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Posted at 12:27 PM ET, 10/23/2009

You can fight, but you can't vote

By washingtonpost.com editors

By Nelson F. Rimensnyder
Washington

Six years ago, my son, James Rimensnyder, then a West Point cadet and a newly registered voter, testified before the D.C. Republican Committee on voting representation in Congress for D. C. residents. The committee was considering a plank in its local platform on the issue.

James, born in the District and a product of its public schools, urged the committee to continue the Republican Party’s longstanding support for D.C. voting rights. He reminded committee members that D.C. voting rights advocate President Dwight D. Eisenhower argued forcefully to Congress that no resident of the nation’s capital should be sent into combat by a Congress in which they are not represented by voting members. At West Point, James wrote his senior thesis on the subject of D.C. voting rights.

In 2006, Lt. Rimensnyder was deployed as an armored tank officer for a 15-month tour in Anbar province, then an area of intense combat. In 2008, James, now a captain, was deployed to Iraq for a second tour.

Why can’t the Republican leadership in Congress support Capt. Rimensnyder’s simple request that he be permitted to elect a voting member of Congress? Why can’t they provide him with the ability to petition his representative on issues of war, peace, taxation and all other matters that affect his country, his family and his very life and limb — like every citizen of the 50 states?

Republicans should uphold their party’s historic advocacy of D.C. voting rights and allow a full debate and vote on a clean bill.

The writer is a member of the D.C. Republican committee.

By washingtonpost.com editors  | October 23, 2009; 12:27 PM ET
 
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Comments

Bravo. Even RICHARD NIXON was an advocate for DC Voting Rights! Here is what he said: "The District’s citizens should not be expected to pay taxes for a government which they have no part in choosing or to bear the full burdens of citizenship without the full rights of citiznship."

The principle is rather obvious, even to my first grader, who is now having her lesson (in A DC public school) about how "taxation without representation" started our whole nation! Please Congress, Republicans ad Democrats alike, act now to permit the half million citizens of our nation's capital to vote. If you honestly think this requires an amendment, then support one. Anything other than turning your back on the most fundamental core founding principle of our country.

And above all, Bravo to Capt. Rimensnyder for his service to country -- truly one of DC's finest.

--Gary Thompson

Posted by: gthompson2 | October 29, 2009 11:57 AM | Report abuse

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