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The E-Sylum:  Volume 11, Number 9, March 2, 2008, Article 26

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA'S QUARTER CONUNDRUM

[An editorial in Monday's Washington Post advocated the
District of Columbia's controversial proposal for its
"state" quarter design - the use of the defiant slogan
the district already emblazons on its license plates:
"Taxation Without Representation".  -Editor]

New Hampshire has "Live Free or Die," and Pennsylvania
goes by "Virtue, Liberty, Independence." So, it's only
fitting that the soon-to-be-minted D.C. quarter be engraved
with the slogan that declares the defining fact of life
in the nation's capital: "Taxation Without Representation."

This week D.C. officials will submit to the U.S. Mint their
ideas for the design of the new quarter. D.C. Secretary
Stephanie D. Scott, who is heading up the effort for Mayor
Adrian M. Fenty, told us that the city is allowed to submit
three concepts and that each will include "Taxation Without
Representation." The phrase, which appears on license plates
in the District, was the most requested item from residents
making suggestions about what should appear on the reverse
of the coin, which will be minted in 2009 as part of the
popular 50 State Quarters Program.

D.C. officials, accustomed as they are to federal
second-guessing, fully expect pushback to their request
and have already sent a memo to Treasury Secretary Henry M.
Paulson Jr. outlining the city's rationale and urging
acceptance. We can think of only one valid reason to reject
the District's request: Congress renders the phrase moot
by granting D.C. voting rights.

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

[The Mint's response was swift - no dice.  Here's what the
Washington Post reported later in the week.  -Editor]

Wow, that was fast. The U.S. Mint pretty much set a government
speed record in rejecting the District government's proposal
to put the words "Taxation Without Representation" on the D.C.
quarter that will be issued as part of the 50 States coin
program.

Mayor Adrian Fenty's in-your-face proposal "does not comply
with the law that authorizes the D.C. commemorative quarter-
dollar coin," the Mint says in a statement just issued.

"Changing how the District of Columbia (the Seat of Government
of the United States ) is represented in Congress is a
contemporary political issue on which there presently is
no national consensus and over which reasonable minds differ.

Although the United States Mint expresses no position on
the merits of this issue, we have determined that the
proposed inscription is clearly controversial and, therefore,
inappropriate as an element of design for United States
coinage."

A letter to the D.C. government from Cynthia Vitelli,
assistant director of external relations for the Mint,
invites the District to submit new ideas for the coin's
design. The Mint statement says it "looks forward to
working with District officials to develop narratives that
will lead to a quarter honoring the District of Columbia
of which the entire Nation can be proud."

[I had to laugh at the scathing response from a web site
reader: "And 'in god we trust' isn't clearly controversial?"
 -Editor]

To read the complete article, see:
Full Story

  Wayne Homren, Editor

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