Q&A: U.S. Senate Gavin Clarkson
- Name: Gavin Clarkson
- Political Party: Republican
- Occupation: Business & law professor
- City of residence: Las Cruces
- Relevant experience: President Trump’s deputy assistant secretary for policy and economic development; tribal finance consultant; business & law professor; tech and real estate entrepreneur
- Education: BA & MBA from Rice University, doctorate in technology and operations management from the Harvard Business School, J.D. from Harvard Law School.
- Campaign website: www.gavinclarkson.com
What is your opinion of the coronavirus response packages passed by Congress and signed by President Trump? Is there anything you would have done differently?
I support what President Trump has done so far, but I believe our leaders need to take a more aggressive approach to China and make the communists pay for the massive debts we are incurring responding to what their negligence has unleashed on the world.
What actions to restore the economy, if any, do you feel Congress should take once the outbreak has been contained?
Pass payroll tax cut; make permanent 2017 TCJA’s full expensing of business investments and fix “Retail Glitch;” suspend or reduce federal regulations and paperwork requirements; suspend penalties for regulatory violations where person made good faith effort to comply; require Congress to vote up or down on regulations that impose costs.
What is your position regarding climate change? What actions should Congress take, if any, regarding the environment?
While we all want to protect the environment and enjoy clean air and water, the case for man-made climate change is scientifically weak and does not justify crushing human economic prosperity. President Trump was right to withdraw from the Paris Climate Deal and other efforts that harm more than help.
What is your opinion on energy initiatives that have been introduced both on the federal and state level such as the Green New Deal and the New Mexico Energy Transition Act?
These are big government schemes that will only give more power to bureaucrats and do little to protect the environment. They will ruin New Mexico’s economy and should be opposed at every turn.
Fracking bans have been introduced in Congress by Sens. Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and presidential candidate Joe Biden indicated in a debate he would support a ban. Where do you stand on the issue?
I fully oppose fracking bans. Oil and gas — and hydraulic fracturing — contribute mightily to New Mexico’s economy. Mining and fracking are also essential to my #FrackChina proposal: make Communist China pay for the coronavirus outbreak; achieve enduring American energy independence; end our reliance on China for critical minerals.
What is your position on the leasing of federal land for oil, gas and mineral development? Do you agree with the removal of energy development in a 10-mile radius around Chaco archaeological sites? Are there other areas of the state that should be considered for similar treatment?
I want to end dual taxation for on-reservation job creators and energy projects so tribes will receive all the tax revenue from energy extracted from their lands, unleashing at least $2 billion into New Mexico’s economy. A 5-mile radius protects Chaco without destroying economic prosperity for 22,000 Navajo allottees.
What are the most important actions Congress should take regarding people now living illegally in the U.S.? What about for those who want to come in?
My wife waited 14 years to become a citizen. Our immigration system is fundamentally broken. We must end birthright citizenship, visa lottery and chain migration. I oppose amnesty. Once the border is secure, I might consider a path to residency and possibly a path to citizenship for military veterans brought here illegally as children.
Do you believe the borders are secure enough? If not, what do you propose should be done to increase security?
Our border is not secure. I support not just the wall, but a high-tech wall with monitoring equipment including motion detectors, infrared, and ground penetrating radar, all of which will need to be connected by high-speed optic fiber lines to command stations. Such infrastructure would also contribute to economic development.
Do you favor a federal ban on the sale of military style semi-automatic rifles? If so, what would you do about the millions of such weapons now legally owned by American citizens? What other, if any, gun law reforms would you support?
When the federal government wanted to subdue Indian tribes, the first thing they did was confiscate their guns. I oppose “automatic weapons” bans, “red-flag” laws, and a national gun registry. Self-defense is a God-given fundamental human right. “Shall not be infringed” means exactly that. Due process is another fundamental right.
Federal spending plays an important role in New Mexico’s economy. What should be done to increase other economic drivers here?
We lead the nation in federal dollars per capita but are dead last in private employment per capita. Getting government out of the way with fewer regulations will grow our economy. When I was part of President Trump’s team at Interior, we repealed 22 regulations for every new regulation proposed.
Congress passed the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement as a replacement for the North American Free Trade Agreement. Are there any other trade initiatives you’d like to see Congress pass if you’re elected?
I support President Trump’s prioritizing American workers and our national interests. I strongly supported his America First trade policies in 2018 when even most Republicans doubted they would work. We’ve now seen real results from this agenda with USMCA and China making serious concessions towards free and fair trade.
Do you favor or oppose a national single payer health system?
No. The reason healthcare is so expensive is because socialists have been trying to make it free for so long. We no longer have a free market in health care. Competition and choice are the only policy options that will lower costs.
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?
I support banning late-term abortions. Tax dollars should never be used to fund abortions. My pro-life activism started in high school. While in grad school at Harvard, I chaired a Christian abortion alternative center empowering young women to make the choice for life regardless of personal, family, or financial circumstances.
What should be done at the federal level to address the crisis of opioid addiction? Any other drugs?
Local drug courts combining punitive powers with rehabilitative programs seem to offer the best hope of dealing with a crisis that federal policy has exacerbated through crony subsidies, making pain a “vital sign,” mandating abuse-deterrent formulas, outlawing generics, prohibiting maintenance therapy, and over-regulating Medication Assisted Treatment options.
Why do you want to be a member of Congress?
Ninety-five percent of my students cannot get a job in New Mexico upon graduation. In addition to serving on the Senate Judiciary Committee, I want to champion those whose voices are not heard in the halls of Congress — especially those economically disempowered due to federal regulations and corporate welfare schemes.
Have you or your business, if you are a business owner, ever been the subject of any state or federal tax liens?
Have you ever been involved in a personal or business bankruptcy proceeding?
In 2010, Lois Lerner sabotaged capital gains tax treatment for outside investment into tribal economies because I outed her IRS for racist auditing practices against tribes. I filed Chapter 7 in 2012 after massive commercial real estate losses due to Obama’s economy – all fully disclosed during my presidential appointment process.
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.