The 1st Congressional District of Nevada includes most of Las Vegas and part of unincorporated Clark County.
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Mr. Padilla’s Primary opponent, Annette Teijeiro, did not respond to this opportunity.
1. Why are you running for a Congressional seat?
I am running to bring real change to the people of Congressional District 1 who have endured the worst unemployment rate in the country and the worst ranked education system in the country. Someone needs to defend the American Dream that allowed someone like me, the son of poor immigrants from Latin America, to attend Ivy League schools and become a corporate lawyer working at the highest levels of the profession.
The American Dream did not include being forced to purchase over-priced health insurance or being spied on by government bureaucrats. The people in Las Vegas are now suffering by the lack of leadership in Congress which I will bring.
My professional background (detailed below) has allowed me to have not only experience but also solutions to some of the biggest issues for the voters in District 1 – the Economy, Healthcare, Education and Immigration Reform.
2. Give a brief summation of your professional and political background.
I was the first in my family to graduate high school. I earned an A.B. in Government at Harvard University and graduated with honors. After Harvard, I graduated with a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School. My career began as a tech start-up lawyer in Austin, Texas. In 2003, I moved to Washington, DC, where I focused on healthcare corporate transactions (including billion dollar mergers and acquisitions) and spent the next several years working in Washington, DC, for various large healthcare corporate clients and then in Dallas, Texas, as Assistant General Counsel for one of the largest healthcare providers in the U.S. I moved to Las Vegas to accept my current position as Assistant General Counsel for Aristocrat Technologies, Inc.
I have consistently been voting Republican since I was five years old and my mother hoisted me up so I could push the button for Reagan in 1980. I have been an avid follower of politics since my youth. In college, I majored in Government, and I spent two summers volunteering for my Congressman, including a summer in D.C. working in the House Majority Leader’s office.
3. Define your political philosophy.
My political philosophy is based on the principles that (i) power corrupts, (ii) individuals have inalienable rights endowed by our Creator, and (iii) where possible, we must alleviate suffering and increase prosperity. Political philosophers who have influenced my thinking are Immanuel Kant, Edmund Burke, and Milton Friedman.
4. If you win the Primary, you will be running against the incumbent Congressman in the General election. She is well-backed financially. Do you have sufficient financial resources to run a competitive Primary & General Election campaign? Do you anticipate having to use your own money? If so, to what degree?
My opponent, Dina Titus, will be well-funded because she is an incumbent and the Democrats want to ensure they hold onto this district.
But, with a district that is at least 43 percent Hispanic and 77 percent of some ethnic race, I think a well-credentialed Hispanic candidate with solutions will be welcomed by the constituents and donors. I have an experienced campaign team, I will have the support of Conservatives who want to give Dina a tough race, and I will have a community hungry for a leader they can relate to with a new message and new ideas. I do not anticipate using my own money.
5. What makes you more qualified than your Primary opponent to serve in this position?
My primary opponent has run before for a State Senate seat and lost in the primary. She is a physician and has not had the breadth and depth of experience I have had in the private sector. Too many people in Congress today, like Dina Titus, have no experience with the private sector. Without such experience, one may not understand the effect of legislation on everyday business decisions. I have worked my whole life in the private sector advising companies on how to grow and expand their business. I understand that decisions to hire more employees are not based on last year’s profits, but on expectations of profits over the next year.
Furthermore, I have worked in Washington, DC, not only as an intern in the House of Representatives but as a corporate attorney with offices on Pennsylvania Avenue. As a corporate lawyer, my job is to bring two parties together and negotiate agreements. Legislation in the House of Representatives requires bringing parties together.
In short, I have the experience and skills that voters need now more than ever as we see our prosperity and rights wither.
6. Define your Congressional district – geographically, demographically and politically.
Congressional District 1 occupies most of Nevada’s largest city, Las Vegas, as well as parts of North Las Vegas and parts of unincorporated Clark County. The district now leans Democratic. In demographics, it is 22.9% White, 9.9% Black, 8.6% Asian, 42.9% Hispanic, 0.7% Native American, 15% other. In short, the District is the heartbeat of Southern Nevada and the emblem of American diversity.
Politically, the District was designed to be a “safe” Democratic seat with a 2-to-1 Democrat to Republican registration advantage.
7. What do you see as the three most important issues related to your district?
A. Jobs and the Economy
Having worked my entire life in the private sector and advising scores of start-up companies, I understand how jobs are created. Moreover, having been laid off, I understand the frustration of unemployment. Like everyone else, I am tired of tough economic times stretching out over five years. Since 2008, higher taxes and increased regulations have suppressed job growth in Nevada and the country. I will support policies that help small business, support job creation and free the market to grow and create jobs, including:
Eliminate job-killing regulations
Promote policies that encourage small business development
Reduce unnecessary government spending
Simplify the tax code so more money can go into a productive economy instead of billions of dollars into tax compliance
Push for REAL healthcare reform that eliminates the unnecessary burdens of Obamacare and allows for better pricing and better access.
As the first in my family to finish high school much less college, I know better than most how access to a better education can change lives. Clark County’s under-performing schools provide a disservice not only to parents and students, but to all residents of Las Vegas.
It is difficult to attract companies and entrepreneurs with families when the education system in Las Vegas consistently ranks at the bottom. This is a crisis that needs urgent reform.
When school districts around the country show time and time again that more money does not produce better results, it is clear that meaningful reform is needed to provide parents with a choice and students with the opportunity to succeed. I also support common sense approaches to reduce the cost of higher education and improve student loan programs.
America is a country of immigrants and is made stronger and better through immigrants coming to our country searching for a better life and willing to work hard. Immigration is a measure of a country’s vibrancy and success. Not only as an attorney, but also as the son and husband of immigrants, I clearly understand the current immigration system. Today’s immigration system was designed nearly fifty years ago and needs an overhaul.
8. It appears that millions of acres of Nevada lands are destined to have the sage grouse (among other species) listed as a protected species. What is your position in regards to this issue? Explain.
As I understand the current proposed language, Clark County is not included but rather 16 rural counties in Nevada. I am concerned, however, with the impact of the proposal at the expense of needed economic growth in rural Nevada.
9. Define your position in regards to approving/voting against a proposed national budget.
Families and businesses must operate on a budget, and so should the federal government. I will support a budget which has looked for every possible cost savings and maximization of efficiencies. We need accountability and transparency in the budget and the budget process. Our future prosperity is put in danger when the national debt continues to grow.
10. Define and explain your position in regards to internet gaming.
Nevada has already enacted internet gaming with regards to poker. While other states have also allowed internet gaming in other forms, and even more states are looking to allow internet gaming, we must always be mindful that Nevada is and must continue to be a leader in the gaming industry. Nevada has maintained this position through careful thoughtful regulation that protects the public. As the federal government looks into internet gaming, one must always be mindful of its effects not only the public, but on its effects on Nevada’s industry.
11. Define your position in regards to proposed military personnel cutbacks and cutbacks to the benefits of future enlistees.
National defense is one of the most important functions of the federal government. History shows that a strong disciplined military is essential for peace. I will support a well-funded military that meets the needs of world conditions and well-funded benefits for those who have served our country.
12. Define your position in regards to unemployment benefits and benefit extensions. What changes, if any, would you propose to improve our unemployment benefit system?
Having been a victim of the economic crisis in 2009, I understand personally the benefit of unemployment insurance. However, I also understand that a country cannot prosper and an economy cannot fully recover when too many of our citizens no longer participate in the workforce. Workforce participation rates have declined over the past several years.
The unemployment benefit system should be extended in times of extreme crisis, as we had. But now that we look to recover, the system should be improved so that it incentivizes workforce participation.
For example, I would propose creating tax credits for employers that employ the long-term unemployed.
13. Define your position on dealing with the illegal immigrants living in this country.
I support an immigration policy that recognizes that U.S. citizenship must be valued while also being realistic about normalizing the undocumented immigrants already in the country who are productive and law-abiding.
Immigration is a boon for our country. We should encourage the controlled immigration that benefits our people and our economy.
14. Define your position on how this country should deal with protecting our borders from illegal immigration.
Increasing border security and ensuring future immigrants enter our country in an efficient and legal way is critical. We can have no effective security until the immigration system is reformed so that a majority of those illegally crossing the border just to work can have a legal method to enter the country just to work. Then, border security can focus on those who wish to do harm to our country.
15. Define your position on the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and what you would attempt to do if elected.
Obamacare is health insurance reform but doesn’t focus on what we really need – health care reform. The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is designed with the aim to reduce the price of health insurance, but ignores the real problem – the rising costs of actual health care. If the problem were rising car prices, would the solution be to subsidize the cost of car insurance?
Furthermore, while healthcare professionals have long been drowning in regulatory compliance, thousands more pages of regulations have been added thanks to the Affordable Care Act. When we have a shortage of doctors and nurses, it is a problem when a doctor cannot open a practice without hiring several lawyers first.
The healthcare industry is one of the only U.S. industries where the addition of technology causes an increase in prices. U.S. healthcare policy should focus on improving quality and lowering costs by reducing regulation, allowing for price transparency and restoring patient involvement.
I have a plan for health care to help all families. When elected to Congress I will work to:
Restore the direct patient-physician relationship
Make healthcare costs transparent to patients
Enact reforms that directly reduce costs, e.g., tort reform
Reduce the mountain of regulations that currently overwhelm the US healthcare system
Improve the quality of health services provided to all Americans
16. Do you support the Nevada Republican Central Committee endorsing candidates prior to the Primary election?
Yes, I do support the process.
17. The Nevada Republican Party (as well as the Republican Party nationwide) is openly and contentiously divided between the very conservative ‘tea party’ element and more moderate Republicans. Should this be a concern to future Republican successes at the ballot box? If so, how can the differences be resolved at least to a point of not hindering success in the General election?
We need to be embracing conservatism, regardless of the degree to which it may fall on the right or left scale. Because if we do not work for and elect conservatives, we lose the majority to the far-left European socialists like we see in the Obama administration. Conservatism is at the foundation of the Republican Party and we need to rally all conservatives, from the “very” to the “moderate”, because from the mix of all those varied degrees of conservatism we can appeal to a broader base of voters
18. If there is an issue that has not been addressed in the previous questions, here is your chance to address it: