1st Congressional District candidate Pat Davis

  • NAME: Pat Davis
  • POLITICAL PARTY: Democratic
  • OCCUPATION: Albuquerque City Councilor
  • CITY OF RESIDENCE: Albuquerque
  • RELEVANT EXPERIENCE: Albuquerque City Councilor (2015-Current),
  • (Chair) Finance & Government Operations Committee (2015-2017)
    Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Community Schools Board, 2018
    Albuquerque-Bernalillo County Water Utility Authority Board Member, (2015-present) Mid-Region Council of Government, Rio Transit Board Member, 2015-2017 Founder/Executive Director, ProgressNowNM (2011-2017) – New Mexico’s largest progressive advocacy organization (Chair) Albuquerque Metro Crime Stoppers, (2009-2013) Police Officer/Lieutenant, 2000-2009 US Capitol Police, Metropolitan Police (Wash., DC), Lieutenant, UNM Police.
  • EDUCATION: Master’s of Criminal Justice (NMSU), 2009; FBI National Academy, Quantico, VA, 2009; Berry College, 2000
  • WEBSITE: PatForNM.com

IMMIGRATION

1. Please give your position on DACA.

In Congress, I’ll support a new permanent DREAM Act and comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship for current residents.

Immigrants, not just DREAMers, come to our country to prove themselves and create a better future. Deporting those who believe in the American dream is heartless and bad for the economy.

Democrats did a bad job negotiating for DREAMers in 2017 but we can finish the job with a new Democratic-led House in 2018.

2. Do you favor amnesty, a path to citizenship or worker permits for most or all of the people now living illegally in the U.S.? Who do you think, if anyone, should be deported?

I support comprehensive immigration reform that would include work permits and provide a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.

Rounding up thousands of hardworking immigrants for deportation destroys their families and creates more problems for communities. Our limited immigration enforcement should be targeted towards violent offenders and human traffickers.

3. Do you believe the borders are secure enough? If not, what do you propose should be done to increase their security? Do you support Trump’s proposal to build a $25 billion wall?

The wall is a medieval solution for the 21st century. The $25 billion in contracts enriching private contractors comes at a cost to cities like Albuquerque who could use those federal funds to address real public safety concerns.

In desolate stretches, our border agents can be used more effectively with technology we use in other security zones around the world (drones, crossing alerts) helping agents coordinate real-time responses to active crossings, not monitoring an uneventful wall.

4. What’s your position on skills-based immigration vs. family-based?

New Mexico’s growing tech sector benefits greatly from a visa system that provides our economy with the labor required to continue to flourish, and local economies benefit for every job created and every dollar spent, no matter where the business owner or customer comes from. Comprehensive immigration reform should include thoughtful consideration of both these types of immigration, be consistent with American values around innovation and promote family unity.

 

SCHOOL SAFETY AND GUN CONTROL

1. Do you favor a federal ban on the sale of assault-style weapons? If so, what would you do about the millions of the assault-style weapons now legally owned by American citizens?

I favor an assault weapons ban. As an officer during Clinton-era ban, we know it worked. We rarely encountered assault weapons – never in schools. Today, those weapons can be bought online or anonymously. No ordinary citizen needs to own a weapon whose sole purpose is to kill the most humans possible. As technology improves, so must expectations for responsible ownership and that includes regulating them like we already do with silencers and other automatic weapons.

2. What other, if any, gun law changes would you support?

As a Moms Demand Action “gun sense” candidate, along with endorsements of gun violence survivor organizations, my priorities — as a shooting survivor and former police officer — will be passing common-sense laws:

— Universal background checks – no exceptions

— Banning bump stocks/allowing study of gun violence

–Removing gun manufacturer liability shield, treating them like others with a responsibly to market products safely

— Requiring convicted domestic abusers to permanently surrender weapons

— Implementing national “no fly, no buy” rule

3. Would you favor a repeal of the 2nd amendment?

Americans, like me, who choose to own guns take on an implicit responsibility to do so with care for others. Common sense regulations prohibiting dangerous persons from accessing weapons on the public marketplace make sense. The 2nd Amendment is not an unimpeachable right to firearm use anywhere for any reason. Responsible owners know that common sense laws protect their rights and give police the tools to target those who don’t share that sense of responsibility.

4. While much of the discussion on school safety centers on gun control, what other measures would you support to make schools safer?

There is no federal or state law making it illegal to threaten a school shooting, but there is one in Albuquerque because I wrote it, and APD used it four times last year to investigate school shootings threatened online. The FBI says a federal version of that law would have allowed them to investigate the Parkland shooter’s social media threats, and I intend to introduce one in Congress.

 

FOREIGN POLICY

1. What do you propose the U.S. do with regards to Syria?

It is beyond clear that Assad has to go. He is a murderous dictator who has been propped up by our geo-political foes and as long as he is in power, the prospect for any sort of middle-east peace remains unattainable. But I’ll oppose any effort to return American troops on the ground there.

2. In Afghanistan?

My generation has never known a day in our adult lives when we were not at war in Afghanistan. Congress must press to revoke the open-ended Authorization for Use of Military Force (AUMF) and require clear benchmarks for exit, bolstered by economic incentives for Afghanistan to eradicate the remaining terrorist forces still protected in the country.

3. In Mexico?

Our relationship with Mexico is of paramount importance to New Mexico’s economy and our national security. As an elected official, I’ve worked to build stronger relationships in spite of Trump. I helped co-host a new international conference of Mexican and American leaders last year. We must strengthen our diplomatic ties with Mexico to help address the drug trade and human trafficking crises, and help build economic stability in-country to limit the need for economic migration.

4. Relations with Russia are said to be at their worst in many years after allegations of Russian meddling in our elections, the Trump administration’s decision to sell weapons to Ukraine and the recent expulsion of 60 Russian diplomats. Do you approve of these actions? What would your posture be towards Russia?

Given the ample evidence and near-unanimous findings from the intelligence community on Russia’s interference with the 2016 elections, I believe these actions don’t go far enough. Russia is engaged in proxy wars against the US in Syria and expanding their influence by exploiting divisions in NATO and EU agreements. We need a united western strategy to isolate Putin, but this President doesn’t have the gravitas or credibility to lead it.

5. If talks fail, would you support a pre-emptive strike on North Korea to degrade its nuclear capabilities and missile delivery systems?

No. And I support legislation that removes the power of the President to launch a nuclear strike unilaterally. The temperament of the current president makes addressing this issue of vital importance. I believe we must allow diplomacy to take precedent in solving this North Korean nuclear crisis and am supportive of diplomatic talks between all relevant nations.

 

ECONOMY

1. How would you make New Mexico less dependent on federal spending?

Our economy won’t get better by cutting off federal spending; it will by diversifying our city and state economy. On City Council, I leveraged federal incentives with city dollars to divest from coal-fired power and invest in solar companies providing local jobs our children don’t need to leave to find. National lab spinoffs are creating new space-tech jobs. Economic incentives should help local companies add jobs, not focus on relocating foreign firms to the state.

2. Do you support or oppose President Trump’s imposition of higher tariffs on China? Why or why not?

I oppose President Trump’s trade war with China and am specifically opposed to the tariff on imported solar panels, a short-sighted move that could strangle our growing renewable energy economy right here in Albuquerque. The President made these job-killing moves without even advising some of his closest aides, a move that should be troubling to anyone given the stakes and threat to the global economy these actions pose.

 

OTHER

1. Do you favor or oppose limits on late-term abortion, and do you believe tax dollars should or should not be used to fund abortions?

Healthcare access is an economic decision for women and families. I support legislation granting universal access to reproductive healthcare, including abortions and birth control without regard for an employer’s health plan, because family planning decisions have lifelong wage earning implications for women. I oppose the domestic gag rule as well and support new laws requiring anti-abortion education centers to be publicly labeled as such.

2. What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction?

The opioid crisis is a national emergency that the federal government can play a key role in helping solve. Congress failed to hold companies accountable, but in Congress I’ll work to do so. Tougher restrictions on opioid painkiller prescriptions, more funding for overdose medical training and legalization of cannabis for pain treatment are just a few steps the federal government can take.

3. Do you favor or oppose a national single day payer health system? Explain

Favor. I proudly support Medicare for All and am proud to have my plan endorsed by Demand Universal Healthcare (DUH!). If Democrats take the House back with progressive candidates like me, we should use our momentum to demand a single-payer option and a timeline for implementation so we can begin to develop the funding mechanism to do it.

4. What would you do to rein in health care costs?

Health care should be decoupled from employment (helping business managers budget) and making it a universal human right is a good start. Let’s allow companies to transfer the premiums paid into private for-profit health plans instead into the Medicare trust fund, and enroll those employees in Medicare and create a veterans’ health trust fund funded by DOD for every new enlistment. As we move more people to the public option, costs will reduce for all.

5. If elected, are there any issues you could work with President Trump on, and would you be willing to do so?

I believe if President Trump rethinks his infrastructure scam to actually benefit communities and not be a giveaway to his private industry buddies, we could work on that together. Democrats pressed for more spending in the new federal budget for these projects and I’d proudly work with any administration willing to help New Mexico invest in streets, water systems and internet access.

6. If you had to decide today, would you vote to impeach President Trump?

Yes. We cannot allow the dangerous, self-serving precedent being set by this administration to stand. There is more than enough evidence to support impeachment charges for obstruction of justice for the firing of Comey and enough questions about personal enrichment to warrant hearings. As an LGBTQ man, however, I know that Mike Pence’s policies are detrimental towards my community and so many other minorities and it would be very difficult for me to put him in charge of the country.

7. Should the federal government play a role in setting education policy for the nation’s public schools? Explain your answer.

NM parents understand not every student begins school on the same level so one-size-fits-all testing sets too many disadvantaged students, and their educators, up to fail. We need basic national standards for reading and writing, but Common Core is not it, and it is telling that both conservatives and teachers’ unions agree.

As a member of the Community School Board, I also want to further invest into community schools that are working for local families.

8. Why do you want to be a member of Congress?

The fights I’ve led in Albuquerque on public safety, gun violence, climate change, immigration and drug policy are exactly the fights we must win in Congress. New policies and laws have set Albuquerque up to succeed, but only if we have an experienced, proven partner in Congress to help fund that work and finish the job. There is too much at stake to start over with a political newcomer in a big job like this.

 

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?

Fifteen years ago, I sold my home to move to NM. The new owner failed to forward the property tax bill for the last few months, but upon being contacted I immediately paid the small bill.

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.

Yes, several years ago, I made a mistake too many New Mexicans have made and drove after drinking too much. As the Journal reported, I pleaded guilty and took responsibility. In 2015, voters elected me, in part, on a promise to help others learn from my mistake. That’s why I re-prioritized city funding to expand a treatment court and funded services helping others break the addiction cycle plaguing New Mexico.

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