Thanks to Representative Bentivolio!

I’d like to thank Representative Bentivolio from Michigan for drafting a horrifically asinine bill which would prevent the District from using speed cameras. This bill is a horrible intrusion on the District’s limited Home Rule, it’s a waste of Congress’ time, it’s an insult to his constituents, and it’s a stark reminder of why we all should be focused on statehood here in the District. Until we get statehood members of Congress will continue their shameless attempts to micromanage the District simply because we have no legal way to prevent it. Representative Bentivolio clearly doesn’t care about the needs and concerns of his constituents so instead he’s decided to follow the Trent Franks model of meddlesome grandstanding and has decided to pick on the District. As Senator Tim Scott said while he was in the House, members of Congress pick on the District simply because they can.

While I think the bill is terrible (I like speed cameras & think people should follow the damn speed limit) and that most members of Congress will roll their eyes at this and it will go nowhere it is a reminder of why people like me are ‘statehood absolutists.’ Statehood is the only bill before Congress that would prevent this bill from ever being offered not to mention being passed. Currently, there are several bills before Congress that attempt to improve upon our disenfranchised status but only one of bill would prevent the bill Representative Bentivolio drafted: H.R. 292: New Columbia Admission Act (aka DC Statehood Bill). Delegate Norton has introduced a slate of bills aimed at incrementally improving our status but none of the following bills in the House of Representatives would prevent Representative Bentivolio or his small-minded meddlesome colleagues from imposing their laws on us:

·         H.R. 2321: District of Columbia National Guard Home Rule Act

·         H.R. 1196: District of Columbia Local Funds Continuation Act

·         H.R. 603: District of Columbia District Attorney Establishment Act of 2013

·         H.R. 362: District of Columbia Equal Representation Act of 2013

·         H.R. 363: District of Columbia House Voting Rights Act of 2013

·         H.R. 345: District of Columbia Budget Autonomy Act of 2013

Even if we passed all of the bills listed above Representative Bentivolio could still pass his anti-speed camera bill into law. So when you wonder why some of us are stubborn “statehood absolutists,” it’s because of people like Representative Bentivolio! It’s because there will always be Rep. Bentivolio’s who use the District for their own pet projects, to boost their egos, and to cater to narrow interest groups in their home districts. I and many others (aka “statehood absolutists”) focus only on statehood primarily because it is the only bill that will make us full and equal citizens but it also would achieve all of the things above at once and would finally be the protection we need against Representative Bentivolio this Congress and someone else next Congress. And yes, the statehood bill is the only bill of those listed above in both the House and the Senate, and thanks to great citizen activists it has more cosponsors than any of the other bills. Statehood is our best path forward!

In closing, thanks to Representative Bentivolio for making it crystal clear that statehood is the only bill that we should be focusing on primarily because it’s the only bill that will make us equal but also because it’s the only bill that will protect us from people like him. And that might be reason enough to support statehood!

Josh Burch

Brookland, Ward 5

PS- Since through his spokesman he says he’s standing up for the “rights” of citizens I’ve requested a meeting with his office to discuss my (our) RIGHT TO VOTE.

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3 Responses to Thanks to Representative Bentivolio!

  1. Steve says:

    I would be satisfied w/the ability to vote for (voting) representation in the federal legislature. I think it could be done by statute and w/o a constitutional amendment. Let me “pick-and-stick” (for a period of only six years on the stick) in any voting district in the country, like military can do under the Soldiers and Sailors Voting Act. That means, over six years, three votes for Congress and two in the Senate. Right now, I would register in Bentivolio’s district … and vote him out. This completely constitutional option would make legislators think twice about this crap … and could get done faster than a constitution all amendment. I don’t want to lose federal income tax liability for the District because then it would become a billionaire haven.

    • jburch51 says:

      Definitely an interesting option and constitutionally viable but so is statehood (except repealing the 23rd Amendment). Your plan though would require that District voters potentially organize in enough numbers to affect an election. You or I registering in Bentivolio’s District wouldn’t affect his election. He won by 23,000 votes so we’d need to organize strategically to affect outcomes of specific congressional district. But you raise a good point because if we (District citizens) all voted in Wyoming under your plan we could choose 2 Senators too. Interesting idea but I’m still a statehood guy because I think we should elect folks that think solely about our concerns related to national issues and it would be fair to the folks of Wyoming if we chose their Senators.

  2. John Capozzi says:

    Write to the Rep. Staff person; If we let these people on the Hill know that DC will not stand for this type of intrusion, then they might back off. Also, contact Media in his District and ask “If the Congressperson has extra time to intrude in DC affairs, he must have solved all the unemployment in his own District.”

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