We mentioned earlier today that the Mississippi Tea Party is now collecting signatures in anticipation of a new specialty car tag. Mississippi isn’t the only state to bring up such legislation, and has actually received as little attention as any. The Arizona legislature has also Ok’d Tea Party tags, and that prompted one New York Democrat to introduce legislation to cut off federal funding for states that offer political tags.
The bill was introduced by Rep. Gary Ackerman (D-NY), and he has labeled it the, “License Plate Political Slush Fund Prevention Act.” Here is more information on his website, with the Arizona tag the reasoning behind his bill. Under the proposal, states would lose 15 percent of their highway funding if car tag revenue goes to groups advocating for political candidates. Ackerman said that even though the Tea Party tag prompted the legislation, this would affect conservative and liberal causes.
Which brings me to Ackerman’s home state of New York…
As outlined on the New York Department of Motor Vehicles website, residents of the Empire State can select from three different pro-union tags with the traditional “Union Yes!” logo. One offering is a generic union tag, while one is specific for the AFL-CIO and the third is specific for NYSUT, a public sector union. We could reasonably argue that these are political tags, and we know unions give upwards of 99 percent of their campaign funds to Democrats.
Of course, when supporters wanted a “Choose Life” tag in New York, the DMV rejected it saying it was offensive and if they allowed such tags, then “white supremacist organizations and the Ku Klux Klan” could get their own tags.
As for the MSTP car tag, the extra price is the traditional $31 with $24 going to the organization. Surely that would put the new tag in Ackerman’s crosshairs.
Speaking of political tags, in 2007 the state legislature approved- and Haley Barbour signed- legislature for new specialty tags including one designed for the Mississippi Democratic Party. Here was information on the tag from an April 2007 issue of the Mississippi Democrat. From the looks of it, they never got the 300 signatures to begin production.