People see a lot of outrageous political ads, but it’s not usually the language that’s controversial.
Albuquerque City Councilor Pat Davis wants people to see his congressional campaign spot in which the Democrat uses profanity to get the viewers’ attention.
“F*** the NRA,” Davis says to start off his 15-second ad. “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.”
“I think the only people who are going to be offended are the NRA,” Davis argued when asked about the ad Thursday.
But is it just a publicity stunt and will it cost the Congressional District 1 candidate votes?
“You only see these Hail Mary attempts among candidates who are really desperate at this point in a race,” UNM Political Science Professor Gabriel Sanchez said after KRQE News 13 showed him the ad. “That’s where you see attack ads that are much more aggressive, that’s where you see these kind of out-of-the-box approaches is really when candidates know, ‘I’ve got to make up some ground. I’m running out of money and I’m running out of time.'”
Some people KRQE showed the ad to thought it was improper decorum for a Congressional candidate.
“I don’t think it’s appropriate in a professional setting,” said Avalon Vanis of Albuquerque.
“Opening up with foul language, regardless of what we’re talking about, I think for a lot of people might question Davis’ overall decorum and quote-unquote “electability,” Sanchez added.
Others say they don’t care because they agree with the message.
“I don’t care if he cusses on TV,” a viewer said. “It’s fine. It’s appropriate for the situation.”
Davis, a former police officer, is not apologizing for the F-word.
“Being polite hasn’t gotten us anywhere so maybe it’s time to do something different,” he said.
Viewers will see the ad on KRQE News 13 Friday; federal election law says the station has to run it uncensored.
The following is KRQE General Manager Bill Anderson’s explanation:
“We received a request for air time from a legitimate federal candidate for office, and according to federal election rules we are required to give him the same access as his opponents. This station, by law, is not permitted to censor or in any way edit this commercial. What we can control however, is the 15 seconds of air time preceding it, which we will use to warn the viewer of a possible offense, explain our own views, and cite the federal laws imposed on candidates and tv stations.”
A couple of Davis’ opponents were quick to call this a publicity stunt.
Opponent Deb Haaland issued the following statement:
“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. I fully understand the anger many people are expressing, and I share it — even if I might use different words.”
Damon Martinez’s campaign declined to comment. KRQE News 13 did not hear back from Antoinette Lopez.
The Democratic primary is coming up on June 5. The winner will face Rep. Janice Arnold Jones in the November election.