Elections » Candidate Questionnaires

Don Mial

Candidate for N.C. House, District 39

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Name as it appears on the ballot: Don Mial

Full legal name, if different: Donald Wayne Mial

Date of birth: July 4, 1952

Campaign website: donmial.com

Occupation & employer: Manager, N.C Dept. Public Safety, Division of Juvenile Justice

Email: don@donmial.com


1. Gov. Perdue is proposing a 3/4ths of 1-cent sales tax increase to balance the budget and avoid more cuts to education. Do you support her proposal? A different tax increase? Or no tax increase?

I support a dual approach which would include the 3/4ths of 1-cent sales tax and look at other wasteful spending. We cannot continue to have attacks against our education system, because in order for us to have a strong economic development system, a strong educational system is vital.

2. Do you support the Racial Justice Act? Is it time for North Carolina to abolish the death penalty?

Yes, I support the Racial Justice Act and I think that it is time for North Carolina to abolish the death penalty.

3. Are you in favor of a Voter ID law? Why or why not? What steps can the state take to increase voter participation in elections?

No, I am in no way in favor of a Voter ID law. As a former member of the Wake County Board of Elections, I can assure the public that the process that we presently have in place is very adequate. Furthermore from a cost benefit analysis the cost exceed the need. We are talking about a .00001% of voter fraud and the system that we presently have detected those violations. This law is more about voter suppression than stopping voter fraud. We need to encourage more voter registration and have people to register when they get their driver's license or renew them.

4. How will you vote on Amendment One, the amendment to ban gay marriages, civil unions and all other domestic partnerships other than the marriage of one man and one woman?

I will vote against this amendment. The law that we presently have in North Carolina already addresses this issue and this bill is very poorly drafted.

5. Do you support a woman's right to choose to terminate her pregnancy? Would you sign a bill requiring that a woman, before choosing abortion, undergo an ultrasound? Be counseled about alternatives? Or in other ways be discouraged from choosing an abortion?

Just as the curtain was closing on the struggle for the Seventeenth Amendment, the suffragist movement was starting to gain momentum on the same path of transformation. The participants drafted a "Declaration of Sentiments" protesting the political, social, and economic inferiority of women. The Declaration also included the first public demand for extending the franchise to women. It was the first of many such conventions in the nascent women's rights movement. The Constitution brought an extended hiatus to the woman suffrage movement, as national attention was focused on the abolition of slavery. Suffragists were unable to tie their cause to the racial issue and failed in an attempt to prevent the enfranchisement of African-Americans without the granting of the same rights to women. However, the passage of the Civil War Amendments did further the suffragist cause.

The campaign to bring woman suffrage into existence state by state accelerated in the 1880's and 1890's. Between 1882 and 1898, the question was placed on eleven state referendum ballots in nine different states. However, it passed in only two--Colorado in 1893, and Idaho in 1896. Opponents of the suffrage movement found it easy to exploit the fact that many suffragists were also active in the prohibition movement, a connection which aroused the antagonism of the "wets."

In winning ratification of the Nineteenth Amendment, the suffragists successfully completed the same route of constitutional transformation that had been traveled by advocates of the popular election of Senators a few years earlier. Both amendments posed an inherent and direct threat to the reelection of sitting members of Congress; accordingly, there was little chance that Congress would exercise its proposing function unless compelled to do so. Consequently, proponents of reform used the states to usurp this function. Effectively, individual states were proposing and ratifying an incremental transformation in the structure of Congress.

I guess the question becomes, why I started out with talking about women suffrage and the 19th Amendment to the U.S Constitution. That is because, I think it is important that one must put this all into perspective, especially as one talk about a woman rights and her ability to have a choice and decide what is in the best interest of her and her family.

I don't think that we should politicalize this issue. It is truly one that she must have a choice to decide with her family, doctor and faith person.

It's also important to understand that choice goes beyond abortions, it also address the issue of birth control, sex education and Healthy Pregnancies.

Furthermore, I understand that abortion is a divisive issue, and I respect those who disagree with me. However, I have been a consistent champion of reproductive choice and will make preserving women's rights under Roe v. Wade a priority and I oppose any constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's decision in that case.

6. Should the state take additional steps to encourage solar, wind and other renewable energy sources? Should additional nuclear plants in North Carolina be encouraged, discouraged or stopped?

Yes, I think that the state should take additional steps to encourage solar, wind and other renewable energy sources. We must work to become more independent and not depend on foreign sources of energy, because this is a national security issue. I think that we should look at additional nuclear plants, providing that we continue to make safety and our environment a priority in its development.

7. What should we do about fracking—extracting natural gas by fracturing rock underground? Do you view it as a technology ready to use in North Carolina? Or one to be studied carefully before any decision about it is made?

I do not support fracking in North Carolina at this time and do not believe that this technology is ready to be used in North Carolina. It should be studied further, because I am very concerned about our water table and the environment.

8. Will you support putting the proposed 1/2-cent sales tax for transit on the ballot in Wake County in 2012? Will you vote for or against it in a referendum?

Yes, if the citizens of Wake County are willing to support it, because it is my belief that we must push for a better and more viable transit system, because we must ensure that all of our citizens have viable transportation. Furthermore, the General assembly has already authorized Wake, Durham and Orange counties to levy a half-cent sales tax that could be spent only for transit if local voters give their approval in a referendum. Local government also received another $13 million a year for transit with a $10 increase in car registration fees for all three counties. These measures create the possibility of $86 million in new fees and taxes for transit. I believe we need to plan well for our continuing population growth, in ways that will ensure the best possible quality of life for all of us for decades to come.

This means we need infrastructure to support our growth and which will ensure environmental and economic sustainability for our county. Wake's population is due to double from 2005 levels in about twenty years, and Raleigh's population similarly will grow significantly.

Mass transit is simply a must for a growing metropolitan region. While high speed rail is used differently than the local regional transit system we are also planning for – including light rail, expanded bus service and other options -- we need it for many of the same reasons. High speed rail will help us move more people more efficiently, particularly as our population swells. The Triangle expects 1.2 million more residents in two decades.

High speed rail is good for air quality and the environment, as it will reduce the number of cars on the road, a problem of significant importance to public health and climate change. It's good for the economy and quality of life as it will enhance efficient transportation choices for business and individuals. Bringing high speed rail to Raleigh and the Triangle will connect us better to the entire East Coast. Most of the industrialized world has long embraced high speed rail. North Carolina and Virginia have worked on developing a Southeast High Speed Rail Corridor for years, and we are fortunate to have won federal funding for this project. What's more, the future local regional transit system will benefit from needed upgrades and rail crossing improvements that will be funded with the high speed rail funds. This rail project will help us get a local transit system in place sooner.

9. With Dorothea Dix Hospital closing, should the state give or sell the 306-acre Dix tract for use as a park? What should the future of Dix Hill be, and what role should the state play in its future?

With Dorothea Dix Hospital closing, I think that this should be a joint venture between the state, county and city to ensure that we get the maximum use from this site. Even with this closure, we must work with NAMI to execute a plan that addresses and fixes the problems we have with our mental health services. Such as quality community treatment services for severely mentally ill patients, increased community awareness about mental illnesses, a fully functioning Crisis Intervention Team program in law enforcement agencies and affordable supportive and independent housing options for people with mental illness.

10. The General Assembly's been criticized for years as a place where the majority rules and takes unfair advantage to hold onto power, depriving the other party and the public of due-process rights that are basic to a democracy. Do you agree with that criticism? If so, what reforms would you support to make the legislature run better?

I think that if, what we have experienced in the last year and half is an indicator of the majority rule and unfair advantage, then it is very important that we have a change in representation to ensure that the public due-process rights are not violated. This is the people's government and its time for the people to stand up, vote and take their government back.

11. On reapportionment, both parties have shown that they will abuse the redistricting process when given a chance. Will you support a bill in the next session to turn all future redistricting over to a non-partisan or bi-partisan independent commission?

Yes, I think that the people are the loser with the present system. However, here again we must decide on a sound process to ensure that the independent commission isn't doomed even before they are appointed.

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