New York Congressman Gary Ackerman calls Governor Jan Brewer's putting her Jan Hancock on a bill that allows the creation of license plates that benefit the Tea Party movement "shameful." Now, he's called on U.S. House Speaker John Boehner to schedule a vote on a bill he's devised that cuts federal highway funding for states that direct license-plate money to partisan political organizations.
As for shame, Tea Party license plates are nothin' compared to some of the other crap that's found its way through the Arizona Legislature this session -- much of which Brewer had the sense to veto, including the humiliating "Birther Bill."
"Using government-administrated funds to help enrich political organizations that support a particular ideology reeks of cronyism," Ackerman says. "The ball is now in Speaker Boehner's court. If the Speaker doesn't think license plates should be a slush fund for those who support his party, then he should schedule my bill for a vote next week."
As it stands, anyone who wants a Gadsden Flag (Tea Party) 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.
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Under Ackerman's bill, the "License Plate Political Slush Fund Prevention Act," the Tea Party 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.
In other words, Arizona could potentially lose a boat-load of cash over something as dumb as a symbolic license plate. Sadly, Arizona politicos aren't forced to take a class called Picking Your Battles 101 before assuming office.
The Governor's Office did not immediately respond to our request for comment.