Candidate for Congress Proposes Roadblocks to Get Statehood

Candidate says road blocks would get lawmakers' attention

By Pat Lawson Muse
|  Friday, May 14, 2010  |  Updated 6:45 PM EDT
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Candidate for Congress Proposes Roadblocks to Get Statehood

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The Woodrow Wilson Bridge

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D.C. resident Doug Sloan is serious about efforts to help his city get statehood. He’s also a candidate for the congressional seat now held by D.C. Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton.

Sloan figures one way to push the statehood issue is to do something drastic to attract the attention of lawmakers on Capitol Hill. He’s suggesting blocking bridges and shutting down commuter routes into the city.

“You take about 40 or 50 concrete Jersey barriers and you shut those bridges down for a day. You get those people’s attention on Capitol Hill,” Sloan said on WTOP Radio’s The Politics Program With Mark Plotkin.

Arguing that city residents are shortchanged of the same rights, privileges and liberties as other citizens, Sloan said Congress needs to know how serious the city is about getting statehood. He said the House is considering statehood for Puerto Rico, and that it should be considering the same thing for D.C.

“We pay federal taxes. We fight and die in foreign lands. We serve on federal juries, yet we are not afforded the same rights, privileges and liberties as every other citizen,” said Sloan.

Norton believes Sloan’s roadblock suggestion will boost her reelection bid.

“It can only help my reelection to have an opponent whose legislative strategy for getting D.C. voting rights is closing down bridges,” Norton told WTOP.

Her Virginia colleague, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) vowed to fight what he called Sloan's self-defeating strategy.

“The idea of shutting down access to the city for the hundreds of thousands of commuters from Northern Virginia everyday, would be a very reckless act,” Connolly told WTOP.

Sloan and Norton will face off in the September primary.
 

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