Campus Notebook: Steele Support for D.C. Vote

Posted June 19, 2009 at 6:28pm

D.C voting rights advocates have found an unlikely ally: Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele.

[IMGCAP(1)]Most Republicans have fought against giving the city Congressional representation since D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) first introduced her bill to create the first-ever Representative for the District.

In fact, the bill is now stalled in the House because of conservative efforts to attach a gun provision that would gut the city’s gun laws.

But last week, Steele told WTOP reporter Mark Plotkin that President Barack Obama should put a “Taxation Without Representation— license plate on his presidential limousine to show his support for voting rights.

Steele went even further, saying he would “absolutely— put such plates on his own car.

“It would be a great symbol. I have no problem with that at all,— he told Plotkin during WTOP’s “Politics Program with Mark Plotkin.—

The statement has excited D.C. residents, with the D.C. Republican Party praising Steele and voting rights advocates publicizing the news.

Obama hasn’t yet acquiesced to D.C. residents’ pleas for him to follow in the footsteps of former President Bill Clinton by using the license plate. With the District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act in limbo, the bill’s supporters have called for Obama to speak out.

The bill passed the Senate in March with a provision from Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.) that would change D.C.’s gun laws, but fear of that same provision has kept it from the House floor.

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