President Bush decides to remove D.C. tags from limousine

As one of the first controversial actions of the days-old Bush administration, the new president removed his limousine's "Taxation Without Representation" license plates - a move made by Clinton to show support for the District's full voting rights.

Bush told The Associated Press last week that the tags will be replaced with special 2001 inaugural tags issued by the city, citing no interest in using license plates to make a political statement.

While no official announcement has been released by Mayor Anthony Williams, spokeswoman Peggy Armstrong said Williams was "disappointed but not surprised" by the decision.

"As a D.C. resident, it was a total slap in the face," D.C. Vote activist Brian Johnson said at Saturday's inaugural protests. "He's going to live here for four years and he really should support the cause."

Johnson views Bush's decision as a beacon of the new administration's future stance on the issue. "If he's going to take the taxation plates off the limo, that's just a clue that he won't support Eleanor Holmes Norton," he said.

In November, Williams joined Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., and City Council Chair Linda Cropp in issuing the tags to make citizens aware that they pay federal taxes yet have no real voice in Congress.

AU Washington College of Law Professor Jamin Raskin, an authority on D.C. voting rights and representation, told The Eagle last fall that "this is an idea of massive protest against the disenfranchisement [of D.C. citizens]. It is a tremendous effort to wake the conscience of people who come to Washington"

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