Congressional District 4 Candidate David Brill


TED: OUR COVERAGE OF ELECTION 2018 CONTINUES TONIGHT AS WE INTERVIEW, DAVID BRILL, THE DEMOCRAT RUNNING AGAINST REPUBLICAN REPRESENTATIVE PAUL GOSAR IN ARIZONA'S 4TH CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT. WE SHOULD NOTE THAT GOSAR DECLINED AN OFFER TO PARTICIPATE IN A DEBATE. SO WE WELCOME, DAVID BRILL, TO ARIZONA HORIZON. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE. THANKS FOR JOINING US.

DAVID: GREAT TO BE HERE.

TED: WHO ARE YOU? WHERE’D YOU COME FROM? TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF.

DAVID: I GREW IN NORTHEASTERN PENNSYLVANIA, I'M THE SON OF A MINISTER, A METHODIST MINISTER. AND ONE OF THE THINGS THAT I LIKE IS THAT I GREW UP-- HE LOVED TO WORK ACROSS THE AISLE WITH, IN SPIRITUALITY. HE WOULD MEET ON MONDAYS WITH RABBI’S, PRIESTS, AND SO ON. BUT I GREW UP GOING TO BREAKFAST MEETINGS ON MONDAYS WHERE HE WOULD JUST WORK WITH THEM, AND I REALLY ENJOYED THAT GROWING UP. SO I WANT TO DO THAT AND WORK ACROSS THE AISLE. BUT I WAS A HIGH SCHOOL HISTORY TEACHER, BEFORE I BECAME A DOCTOR, AND THEN I STARTED THREE SMALL BUSINESSES.

TED: OKAY. YOU ARE RUNNING AGAINST A REPUBLICAN VETERAN CONGRESSMAN IN A HEAVILY REPUBLICAN DISTRICT, WHY?

DAVID: BECAUSE HE’S BEEN NEGLECTING THE DISTRICT FOR THE PAST EIGHT YEARS WHILE HE’S BEEN THERE. HE ENJOYS GRANDSTANDING. HE TAKES EXTREME VIEWS ON VARIOUS THINGS. AND WHILE HE IS DOING THAT, THE FOLKS IN OUR DISTRICT HAVE NOT GOTTEN AFFORDABLE HEALTHCARE. HE HAS BEEN IN CONGRESS FOR EIGHTY YEARS AND HE HASN'T LIFTED A FINGER TO HELP MEDICARE NEGOTIATE WITH PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ON PRICE. HE HASN’T HELPED TO GET TEACHERS IN OUR SCHOOLS, AND HE HASN'T HELPED TO GET BROADBAND TO OUR RURAL AREAS SO THAT OUR SCHOOLS CAN THEN GIVE A 21ST CENTURY EDUCATION TO THEIR CHILDREN AND THAT OUR KIDS CAN START BUSINESSES IN RURAL AREAS INSTEAD OF HAVING TO MOVE TO PHOENIX TO START BUSINESSES. WE NEED OUR KIDS TO BE ABLE TO BE ENTREPRENEURS IN RURAL AREAS.

TED: YOU MENTIONED ON YOUR WEBSITE THAT THE CUT AND SPEND APPROACH OF DIMINISHED GOVERNMENT IS NOT SERVING CITIZENS IN THE DISTRICT WELL, EXPLAIN PLEASE.

DAVID: WELL WHEN CONGRESSMAN GOSAR WAS ELECTED IN 2010, HE SAID WAS GOING TO SHRINK THE DEBT OF THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT, INSTEAD HE HAS INCREASED IT. IT’S NOW $21 TRILLIN DOLLARS. THAT'S SEVEN PILES OF $1 BILLS GOING FROM HERE TO THE MOON. AND MOST OF THAT IS GOING TO BE PAID BY OUR CHILDREN BECAUSE HE HAS GIVEN BIG TAX BREAKS TO BILLIONAIRES AND EVERY TAX BREAK WE GIVE TO A BILLIONAIRE IS GOING TO HAVE TO BE PAID BY THE CHILDREN IN OUR DISTRICT.

TED: REPUBLICANS WILL SAY THAT THE TAX CUTS—THE TRUMP TAX CUTS THAT YOU’RE REFERRING TO THERE, THEY JUMP STARTED THE ECONOMY, AND WE'RE ZOOMING RIGHT NOW AND YOU CAN THANK THOSE TAX CUTS FOR A LOT OF IT. AND YOU SAY?

DAVID: THE ECONOMY WAS MOVING AND GETTING CLOSER AND CLOSER TO BOOMING WELL BEFORE THOSE TAX CUTS HIT. AND WE'LL SEE WHERE THE ECONOMY GOES NOW, BUT IT'S LOOKING A LITTLE BIT SHAKY AT THE MOMENT.

TED: SO WHEN YOUR OPPONENT SAYS GET GOVERNMENT OUT OF THE WAY, REPEAL NONSENSICAL REULGATIONS, AND LOWER TAXES. AGAIN, YOU RESPOND HOW?

DAVID: WELL, I'M A BUSINESSMAN, SO GETTING RID OF REGULATIONS THAT DON'T MAKE SENSE I ABSOLUTELY SUPPORT IT. AND SOME OF THE REGULATIONS THAT REALLY DON'T MAKE SENSE ARE HAVING THE HAND CUFFS ON MEDICARE TO NOT BE ABLE TO NEGOTIATE ON PRICE WITH PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES. THAT WOULD BE DEREGULATION TO LET MEDICARE NEGOTIATE ON PRICES AND IT WOULD ALSO BE DEREGULATION IF WE LET US BRING IN -- MEDICARE BRING IN CANADIAN PHARMACEUTICALS MADE BY THE SAME PHARMACEUTICAL MANUFACTURERS THAT WE HAVE HERE. THAT WOULD BE DEREGULATION. I LIKE DEREGULATION.

TED: I WANT TO GET TO HEALTHCARE IN A SECOND HERE, BUT ONE MORE POINT REGARDING THE ECONOMY. YOU WERE QUOTED AS SAYING LET'S MAKE SURE THOSE WHO BENEFITED THE MOST PAY THEIR FAIR SHARE.

DAVID: THAT’S RIGHT.
TED: WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?

DAVID: WELL, LET’S LOOK AT-- WE HAVE GIVEN THE LARGEST TRANSFER OF WEALTH IN HUMAN HISTORY OVER THE PAST 40 YEARS TO THE TOP 1% OF OUR POPULATION. THEY HAVE TAKEN 80% OF THE NEW WEALTH CREATED OVER THE PAST 30 YEARS, THE TOP 10%. THEY HAVE MADE THAT MONEY OFF OF OUR INFRASTRUCTURE, AND OUR INFRASTRUCTURE INCLUDES ROADS, EDUCATION, MEDICARE AND MEDICAID, SOCIAL SECURITY, EVERYTHING THAT IT TAKES FOR US TO LIVE AND THRIVE AS FAMILIES. THAT’S PART OF THE INFRASTRUCTURE. THEY’VE MADE THAT MONEY OFF THE INFRASTRUCTURE, IT'S ONLY FAIR FOR THEM TO PAY MORE.

TED: DO YOU THINK RESIDENTS OF THAT CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT LIKE TO HEAR THAT KIND OF TALK?

DAVID: SOME DO AND SOME DON'T, OBVIOUSLY. BECAUSE SOME FEEL THE YOU KNOW THE TAXES WE HAVE NOW ARE FAIR. BUT I WOULD HAVE TO SAY THAT WE HAD GREAT FINANCIAL TIMES WHEN WE DID HAVE HIGHER TAX RATES. BUT HERE’S A QUESTION I’D LIKE TO PUT OUT, SO I'M A SMALL BUSINESSMAN. WE ALL KNOW -- WE ALL AGREE, SMALL BUSINESSES CREATE ABOUT 80% OF JOBS. SO WHY AREN'T WE GIVING THE TAX BREAKS TO SMALL BUSINESSES INSTEAD BILLIONAIRES. BECAUSE IT’S THE LARGE-- THE LARGE CORPORATIONS AREN'T THE ONES CREATING THE JOBS THEY SAY THERE’S GOING TO BE TRICKLED DOWN BUT IT DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY.

TED: DO YOU THINK YOUR OPPONENT SUPPORTS TAX BREAKS FOR LARGE BUSINESSES AS OPPOSED TO SMALL.

DAVID: HE HAS, YES.

TED: SO YOU BELIEVE HE THINKS THAT’S A GOOD THING?

DAVID: YES. HE’S DONE IT. THAT'S WHAT HE DID IN DECEMBER OF 2017.

TED: HEALTHCARE, YOU ARE PRO-PUBLIC OPTION, CORRECT?

DAVID: CORRECT.

TED: WHAT DOES A PUBLIC OPTION MEAN, AND WHY DO YOU SUPPORT IT?

DAVID: WELL, IT DOESN'T MEAN SINGLE PAYER. AND HERE’S WHAT I MEAN BY THAT, IF WE TRIED TO HAVE SINGLE PAYER HEALTHCARE, WHERE MEDICARE WAS FORCED UPON EVERYBODY, MANDATED, WE WOULD HAVE REVOLT ON THE RIGHT, AND I DON'T BELIEVE THE SUPREME COURT WOULD ALLOW IT TO HAPPEN ANYWAY. BECAUSE THEY IN 2012 SAID THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT COULDN'T IMPOSE MEDICAID ON THE STATES. SO I SUPPORT MEDICARE BEING VOLUNTARY, AN OPTION, WHERE PEOPLE STRUGGLING REPUBLICAN INDEPENDENT OR OTHER FAMILIES CAN OPT INTO IT, CAN BUY IT, AND LET IT COMPETE, LET IT GO IN FULL TILT COMPETITION WITH THE PRIVATE SECTOR. I REALLY LIKE COMPETITION.

TED: HOW CAN A PRIVATE COMPANY COMPETE WITH A GOVERNMENT-BACKED ENTITY? I MEAN IT SEEMS COUNTER INTUITIVE.

DAVID: WELL, ONE PART IS PROFIT MARGINS, ANOTHER IS HAVING SENSIBLE MANAGEMENT OF CARE, SO YOU DON’T HAVE ARMORIES OF PEOPLE DENYING CARE. AND ANOTHER IS WELL LET’S FACE IT, THERE ARE SOME EXCESSES IN HEALTHCARE FOR INSURANCE COMPANIES, SUCH AS GOLF COURSES THAT ARE OWNED BY THE CEO, YOU DON'T SEE THAT IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR. SO MAYBE IT MAKES SENSE TO JUST HAVE THE PUBLIC SECTOR AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR GO HEAD TO HEAD AND SEE WHICH MAKES SENSE FOR OUR COUNTRY.

TED: AND WHEN YOU SAY PROFIT MARGIN, ARE YOU SAYING THAT SOME OF THESE INSURANCE COMPANIES NEED A SMALLER PROFIT MARGIN? COULD LIVE WITH A SMALLER PROFIT MARGIN?

DAVID: WELL, YES.

TED: DO YOU THINK THE RESIDENTS OF YOUR DISTRICT SUPPORT THAT KIND OF TALK?

DAVID: I THINK THE RESIDENTS OF OUR DISTRICT REALLY NEED SOME GOOD HEALTHCARE. AND IF ANYBODY HAS A BETTER OPTION, I'M SURE READY TO HEAR IT. BECAUSE THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT HAS NOW BEEN SABBOTAGED SO IT IS NOT WORKING WELL FOR ANYBODY. AND WE HEAR A LOT OF PEOPLE SAYING -- GOING INTO THE BLAME GAME. YOU KNOW, IT'S THEIR FAULT. IT'S THEIR FAULT. I LIKE TO BE IN THE CENTER, AND NOT ON THE EXTREMES OF POLITICS. I SAY AMERICA BEFORE PARTY, BUT WHAT I HAVEN'T HEARD -- WE HAVE A PARTY THAT CONTROLS THE CONGRESS AND THE PRESIDENCY. WHAT IS THEIR PLAN? WE’VE NEVER HEARD A PLAN FROM THEM. SO I WOULD SAY THAT MEDICARE AS AN OPTION -- IT'S THE ONLY OPTION AND IT IS A SIMPLE OPTION FOR EVERYBODY.

TED: BUT WILL THE PUBLIC OPTION EXPAND CHOICE? IF YOU’VE GOT ENOUGH FIRMS THAT THEY DON’T WANT THAT SMALLER PROFIT MARGIN, THEY’VE GOT TO HAVE A PROFIT TIMES THREE, OR THEY ARE OUT OF HERE. WE’VE SEEN THEM WITH THE AFFORDABLE CARE ACT. IF THEY DON’T GET WHAT THEY WANT, THEY’RE GONE. IF THE PUBLIC OPTION HAS YOU COMPETING AGAINST A GOVERNMENT ENTITY, WHY AS A PRIVATE FIRM WOULD I NOT WAY I’M GOING TO GO MAKE—I’M OUT OF THIS BUSINESS. AND THERE GOES YOUR OPTION.

DAVID: WE'LL SEE HOW THEY GO. BUT MEDICARE IS A PAYING SYSTEM WHICH ALLOWS CHOICE WITHIN HEALTHCARE. SO FOR INSTANCE, I ALSO SUPPORT MEDICARE BEING AVAILABLE TO VETERANS. THE CHOICE ACT FOR VETERANS, YOU REMEMBER THAT BERNIE AND SENATOR MCCAIN PUT THROUGH $18 BILLION, DOESN'T WORK VERY WELL. I HAVE BEEN AT THE VA FOR TEN YEARS AS A DOCTOR. AND WHAT I’VE SEEN IS THAT IT’S MICRO MANAGED, CAUSES DELAYS, AND IT MAKES VETERANS TRAVEL TOO MUCH. I THINK VETERAN’S HAVE EARNED THE RIGHT TO HAVE MEDICARE IN ADDITION TO THE VA AND LET THEM USE MEDICARE TO GET INTO THE COMMUNITY LOCALLY, QUICKLY TO SEE SPECIALISTS, AND THEN LET THE VA COMPETE. SO IF VETERANS WANT TO TAKE THEIR MEDICARE DOLLARS AND USE THEM AT THE VA THEN THAT'S THEIR CHOICE. THEY GET TO DO THAT IF THEY WANT TO, BUT THE VA WILL HAVE TO UP ITS CUSTOMER SERVICE IN ORDER TO COMPETE FOR THOSE DOLLARS.

TED: WHY NOT UP THE SCHEMATICS AND JUST HAVE A MORE MARKET-BASED SOLUTION? THAT’S WHAT YOUR OPPONENT WANTS, HE WANTS A MORE MARKET-BASED SYSTEM.

DAVID: WE’VE GOT A REASONABLY MARKET-BASED SYSTEM NOW, AND HIS MAIN IDEAS HAVE BEEN TO LET INSURANCE COMPANIES CROSS STATE LINES, WHICH PHARMACEUTICAL COMPANIES ALREADY DO AND WHERE DOES THAT GET US? AND TO HAVE HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT. AND MY QUESTION IS IF YOU’VE GOT A FAMILY THAT IS MAKING $35,000 A YEAR, AND THEY HAVE A HEALTH SAVINGS ACCOUNT OF A THOUSAND DOLLARS, HOW IS THAT GOING TO PROTECT THEM FROM A $50,000 MEDICAL BILL.

TED: DO YOU BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE AN IMMIGRATION CRISIS IN AMERICA? YOUR OPPONENT DOES, DO YOU?

DAVID: WE NEED SECURITY AT THE BORDERS, AND WE CAN CERTAINLY HAVE THAT WITH WALLS. NOT ONE BIG WALL, BUT WALLS AND ELECTRONIC SECURITY. AND YES I HAVE TO SAY THAT PRESIDENT TRUMP HAS BEEN DEPORTING QUITE A FEW PEOPLE AND I THINK THAT THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE THERE FROM A COMPETITION POINT OF VIEW IS GETTING UNDER CONTROL FROM A SAFETY POINT OF VIEW FOR OUR CITIZENS AND OUR CITIZENS NEED TO BE SAFE. BUT FOR ME, THE IMMIGRATION ISSUE IS ONE ABOUT SOLVING THE PROBLEM, AND I THINK THAT WHAT WE NEED ARE MORE VISAS, AND THIS IS GREAT IDEA THAT CAME TO ME FROM THE CATO INSTITUTE, WHICH OF COURSE IS A LIBERTARIAN ORGANIZATION. I BELIEVE THAT GREAT IDEAS ARE NOT A MONOPOLY OF ANY PARTY. SO I WAS HAVING SOME DRINKS IN WASHINGTON A FEW WEEKS AGO WITH A GENTLEMAN FROM THE CATO INSTITUTE AND HE EXPRESSED A GREAT IDEA. HE SAID IF WE HAVE COMMUTERS CROSSING THE BORDER DAILY, OR WE HAVE SEASONAL VISAS, WHICH WE NEED, OR WE HAVE LONGER-TERM VISAS, WHENEVER SOMEONE COMES ACROSS THE BORDER, AND WORKS IN OUR COUNTRY, THEY PAY INTO A REFUNDABLE BOND WITH EACH PAYCHECK, SO THAT WHEN THEIR VISA IS UP, THEY COLLECT THAT BOND AND GO HOME AND BUY A HOME FOR THEIR FAMILY. BUT THE KEY IS THAT HALF OF THE UNDOCUMENTED PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE HERE BECAUSE THEY’VE OVERSTAYED THEIR VISAS. SO THIS WOULD HELP THEM TO NOT OVERSTAY THEIR VISAS.

TED: WHAT ABOUT A PATH SO CITIZENSHIP FOR THOSE WHO ARE HERE?

DAVID: I THINK FOR THE DACA CHILDREN HAVE REALLY EARNED A PASS TO CITIZENSHIP.

TED: WHAT ABOUT THOSE NOT?

DAVID: I THINK THAT NEEDS TO BE EVALUATED ON INDIVIDUAL BASIS FOR EACH PERSON AND EACH FAMILY AND I THINK WE NEED TO FUND MORE FEDERAL JUDGES AFTER WE’VE STABILIZED THE BORDER AND GOT OUR VISAS UNDER CONTROL, BECAUSE I KNOW FROM SPEAKING WITH THE GROWERS IN YUMA, THEY WANT 35,000 COMMUTER VISAS. AND THEY DON’T HAVE ENOUGH VISAS TO HAVE PEOPLE HARVESTING THE CROPS.

TED: SUPPORTING ANY PATH TO CITIZENSHIP FOR SOME, I WOULD IMAGINE INCLUDING YOUR OPPONENT, IS AKIN TO AMNESTY. DO YOU AGREE?

DAVID: NO. ABSOLUTELY NOT. BECAUSE WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT IS THAT EACH PERSON IS EVALUATED BY A JUDGE ON WHETHER THEY MERIT STAYING IN THIS COUNTRY. THAT'S WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT. THAT IS NOT AMNESTY.

TED: REAL QUICKLY, WE TALKED ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE IN OUR LAST SEGMENT. YOUR OPPONENT SAYS IT IS A FALSE SCIENCE AND A FALSE IDEOLOGY. WHAT SAY YOU?

DAVID: I’M SORRY I AM A SCIENTIST, I’M A TRAINED DOCTOR. IT IS SCIENCE, AND IT IS GOOD SCIENCE, AND THE WORLD AGREES WITH THAT. WE'RE WATCHING OUR TEMPERATURES GO UP EVERY YEAR, SOME PEOPLE ARE CALLING IT A PROLONGED DROUGHT, SOME PEOPLE ARE STARTING TO WONDER WHETHER THIS IS A DROUGHT OR WHETHER IT IS GOING TO CONTINUE THIS WAY. WHATEVER IT IS, I THINK IT'S ONLY PRUDENT FOR US AS A COUNTRY AND AS A PLANET TO PLAN FOR THE WORST AND DEAL WITH IT, RATHER THAN KEEPING OUR HEAD IN THE SAND.

TED: LAST QUESTION. WE’VE ONLY GOT ABOUT 30 SECONDS. WE GOT TO KEEP IT QUICK HERE. ARE YOU TOO LIBERAL FOR THIS DISTRICT?

DAVID: I'M RATHER CENTRIST. IF YOU LOOK AT MY PLATFORM, AND I INVITE EVERYBODY TO GO TO OUR WEBSITE, BRILLFORCONGRESS.COM, CHECK IT OUT. BUT, NO, I AM NOT TOO LIBERAL FOR THIS DISTRICT. THIS DISTRICT IS ACTUALLY A BIT BLUE-ER THAN MANY MAY THINK.

TED: ALRIGHT, DAVID BRILL, DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE FOR CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT 4. GOOD TO HAVE YOU HERE. THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR JOINING US WE APPRECIATE IT.

DAVID: AND THANK YOU.

TED: AND FRIDAY ON ARIZONA HORIZON WE’LL FOLLOW THE MONEY TO SEE WHICH POLITICAL RACES ARE GETTING THE MOST ATTENTION AND WE’LL PREVIEW MONDAY’S U.S. SENATE DEBATE TO BE HELD HERE ON ARIZONA PBS. THAT’S ON THE JOURNALIST ROUNDTABLE. AND THAT IS IT FOR NOW. I'M TED SIMONS. THANKS SO MUCH FOR JOINING US. YOU HAVE A GREAT EVENING.

We hear from David Brill, the Democrat running against Republican Representative Paul Gosar in Arizona’s Congressional District 4. Gosar declined an offer to participate in a debate.

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David Brill

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