Below is the cut-and-pasted original debate challenge from Lass, followed by the cut-and-pasted response from Block. As you can see, this race isn't getting any prettier.
To: Jerome Block, Jr.From: Rick Lass
Re: Candidate Debates for District 3 Seat on the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
The Rick Lass for PRC campaign extends an invitation to Jerome Block, Jr., to participate in a series of debates before the general election in November. Lass proposes to hold one debate in each of the counties which make up District 3, to allow each county's residents to meet the candidates and hear them discuss the issues without having to travel long distances to do so.
Lass believes that voters have a clear choice in this election. They have a right to know where both candidates stand on the issues, what their qualifications are, and which of them would best represent the interests of New Mexicans who are struggling to run their homes and small businesses in the face of rising insurance, transportation and utility costs.
Lass advocated for small businesses as the membership director of the Santa Fe Business Alliance which, among other projects, worked with the City of Santa Fe to ensure that the interests of local, independent businesses were factored into the city's long-range master plan. He has worked tirelessly since 1995 to maintain the integrity of the electoral process, for example, as the current director of the nonprofit organization, Voting Matters, which recently led the efforts to pass seven good government amendments to Santa Fe's city charter. Lass has a long history of activism, volunteerism and effective collaboration on behalf of New Mexicans and their small businesses. He believes that the Public Regulation Commission exists to protect consumers, small business owners, working people, and everyday New Mexicans, and is committed to working day in and day out to ensure that the PRC lives up to that obligation. He was drafted to run as a Green Party candidate by a coalition of progressive Democrats, independents and Greens who were concerned about the apparent lack of qualifications of the Democratic Party's nominee and the lack of a better choice for the Public Regulation Commission in the general election.
Rick Lass looks forward to hearing from the Block campaign, and arranging for dates and formats for these debates, at Mr. Block's earliest opportunity.
July 29, 2008
Re: Candidate Debates
Mr. Lass: I received your press release inviting me to a
series of debates in PRC District 3.
I plan on conducting my campaign at a grass roots level, as I did in the Democratic Primary. My intention is to visit every corner of the district and visit as many constituents on a one-to-one basis as possible. Regardless of your motivation or agenda in conducting debates, I do not intend my campaign schedule to be influenced by a minor party candidate who had to be “drafted to run”.
You and your supporters tout you as the “qualified candidate”. While there is nothing wrong with your real life experiences and employment as a pizza delivery person and a food market clerk, I do not feel it qualifies you to be a PRC commissioner. You mention, repeatedly, your advocacy for voting initiatives. Perhaps you are not aware that the PRC does not deal with voting issues. Perhaps you would consider applying your self-professed talents to running for county clerk in 2012.
I also noted with amusement that your letterhead lists you as “Public Regulation Commissioner”. Are you trying to deceive recipients’ of your correspondence that you are an incumbent commissioner?!
JEROME D. BLOCK, JR