Michael Slawter | Candidate Questionnaires | Indy Week

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Michael Slawter

Candidate for N.C. House, District 39


Name as it appears on the ballot: Michael Slawter

Full legal name, if different: Michael Lindsey Slawter

Date of birth:

Campaign website: www.slawterfornchouse.com and www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Michael-Slawter-For-the-NC-House-of-Representatives/263638107047499

Occupation & employer: Stay at home dad of two daughters

Email: Michael@slawterfornchouse.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 do support the increase from Governor Perdue. Education must always be our top priority. A solid education is key for anyone later in life. The continuation of cuts to the educational budget in NC is unacceptable. Losing positions, overcrowding of classes, lack of adequate supplies, parents having to spend lots of money to help fund classroom activities and supply "wish lists" from teachers is not right.

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

I do support the Racial Justice Act. Repeatedly we have seen the debacle of our justice system here in NC. We no longer have juries that are of our "peers". Nor do we turn a color-blind eye when doling out justice. As for the death penalty, we must abolish it. It serves no purpose. Since its reinstatement by the US Supreme Court, has it served a purpose? If so, what? It is not a deterrent by any means.

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 NOT in favor of a Voter ID law. Plain and simple, what purpose does it serve? To cut down on fraud? According to the NC BOE, that is not such a large problem. Time that has been spent on this issue could have been better spent on other, more meaningful things. Stronger DUI laws for instance.

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 Amendment One. Unless I am wrong, clergy perform the majority of marriages I have to believe in North Carolina. As well, the idea of marriages, gay or straight, is a religious idea. The State of North Carolina has no legal bounds to step on religious freedoms.

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 do support a woman's right to terminate her pregnancy. That is a decision between her, her morals and ideals and ultimately something she has to live with. I do NOT believe a woman should be forced to have an ultrasound, nor counseled nor be discouraged. The State of North Carolina must at some point realize that the rights and freedoms of individuals outweigh those of the State and others who have no stake in a woman's personal rights such as these.

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?

I would encourage renewable energy sources. At some point, we know the oil will stop flowing. If we have learned anything in the last year, we know the seriousness of nuclear accidents based on what happened at Fukushima, Japan. What happens to central North Carolina should this happen to the Harris plant? Devastation is what. Additional plants should be discouraged and we should focus on wind, solar, hydro, and other forms of 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?

What should we do about it.....stop the process before it starts. I do NOT believe we are in a place yet whereby we can safely use this technology. Possibly this is something we can do in the long term, however, right now this is not a smart move.

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?

I would oppose the 1/2-cent sales tax for transit. I will vote against it. Our transportation needs are dire. Looking at roads around the area, New Bern Avenue, portions of Hillsborough St and others do need attention. However, decisions in the past have caused other roads to fall into disrepair. How many times does Glenwood Avenue need to be paved before others receive upkeep? Do we already need to be looking at repaving the I-540 roadway? If so, why? Let us get smart about transportation and taxes. Quit diverting tax dollars so desperately needed for roads towards other projects.

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?

This is a very interesting issue. The state should sell the property and not just give it away. As large as it is, it could be used for multiple purposes. Greenways, a park, businesses and other items could utilize the area. Growing the tax base would be helpful. As well, bringing in firms to fill commercial space there that may interact with NC State could always be beneficial. Once sold, the state should allow the buyer to utilize the land, as they see fit as long as it is legal.

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 do agree with the criticism. First, let's have term limits. Yes, as a candidate I said it. We should have limits on how long people can serve. Different people have the right to serve. Government requires different opinions, viewpoints and beliefs. Imagine if we had allowed a president post FDR to hold the Oval Office for 5 or 6 terms. One party control as we have seen is not good for anyone. Each side has their belief system and how they feel government should be run. However, even with term limits we may not be able to limit party control. The people have the ultimate choice in who serves the state in the legislature. Term limits is my first reform point. Another point would be limit expenses. Case in point is the latest "session" held at the legislature. No business was done. No bills were voted on. Why should we pay the legislators for doing nothing? If a state employee sat on their rump for 3 days and did nothing the public and legislature would throw a fit. Why are they any different? As well, why pay local legislators a per diem? If you live in Raleigh, do you really deserve expenses for food and travel? You chose to serve the people. Your salary should be sufficient if you are local. Now, someone from Murphy I can understand needing reimbursement for food and/or lodging.

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?

I would LOVE to have a non-partisan committee design and develop all future redistricting maps. Do I think it will happen? NO. Power is a strong thing to have and those with it do not loosen their grip on it readily. I would support a bill to have a non-partisan committee draw maps. Bi-partisanship as we have seen does not fare well in our legislative house and senate. Crossing the aisle is foreign to some people.

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