Jim Messina | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Jim Messina

Candidate for State House


Name as it appears on the ballot: Jim Messina

Full legal name, if different: James Anthony Messina

Date of birth: 7/3/64

Campaign website: http://www.messinafornc.com

Occupation & employer: Business Development, hesketh.com

Email: jim@messinafornc.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 don't think the Sales Tax increase is the place to start. There are $3-5 Billion in loopholes we can close and millions in waste we can cut as well.

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

I support the Racial Justice Act. The death penalty wastes a lot of taxpayer money and is at the very least a questionable government practice.

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?

I am staunchly opposed to the Voter ID proposals presented by this General Assembly. If the General Assembly wanted real election integrity, they would have accepted more HAVA (Help America Vote Act) funds and centered the discussion of voter fraud around absentee ballots, not in-person voter fraud, which is negligible at best. Instead of voter fraud, we should be talking about voter education.

4. What is your opinion of 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 support any and all efforts to repeal Amendment 1 and protect existing benefits threatened by its presence on the books. I look forward to representing a District that voted Amendment 1 down 61%-39%. I will proudly support the full equality and dignity of LGBT people.

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?

I believe women should be left to make decisions about their health care in consultation with whatever parties they deem appropriate. I oppose government interference in those very personal and complicated decisions. Thus I also oppose the radical policies such as the so-called "Women's Right to Know" law and the defunding of Planned Parenthood, which my opponent voted for.

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?

NC REPS are ahead of schedule and under budget so I think it is worth looking at. We should put a moratorium on nuclear power until we have a better grasp on the future of rapidly growing renewable sources like solar. NC is and should continue to be a national leader in renewable energy.

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 think the original bill proposed by the General Assembly was a good one because it had a balanced regulatory approach. Unfortunately, this General Assembly chose to eliminate most of the environmental voices from the regulatory panel. Reports from other states show fracking being linked to cancer clusters and even earthquakes. Some scientists say there is a safe way to do fracking, but that approach might not be cost-effective. My opponent thinks we have to choose between clean drinking water and jobs/energy independence. We're a stronger state and stronger country than that false choice presents. I'll vigorously oppose our state's approach fracking until we have the data we need to make smart decisions.

8. Would you have supported 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 and I would have voted for it. If we are thinking long term, we need a sustainable mass transit system to support this rapidly growing community.

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?

I would support using the Dix tract as a park. I would like to see some portion of the proceeds from any sale earmarked to support mental health services in North Carolina.

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?

This will require some further study, but there are a couple of Good Government ideas I would like to explore. 1) I would like to see rules adopted that would prevent one party from misleading or deceiving the other party and then holding secretive votes (I realize both parties have been guilty of this practice at times in North Carolina's history). 2) I would also like to see rules that would allow a legislator the opportunity to correct a mistaken vote within certain limits.

11. On reapportionment, both parties have shown that they will abuse the redistricting process when give 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 would even sponsor it. I believe this is a much-needed reform and a basic principle for 21st century good government.

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