“No Taxation Without Representation” means different things to different people, it seems.
In an interview with Black Voice News, freshman Florida Rep. Allen West, an outspoken Tea Party supporter who was one of two black Republicans elected last November, said that while he is unsure if the District of Columbia should have a House vote, “perhaps an exclusionary zone should be set up where District residents do not pay federal taxes.”
This idea has been floated in the past, but it never goes anywhere. While U.S. territories like Guam and Puerto Rico, which also lack representation, do not pay federal income taxes, they also do not have a vote for president, nor the full rights that the District enjoys.
It would be interesting to see what would happen if D.C. became a tax haven, though. Our population would skyrocket, the city could swing from solidly Democratic to solidly Republican, and that enclave in Northern Virginia that quit D.C. in 1846 might want to rejoin.
It’s not going to happen. But it raises a question: How many Americans, in D.C., and elsewhere, would be willing to trade congressional representation for exemption from income taxes? It’s probably a disturbingly high number.
Elsewhere in the DMV:
* D.C. Republican Committee Chairman Bob Kabel is asking Ward 3 Councilmember Mary Cheh, who heads the committee dealing with elections, to make sure “a capable and authentic Republican” is on the D.C. Board of Elections and Ethics before the April 26 At-Large Council special election -- when Pat Mara offers the local GOP its best chance at a win in years.
Meanwhile, a Democratic candidate in that race, Vincent Orange, is upset that the D.C. Democratic State Committee is backing interim Councilmember Sekou Biddle, even though there are about a dozen Democrats in the contest. Orange told DCist, “The endorsement process indicates that you must have 60 percent of the vote, and so they’re in violation of their own constitution and bylaws. I think it’s outrageous and the leadership really needs to get its act together.”
* Ward 2 Councilmember Jack Evans tells the Washington Post’s Mike DeBonis that Dan Snyder’s lawsuit against Washington City Paper will not hinder Evans’s efforts to get the Redskins to move back to Washington. “The city wants to bring the Redskins back to Washington,” Evans said. “The people we have to do negotiations with are the person we have to do negotiations with. They’ll be negotiating with a guy who built the Verizon Center, who built the convention center, who built the baseball stadium. I have a record of making these things happen. So I have no concerns.”
* The Washington Examiner reports Kwame Brown’s “successful campaign for D.C. Council chairman is now registering $554 on-hand after an initial report filed last week showed it was running a cash deficit of nearly $14,000.”
* They’re in high tax brackets and highly armed. The Post reports that since the Supreme Court’s 2008 ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller, “hundreds of residents in Washington’s safest, most well-to-do neighborhoods have armed themselves, registering far more guns than people in poorer, crime-plagued areas of the city.”
* The Georgetown Dish reports Daniel Shea, “a retired Montgomery County principal who currently serves in the central office,” will become interim principal of D.C.’s troubled Hardy Middle School.
* On his radio call-in show this morning, Gov. Bob McDonnell insisted he is not considering a run for higher office. “I’m not running for anything,” he said. “I’m thrilled to be governor of Virginia.” McDonnell has occasionally been mentioned as a possible Republican vice presidential prospect for 2012. McDonnell also said that he has “tremendous respect and admiration” for ex-senator George Allen, but that he will not yet make an endorsement in the Senate race. Allen is likely to face several opponents for the GOP nomination.
* In another sign of bold action and leadership, the Virginia Senate signed off on the Equal Rights Amendment on Monday, even though a time limit on consideration of the amendment has long since expired. According to the Post, Sen. Patcy Ticer “explained to colleagues that an attorney general’s ruling in the 1990s indicated that the amendment can still be ratified by states because such a clause can be disregarded by Congress if it was not a part of the original proposed constitutional amendment.”
* Gov. Martin O’Malley has named Sam Abed, currently second in command at the Virginia Department of Juvenile Justice, to head Maryland’s Department of Juvenile Services.
* In a strange editorial, the Baltimore Sun -- which has criticized O’Malley and Maryland legislators for side-stepping hard questions on spending -- defends Republican Del. Jeannie Haddaway-Riccio, an opponent of earmarks, for adding a few of her own. “If advocating for an end to legislative bond bills while simultaneously submitting a few worthy examples oneself is the height of hypocrisy,” the Sun writes, “then a serious recalibration of one’s pretense-o-meter is in order.”
* Maggie Gallagher of the National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex marriage, says she will testify before the Maryland Senate on the state’s gay marriage proposal.
* The blogger at Sonnet 87 marks five years of living in D.C.
* James Franco will find time in between hosting the Oscars, getting nominated for one, working on a Ph.D. in English, performing on stage, curing cancer, and finding Osama bin Laden to appear at a fundraiser for 826DC on March 31.
* Unreal housewife Michaele Salahi, now in year two of her 15 minutes of fame, is launching a mobile phone app -- that includes “a Michaele look-a-like contest.”
Follow P.J. Orvetti on Twitter at @PJOinDC