The Anchorage Daily News asked candidates for U.S. House running in the special primary election to answer a series of questions. Read all of their responses here.
SANTA CLAUS, undeclared affiliation, from North Pole
What in your background qualifies you to represent Alaskans in Congress?
I am a two-term City of North Pole councilman and current mayor pro tem, and former: member of the Alaska Public Broadcasting Commission, special assistant to the deputy police commissioner of New York City, member of the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Defense Executive Reserve, while director of the Terrorism Research and Communication Center. Graduate degree from New York University in educational communication and technology. Completed a successful 50-state tour, advocating for child, health, safety, and welfare.
Why are you running for U.S. Congress in Alaska?
I believe all members of Congress must find common ground, work together to represent their diverse constituencies, and move our nation forward in a productive manner that ensures happiness, peace, good health, and prosperity for everyone living in the United States, including Alaska. Alaska’s challenges include: energy, defense, climate, education, Arctic nations collaboration, infrastructure (broadband-plus), Indigenous, minority, and women’s rights, health, immigration, justice, medical and student debt.
What would be your top priority if elected to Congress?
Top priority: Medicare for all (M4A). Many Alaskans who have experienced COVID-19 or injuries and illnesses that have resulted in extraordinary medical bills are aware that, according to Medicare4All.org, “Medicare has provided guaranteed health care for millions of seniors for more than 51 years. It’s time we have a Medicare for all, single-payer health care system that would end health disparities, effectively control costs, and assure that everyone has equal access to an excellent standard of care.”
What is your position on abortion?
I agree with Senator Bernie Sanders’ position: “Oppose all efforts to undermine or overturn Roe v. Wade, and appoint federal judges who will uphold women’s most fundamental rights.”
If legislation came before the U.S. House that would guarantee the same abortion rights nationwide as the Roe v. Wade decision, how would you vote?
If you support abortion rights, what limitations, if any, do you think should be placed on those rights, such as waiting periods or a specific point in a pregnancy where abortion should no longer be legal?
Any limitations should be a decision made by a woman and her physician, based upon her unique circumstance.
Would you support a bill, if it came before the House, to expand the size of the U.S. Supreme Court? Why or why not?
Yes. The current Supreme Court caseload is overwhelming, and I am inclined to expand the Supreme Court’s size. Last year, the Presidential Commission on the Supreme Court of the United States examined the length of service and turnover of justices on the court, its membership and size, and its case selection, rules and practices. The final report lists pros and cons regarding expanding the size of the Court. One commission member went as far as to write that they no longer had confidence in the basic legitimacy of the Supreme Court.
What do you think should be done by the federal government to address mass shootings?
As a former special assistant to the deputy police commissioner of New York City, I believe our government should (1) ban assault weapons (US 1994 ban -> mass shooting deaths dropped by 43%; In 2004, ban expired -> mass shooting deaths increased by 239%); (2) require universal background checks (no exceptions); (3) prohibit bump stocks, high-capacity magazines, silencers downloadable 3-D guns; (4) require safe gun storage, lost and stolen gun reporting and surrender of guns by prohibited people; (5) draft a model red flag emergency protection law and; (6) repeal gun industry immunity.
Do you support gun control legislation? If so, what kind of measures would you support? If not, why not?
See answer above and pass Alaska HB 62 (2019): “An Act relating to gun violence protective orders; relating to the crime of violating a protective order; relating to a central registry for protective orders; requiring physicians, psychologists, psychological associates, social workers, marital and family therapists and licensed professional counselors to report annually threats of gun violence; relating to the powers of district judges and magistrates; amending Rules 4 and 65, Alaska Rules of Civil Procedure, and Rule 9, Alaska Rules of Administration; and providing for an effective date.”