- The Washington Times - Thursday, July 23, 2009

Republican National Committee Chairman Michael S. Steele said Thursday his “ride” now has District of Columbia license plates with the tag line “Taxation Without Representation” — and he encouraged President Obama to roll that way, too.

“They are on my car, baby,” Mr. Steele told The Washington Times “America’s Morning News” radio show. “They have been on for about a month now, and I again invite the president to join the rest of us in the District of Columbia… . Let’s empower the people here. Put on the tags.”

The District has roughly 600,000 residents who pay federal taxes but have no congressional delegates with full floor voting privileges in Congress. Legislation on full voting rights is pending on Capitol Hill.

The city automatically began issuing the tags in fall 2000. However, motorists can request ones that instead have the tag line at “www.dc.gov.”

The D.C. Council wrote a letter in January to Mr. Obama urging him to get the tags for his limousine.

The White House has yet to get them and just last month said it has no plans to do so, despite the president’s support for voting rights.

“I think rather than change the logo around the license plate, the president is committed instead to changing the status of the District of Columbia,” White House press secretary Robert Gibbs told a reporter on June 29. “I guess I would ask you to ask people in Washington whether they’d like to have that status changed or that symbolism screwed on to the back of a limousine.”

The group DC Vote also has asked the president to get the tags, including a campaign called Postcard to the President, in which people write to Mr. Obama to encourage him to switch.

“While changing his license plate isn’t as important as signing the D.C. Voting Rights Act into law, having the “Taxation Without Representation” plates on his high-profile vehicle would go a long way toward educating the nation and world about D.C.’s plight,” group spokeswoman Jaline Quinto said.

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