make New Mexico appear ‘white enough’ to join the U.S. since both identities privileged a European or Spanish heritage even if the population was mixed or descended from detribalized peoples. New Mexico’s statehood was delayed until 1912 because white Anglos felt the territory did not possess a white majority, so a new ‘race’ of whites had to be created.”

That rhetoric is mild in contrast to the hate they have spread on social media in the comments of their posts, and the sharing of posts from other hate groups, including Antifa. The Red Nation also told the Rio Grande Sun, “Revolution is here… and if you’re not part of it, you’re gonna get swept aside.” 

The Red Nation partnered with Three Sisters Collective in the campaign to tear down statues of Spanish people, such as a statue of Don Diego de Vargas in Santa Fe’s Cathedral Park. De Vargas peacefully and bloodlessly resettled Santa Fe in 1692. While working with Three Sisters Collective, the group successfully convinced Santa Fe Mayor Alan Webber to unilaterally remove the statue, without consultation with the City Council or citizens.

Now, Hispanics in New Mexico are fighting back — with over 2,000 signatures on a petition to restore Spanish historical statues to their rightful homes and urge Mayor Webber to cease the removal of any other Spanish landmarks in the city. Another petition to return a statue of Don Juan de Oñate statue to its rightful home in Alcalde has garnered nearly 500 signatures.

It’s clear that no matter how much these anti-Hispanic bigots want to erase us from history, they will not take our identity away from us without a fight. While militant Spanish-hating ‘revolution’ groups try to completely decimate our culture from the history books, we are dedicated to using our grassroots majority — not violence — to plead our cause and protect our Spanish heritage

There is no amount of intolerance, panic, and violence that we can’t overcome with respect and an honest approach. We should continue to urge Mayor Webber to hear our reasonable requests to keep images of our Spanish culture on display instead of caving to blatantly racist anti-Hispanic groups who have no regard for differing opinions. Only together can we stop anti-Hispanic bigotry and drive a culture of unity for all people in New Mexico.

Sign the petiton against the removal of Santa Fe historic landmarks here.

Sign the petition to return the Oñate statue here.

In a desperate move, ProgressNow NM calls its founder a ‘racist’

On Wednesday, it was revealed in a bombshell report that ProgressNow NM’s founder and current Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis has a past that includes the shooting of a black man while working for the Washington, D.C. Police Department, among other more recent actions. In a desperate move to distance itself from its founder, ProgressNow NM is now calling Davis a “racist.”

In the report, it cites a recent comment by Davis saying, “For far too long we’ve seen people of color targeted by police and underserved by those in power. Seeing the brutalization and death of individuals at the hands of those who are supposed to protect and serve is a disgrace to our nation and I’m glad to see so many people stand up, say ‘Black Lives Matter.’… As [a] former police officer myself, I acknowledge that … I also made arrests and instigated some encounters I wouldn’t be proud of today.”

The report details Davis’ 2006 shooting of a black man:

“While on patrol, the officers observed a red … Nissan … occupied by two black males. The passenger in the vehicle was observed without his seatbelt on, and the vehicle also failed to use a turn signal while making a left turn. … [A]t that time, [officers] conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle. … Davis approached the driver’s door of the vehicle and observed the driver with a semi-automatic pistol in his hand attempting to conceal the handgun in the middle of the console area of the vehicle. … Officer Davis reached inside the vehicle and attempted to grab the handgun from the driver and a struggle ensued. … The driver of the vehicle then sped off at a high rate of speed with Officer Davis partially inside of the driver’s window struggling with the driver and being dragged by the vehicle. … Officer Davis, fearing for his life, fired his service weapon into the vehicle. … Officers continued to canvass the area and … located the defendant … hiding under a stairwell … The defendant was suffering from a gunshot wound to the left shoulder. …. ”

The report also details how in 2017 Davis said, “[I was a] ‘zero-tolerance cop’ – the kind you wouldn’t want to pull you over. … I came from a conservative background. … If you broke the laws, there are consequences for that.”

Now, his past is coming back to bite him as the socialist group “ProgressNow NM,” which he himself founded is now denouncing Davis as a racist and calling for his resignation. In a statement by Progress Now, they blasted Davis’ record as a policeman in Washington, D.C. as well as at UNM, and his recent work on a supposed “racist” and “sexist” mailer against County Commissioner-elect Ariann Barboa. 

“As a self-proclaimed ‘progressive’ Davis is not exempt from accountability. Davis’ sustained pattern of racist actions over a long period of years has led us to call for Davis to step down from his positions of authority, including the Bernalillo County Criminal Justice Coordinating Council, the Judicial Selection Committee, Governor Lujan Grisham’s Marijuana Legalization Task Force, and his seat on City Council. Surely, our community does not need someone who routinely targets and criminalizes Black and Brown people to be serving on committees that select judges, decide the future of marijuana legalization in our state, or pass policies and make financial decisions for the City of Albuquerque,” writes ProgressNow NM. 

“This pattern of racist behavior targeting Black and Brown communities should be concerning to everyone.”

The group’s executive director, Alissa Barnes wrote, “You can’t lead a task force for the legalization of marijuana and simultaneously weaponize the substance to criminalize people who use it so that you can gain personal, political power.” 

Davis has a chequered past, including a DWI charge, a failed run for Congress, in which he tastelessly shouted “F*ck the NRA” and showed his ignorance relating to guns in a campaign ad, and a recent power-grab to help ascertain more power by using Coronavirus as a cover, to name a few. Now, both the Left and the Right are uniting in opposition to Davis. 

MLG’s school reopening plan: all students and school personnel required to wear face coverings

According to new guidelines from Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s New Mexico Public Education Department (PED), the new K-12 school year will begin in hybrid form with in-person attendance limited to 50% of classroom capacity.

All students and staff will be required to wear face masks or shields. “Face coverings are required for all students and staff except while eating, drinking and exercising, with limited exceptions for students or staff who have medical reasons for not being able to wear a mask or face shield,” says the report. 

The report does not say what penalties schools should carry out for those in violation of the mask rule, or specify whether the schools will provide masks or face shields to students, although it does specify that the schools will provide them, as well as “other appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE)”  to staff. Bus drivers and bus attendants will be provided masks by the schools.

As well, the guidelines detail that “All staff must be screened on a daily basis, including a temperature check and review of potential symptoms. All sites must work with state and local health officials to have a plan for contact tracing. While not required, this is also recommended for students.” The schools will be required to report statistics to the state 

Regarding food, the guidelines require schools to provide meals to students during in-person instruction and remote learning, which suggests schools will have to resume delivery systems to students learning off-site. 

According to the guidance documents provided by PED, reopening schools at half capacity “will allow the state to collect and analyze data on the impact of a controlled start on the spread of the virus.”

Trump promises prison time for anarchists vandalizing monuments — effective immediately

On Tuesday morning, President Trump sent out a tweet announcing his immediate plans to enforce the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, which protects Federal monuments and statues from vandalism and has hefty prison sentences of up to ten years for defacing or destroying such pieces if public property.

Trump’s tweets read, “I have authorized the Federal Government to arrest anyone who vandalizes or destroys any monument, statue or other such Federal property in the U.S. with up to 10 years in prison, per the Veteran’s Memorial Preservation Act, or such other laws that may be pertinent.… This action is taken effective immediately, but may also be used retroactively for destruction or vandalism already caused. There will be no exceptions!” 

The law will protect monuments across the country, including the Nation’s Capitol, where vandals have been attempting to create an “autonomous zone” similar to the one created in Seattle, WA. But other than the Washington, D.C., historic monuments have been the target of destruction, including the Shaw 54th Regiment Memorial in Boston, a statue dedicated to the victims of the Armenian Genocide in Denver, and various obelisks, including one in the heart of downtown in the nation’s oldest capital city, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

Many liberal public leaders are caving to radicals demanding these historic landmarks be removed, or using the tragic death of George Floyd as an “opportunity,” as Santa Fe’s Mayor Alan Webber repeatedly said in an address last Wednesday before he ordered the removal of several statues and monuments. 

However, a grassroots petition in opposition to the hasty removal of landmarks has already reached over 1,800 signers demanding Mayor Webber and the Santa Fe City Council involve the public in any decision to remove historical images across the city.

President Trump’s orders will go into effect immediately and will work retroactively to punish vandals who previously defaced or destroyed historic monuments, meaning the search is now on for the culprits who defaced images across the country.

MLG’s election reform bill passes NM House after initial failure, moves to concurrence

On Saturday, the New Mexico House of Representatives passed SB-4, which was amended to exclude an emergency clause by a voice vote of 44-26 after the unsuccessful attempt at passage of the bill earlier in the day.

The first House floor vote on the measure failed on a vote of 38-32, with Democrat Reps. Eliseo Alcon, Harry Garcia, Miguel Garcia, Susan Herrera, Matthew McQueen, Marian Matthews, Joseph Sanchez, Debra Sariñana, Patricia Roybal-Caballero, Sheryl Stapleton and Brian Egolf voting against the measure.

Upon an immediate move following the failed vote by Rep. Miguel Garcia, the House voted 44-26 to revive the failed bill that he voted against. After a short recess for Democrats and Republicans to meet in their respective caucuses, members returned to the chamber and voted to reconsider the measure.

Republican Rep. Paul Bandy urged the House to vote to refer SB-4 to the House Appropriations Committee, as stated in the rules of the New Mexico House of Representatives. However, the measure died on party-lines after a roll call vote. According to Bandy’s reading of the fiscal impact report (FIR) for SB-4, the bill would cost the taxpayers $3 million, which is why he moved for Appropriations to consider it.

SB-4 passed by a vote of 44-26, with Reps. Alcon, Henry Garcia, Miguel Garcia, Herrerra, Matthews, Roybal Caballero, Sanchez, Sariñana, Stapleton, and Egolf changing their votes to YES. Representative Matthew McQueen and Candie Sweetser were the only two Democrats to vote against the measure.

SB-4, as amended, will now go to concurrence, where the Senate and the House will work to agree on the amended language by the House before the measure is moved forward. The current bill does not include language that would allow county clerks to automatically mail absentee voters ballots, but it does include language permanently allowing “declined to state” voters to change their party affiliation on the day of a primary election, while Democrats, Republicans, and Libertarians would not be allowed to.

ACTION ALERT: Stop Dems’ automatic mail-in ballot amendment that may open door to fraud


It was announced that the Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s bill (SB-4) to force through an all mail-in ballot election in 2020 would only get one committee assignment and it would be on the fast-track thanks to the Democrats’ dark-room deals and closed-off Legislative Session from the public.

The Senate Rules Committee added a critical amendment to the bill redacting language that would have forced through the dangerous option for county clerks to automatically send absentee ballots to every voter in their county — stopping language that may have opened the door to massive fraud. The bill without the dangerous amendment passed the Senate by a vote of 40-2. But radical groups are urging representatives in the NM House to add a committee and/or floor amendment to sneak the dangerous language back in.


NOTE: if the link does not work for you, please copy/paste the below emails into the BCC line of your note to these senators and the below body text into the body of your email: 

Representative emails to copy into your BCC line:

Draft email language to copy into your email:  

Dear Representative,

My name is [YOUR NAME] and I am asking you to vote against any proposal to add redacted language back into SB-4, the election reform bill. The redacted language would allow county clerks to automatically send absentee ballots to voters, which opens the door to massive election fraud.

Elections are the foundation of our democracy. Access to polling locations is vital, and ensuring no fraud occurs in our elections is essential to election fairness. Automatically sending out absentee ballots to archaic voter rolls that have not been cleaned in years creates a vast potential for our elections to be hijacked by bad actors.

Thanks to New Mexico’s county clerks, every citizen was allowed to vote safely in-person during the June 2020 primary election despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Democratic Bernalillo County Clerk Linda Stover reaffirmed this, saying that in-person polling places were “probably one of the safest places to be in town.” In-person voting with the option to request an absentee ballot should be upheld.

Part of good governance is ensuring that our electoral systems remain accessible to all voters. We do NOT need more expense, red tape, and a lack of election integrity. Please VOTE NO to any committee or floor amendment to SB-4 adding automatic mailing of absentee ballots to voters. The OPTION to order an absentee ballot should be that of the voter — not the government. Thank you.




Thank you for emailing these senators and for your urgent action to protect our election integrity!

The Radical Left and gutless politicians are erasing our history one statue at a time

Over the past few weeks, the call by radical socialist Democrats have become louder — and unfortunately, public officials are kowtowing to their never-ending militant demands. Across the country, monuments that have been standing for decades, sometimes even centuries, are being ripped down by violent leftists seeking to cause as much destruction as possible in this short window of outrage due to police shootings. 

No matter how outrageous the demands get, such as a Boston petition to tear down a statue of President Abraham Lincoln, the president who freed American slaves, it will never be enough for the Left in their ironic crusade against history.

But unfortunately, as politicians and community leaders cave to the vicious mob, the mobs are showing they will never be pleased, going after everything from statues to bottles of Aunt Jemima syrup. Now, seemingly EVERYTHING is being deemed “racist,” including beloved New Mexico landmarks.

Radicals led by the fringe hate group “The Red Nation” have begun demanding the removal of iconic statues of Spanish conquistador Don Juan De Oñate, with even Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham agreeing with them. A longtime-standing statue of Oñate in Alcalde was ripped down, with leftist Democrat nominee for Senate and Rio Arriba County Commissioner Leo Jaramillo leading the charge — despite him acting as one of Oñate’s conquistadors back in 2010. 

The flip-flop from Jaramillo has led some locals to brand him as a “vendido” or a “sellout.” In the Democrat primary, Jaramillo took out incumbent Sen. Richard Martinez, who was convicted of aggravated DWI. Throughout the race, Jaramillo has branded him as a much more “progressive” choice versus Martinez — adopting a pro-abortion, pro-illegal immigration platform.

But voters do not have to settle for Jaramillo’s gutless platform. Pro-life Republican Diamantina Storment is running against him in the 2020 general election to flip the seat to conservative hands.

Unfortunately, the Oñate statue in Alcalde is just the start of the mob rule by the Left — with radicals demanding a statue of Oñate in Albuquerque be ripped down. The drama created by The Red Nation to tear down the statue resulted in a conflict between protesters, including shoving people to the ground, hitting one man over the head with a skateboard, ultimately leading to a gunshot. Shortly thereafter, police intervened. 

In 2018, The Red Nation successfully convinced the leftist City of Santa Fe officials and the Fiesta Council to cancel the “Entrada” pageant re-enacting the peaceful reconquest of Santa Fe by Don Diego De Vargas over 300 years ago.

Oñate is not the only one on the chopping block — a new petition has emerged aiming to rip down iconography from the historic Kimo Theatre in Albuquerque due to symbols they claim are swastikas, despite the Native American origins intended by displaying the symbol. Now, they claim despite the intentions, the building’s images trigger “feelings of White Supremacy, hatred, genocide, and authoritarianism.” 

Renowned architect John Gaw Meem designed the Kimo Theatre, as well as other structures such as the UNM library, remodeled the Santa Fe Plaza, and did multiple restorations of pueblos across the Southwest. Now, the Left aims to rip down his work that has captured the spirit of native culture. 

At this point, who knows what the Radical Left will go after next, but surely, this is just the beginning of the cancel culture propagated by people who will never be pleased. Once gutless lawmakers began conceding to these radical groups, activists will test just how far they can go until they can completely erase cherished history.

John Block is the editor of the Piñon Post and a longtime New Mexico political activist. With the Piñon Post, John looks to bring true representation to conservatives in the Land of Enchantment and cut through the mainstream media red tape by providing independent, fair, and conservative journalism to New Mexico. Follow John on Twitter @JohnforNM or send him an email at

Don Jr. addresses the Navajo Nation: Native Americans ‘are the original conservationists’

On Tuesday, President Donald J. Trump’s son, Donald Trump, Jr. spoke to the people of the Navajo Nation suffering from the COVID-19 pandemic and spoke fondly about his visit during the 2016 campaign to the Navajo Nation. The address was aired over the radio on KNDN 960AM.

“We recognize out of all the tribes, the Navajo Nation had been impacted hardest by the COVID-19 disease,” said Don Jr., standing in solidarity with the victims of the disease.

“I still have the incredible turquoise necklace Rep. Sharon Clahchischilliage and former Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly gave me,” continuing to speak of how he has enjoyed his time visiting the Navajo Dam and hunting in Indian Country.

“As a hunter, I pursued elk and mule deer in your great state,” said Trump. “The Navajos and the Native Americans as a whole are the original conservationists.” He added, “I know I am the son of a New York billionaire, but I don’t spend my time in the cocktail party circuit. I spend it in the great outdoors.”

“No Navajo child should have to leave the Navajo Nation to pursue the American dream,” said Don Jr. He also said the Trump Victory team and his team will have “staff on the grown throughout the campaign,” something many Republican candidates have not done in the Navajo Nation.

“The person that can bring us back up from under the scourge of this virus, disease, this epidemic, is the guy who did it last time — Donald Trump,” Don Jr. said in conclusion. The son of the 45th President’s address to the Navajo Nation is just one of the ways the campaign looks to reach out to Native people in healing during this COVID-19 pandemic.

After the address, an announcer thanked the President for his efforts on behalf of the Navajo Nation, saying, “130 million in federal stimulus COVID-19 funding.” According to the Navajo Nation Department of Health, there are 6,633 positive COVID-19 cases and 311 deaths.

WATCH: Xochitl Torres Small reveals she’s Mormon in 2007 question to Mitt Romney

Rep. Xochitl Torres Small represents New Mexico’s 2nd Congressional District in Congress, and for much of her tenure, she has revealed little to the people of the District, with carefully selected words crafted to give an answer, yet not say much. A lot of the time, she repeats the phrase “let’s work together” about a broad issue, while not going into specifics, which makes her sound reasonable — while she goes back to Washington, D.C. and votes 94% of the time with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and 90% of the time with socialist Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez.

But a newly discovered video of Torres Small in 2007 reveals another side of Xochitl that many New Mexicans may not know — that she was (or possibly still is) a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (LDS), or better known as the Mormon faith. According to Pew Research, Xochitl Torres Small’s religion is listed as Lutheran — not Mormon.

The video shows a 22-year-old Xochitl asking a question to then-Republican presidential candidate Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney ahead of a November 28, 2007 debate hosted by CNN. The format of the GOP primary debate was one of the first times CNN had “user-generated video” driving debate questions. Here is what Torres Small asked Romney: 

“I’m Xochitl Torres and I’m from New Mexico. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints or Mormon, I see serving my own community and communities abroad as a main tenet of my faith and a personal value. So far, we’ve only heard Senator McCain and Governor Huckabee talking about AmeriCorps on a regular basis. Mitt Romney: where do you stand on this issue and do you plan to expand AmeriCorps?

It is unclear what attraction Torres Small had to AmeriCorps in 2007, but Torres Small became an “honorary AmeriCorps NCCC member” in September 2019 when she visited Fort Stanton state monument in Lincoln, New Mexico. It is also unclear why Torres Small was asking Republicans about the AmeriCorps issue, instead of Democrats, who also had a large field of primary candidates.

As for Rep. Torres Small’s Mormon faith, she has not been very public about it. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints does not list her among the ten LDS members (including her former boss, Sen. Tom Udall) in a 2019 article, saying there are only ten LDS members currently serving — the fewest number in a decade. Currently, there are eight Republican LDS members and two (now possibly three) Democrat members of Congress.

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