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D.C. to Obama: Use "Taxation Without Representation" License Plates

So many decisions for a president-elect. Who to pick for the Cabinet? Where to send your kids to school? And now ... what license plates to use on the presidential limo?

If the D.C. Council has any say, Barack Obama will be using the special D.C. "Taxation Without Representation" plates, which call attention to the city's lack of voting rights in Congress.

The 13 council members sent Obama's camp a letter today urging him to use the plates. From the letter:

As you ride down Pennsylvania Avenue, during the Inaugural parade after being sworn in as the 44th President of the United States on January 20, 2009, displaying the license plates would send a clear message to the entire nation and the world about your support for this issue and remedying this injustice

Early in his campaign, Obama told Mayor Adrian M. Fenty that he supported voting rights for the city. Under a bill that was blocked by the Senate after being passed by the House, the District, which is overwhelmingly Democratic, would get a House seat and an additional seat would be awarded to predominantly Republican Utah for political balance.

As WTOP reporter Mark Segraves has noted, Bill Clinton used the tags as president, but George W. Bush removed them.

By David A Nakamura  |  December 2, 2008; 4:09 PM ET
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Great idea, “Taxation Without Representation” emblazoned on the Presidential Limo. And once DC has secured a House vote; what then?

How about a bumper sticker stating, “Keep Abortion Legal”? Or perhaps a tip of the hat to the green movement with, “My Other Limo is a Tandem Bike”? Or a rotating sequence of topical messages like, “Turn Your Clock Back One Hour” or “Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires”?

Of course, Obama could also take the provocative route with a “No One Died When Clinton Lied” message.

The taxation plates are fine, and fun, for us here in DC. However, the Presidential limousine is not an appropriate place for partisan political sloganeering. In fact, the idea strikes me as quite tacky indeed [with apologies to Prez Clinton], and it opens the door to increasingly controversial, and offensive, messages.

I’d much rather have the President condemn T w/out R in his State of the Union and in his conversations with Congressmen and Senators who might be on the fence.

Posted by: IHeartDC | December 2, 2008 5:02 PM | Report abuse

Interesting that IHeartDC thinks that the "Taxation Without Representation" tags constitute "partisan political sloganeering." Both Democrats and Republicans in DC have no voting representative. Even if the political affiliation of your Representative differs from your own, they still represent you as part of their district. There is no reason that the residents of DC should not have voting representation like every other American. The license plates are simply a way to highlight what is a very important issue. I hope that President Obama will have them returned to the presidential vehicles.

Posted by: SweetieJ | December 2, 2008 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Clinton did not use the "taxation" license plates...he had them installed the last week of his term. He then left it to Bush to remove them, which I think he (rightly) did.

Posted by: byte1 | December 2, 2008 6:09 PM | Report abuse

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