A New Mexico newspaper once called Congressional candidate Pat Davis a “political bomb thrower” for his strong comments as a progressive activist and city council member.
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This week the progressive Democrat got a lot of attention – both positive and negative – for throwing a different kind of verbal explosive – an “F-bomb” on television.
Davis placed a 15-second advertisement on KRQE, the CBS affiliate in Albuquerque, which ran just after noon today, with the expletive intact.
The TV station, faced with conflicting FCC rules on how to proceed, chose the rule that says they are obligated to run an ad from a legitimate candidate who has been certified to be on the ballot as it is presented to them.
The station did run a warning before the spot aired advising, “There may be inappropriate language for our viewing audience.”
The FCC also has a rule that says the expletive Davis used cannot air on the station between 8 a.m and 10 p.m. but it is unclear if that will bring consequences.
Here is what the ad said (warning, the expletive is spelled out here and can be heard in the embedded video):
“Fuck the NRA. Their program policies have resulted in dead children, dead mothers, and dead fathers. I’m Pat Davis and I approve this message because if Congress won’t change our gun laws, we’re changing Congress.”
When asked about his somewhat shocking ad yesterday before it ran, Davis told KRQE News: “I think the only people who are going to be offended are the NRA.”
Davis, a former police officer whose mother was a school teacher, said he would not apologize for his language or the ad.
“Being polite hasn’t gotten us anywhere,” said Davis, “so maybe it’s time to do something different.”
However, Gabriel Sanchez, a political science professor at the University of New Mexico told the TV station, it was a desperate stunt: “You only see these ‘Hail Mary’ attempts among candidates who are really desperate at this point in a race.”
Reaction from those the station spoke with ranged from “it’s inappropriate in a professional setting” to “I don’t care if he cusses on TV. It’s fine. It’s appropriate for the situation.”
One of his opponents, Deb Haaland, labeled it a “publicity stunt,” even though she agreed with the sentiment he expressed.
“The NRA and the arms industry are responsible for horrific preventable deaths all across America — with communities of color hardest hit by this epidemic of violence,” said Haaland in a statement. “I fully understand the anger many people are expressing, and I share it — even if I might use different words.”
There has been no official response so far from the NRA.
In the meanwhile Davis, in a five-person race for the Democratic nomination in New Mexicos 1st Congressional district that takes place June 5, has gotten a lot of attention.
The winner will face Republican Janice Arnold Jones in the November general election.
The seat is currently held by Michelle Lynn Lujan Grishman, who is chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus but has chosen to run for Governor instead of seeking re-election to Congress.
Davis, who grew up in Newnan, Georgia, where his father was a postal worker, got his first look at Congress from an unusual vantage point.
After working his way through college as a police dispatcher, he joined the U.S. Capitol Police, protecting members of Congress.
He later worked for the Washington, D.C. Metropolitan Poice as a patrol officer.
In 2002, he moved to New Mexico to be a lieutenant on the University of New Mexico police force.
Davis founded the liberal advocacy group ProgressNow New Mexico, now one of the largest in the state, where he earned his reputation as a “political bomb thrower,” as he was dubbed by the Santa Fe New Mexican, for his harsh criticism of Gov. Susana Martinez.
Davis was elected to the Albuquerque City Council in 2015 where he introduced bills that improved school shooting investigations, promoted clean (solar) energy, fair treatment for immigrants and reformed the police department.
He also has been a strong supporter of the rights of LGBTQ people and if elected would be the first openly gay member of Congress from New Mexico.
In a year when new voices are rising from within the Democratic party, David promises to be one of the strongest and most outspoken.
He said if elected he will vote with other Democrats and work to elect a new Democratic president in 2020.
He certainly knows how to get attention. Watch his campaign ad here: