The Arizona state legislature seems to have a limitless appetite for controversy. It has passed a bill to produce a specialty license plate featuring the slogan “Don’t Tread on Me,” which has already been adopted by the Tea Party movement. Gov. Jan Brewer is now considering the bill.
According to the Arizona Republic, Republican Sen. Don Shooter, co-founder and president of a local Tea Party organization, introduced the legislation. It also would create a 13-member Tea Party committee and money from the sales of the plates would be donated to Arizona groups that promote the movement’s governing principles.
U.S. Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-New York) thinks it’s a really bad idea. He plans to introduce in Congress the License Plate Political Slush Fund Prevention Act, which would withhold 15 percent of federal highway dollars from any state that uses government resources to promote partisan politics.
The Tea Party people don’t like the idea of the specialty plate, either, but they also don’t think Ackerman should be sticking his oar into the debate. Their goal, after all, is less government involvement, not more.
How Brewer will act on the bill is anyone’s guess, but as one Democratic lawmaker there said, “God invented bumper stickers for a reason.”