- The Washington Times - Friday, May 8, 2009

Mona Charen, in her commemoration of the life and political career of Jack Kemp, noted that Mr. Kemp was a passionate advocate for economic opportunity for all (“Jack Kemp, RIP,” Opinion, Wednesday). Mr. Kemp was also a passionate advocate for fair and equitable political enfranchisement for all - as demonstrated by his crusade for D.C. residents to be represented by voting members of Congress.

Mr. Kemp became concerned about the disenfranchisement of D.C. residents while serving on the U.S. House Appropriations subcommittee on the District of Columbia. I had the opportunity to discuss this issue with him, and I was impressed with his grasp of the issue and his support for D.C. voting rights.

Mr. Kemp often would remind his fellow Republicans of the Republican Party’s historic advocacy for D.C. enfranchisement. He was particularly fond of recounting the efforts of Frederick Douglass on behalf of the unrepresented residents. Douglass, a 30-year member of the D.C. Republican Committee, once wrote: “Regarding their political rights, residents of the nation’s capital are not really citizens, but practically aliens in their own country.” Several years ago, when I gave Mr. Kemp a copy of this quotation, he said, “No one has ever stated this issue better.”


Member, D.C. Republican Committee


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