Governor Jan Brewer OKs Tea Party Vanity Plates -- Which Could Potentially Cause Arizona to Lose Highway Funds

Governor Jan Brewer signed bills into law yesterday that allow for the creation of 11 new Arizona license plates, one of which depicts the Tea Party favorite Gadsden Flag and its "Don't Tread on Me" slogan.

Anyone who wants a Gadsden Flag plate would have to pony up $25, $17 of which goes to "promote Tea Party governing principles" because the Tea Party is the organization that will have to raise the $32,000 required to create the plates.

New York Congressman Gary Ackerman isn't a fan.

Ackerman says the plates use government resources to bankroll a political agenda, which he claims is a misuse of public money. His response: the "License Plate Political Slush Fund Prevention Act."

Under Ackerman's bill, the plates would cause Arizona -- and any other state that issues similar plates -- to lose 15 percent of its federal highway funds if any proceeds from a vanity plate go to a political group that advocates the defeat of a political candidate.

The Tea Party isn't officially a political party, but let's be honest: it's pretty close. And it certainly advocates for political candidates.

Tea Partiers say Ackerman's bill is symbolic of everything they oppose: big government telling people what to do.

If Ackerman's bill passes, and highway funds are withheld, get ready for another idiotic/expensive legal pissing match between the Grand Canyon State and the federal government.

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James King
Contact: James King