Arizona Capitol

Morning Poll: Should Arizona Lose Highway Funding Over Tea Party License Plate?

A bill allowing the creation of license plates featuring the Gadsden Flag, the adopted symbol of the Tea party movement, is awaiting the signature of Governor Jan Brewer, and people -- a New York congressman, in particular -- aren't happy about it.

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 came up with the required $32,000 to create the plates.

Congressman Gary Ackerman says using government resources to bankroll a political agenda 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 something 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.

We want to know what you think: should Arizona lose federal highway funding over this license-plate flap?

Cast your vote below.

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James King
Contact: James King