Wednesday, July 21, 2004

STATEHOOD: Plotkin Says Norton Is Damaging Statehood, But Delegate Gets Prime Convention Speaking Slot

In the current issue of The Georgetowner, WTOP's Mark Plotkin, in his "You Take the Cake" column, derides the District of Columbia's House Delegate, Eleanor Holmes Norton (D), for "single-handedly, unilaterally, all by herself, diminished and seriously damaged DC."

Norton's apparent misdeed, Plotkin says, was how she took it upon herself to strike the word "statehood" from the national Democratic platform this year. That buzzworthy word has been part of every platform since 1988. But Plotkin doesn't say how she did this, or why. (Plotkin's latest column has not been posted yet, his latest piece on Councilman Orange is a classic.)

For this, Plotkin says Norton "deserves to take the cake!" (How clever ...)

But according to The Washington Post, Norton is getting a primetime convention speaking slot the night Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry is supposed to accept the Democratic nomination. Norton will advocate for voting rights and will raise awareness of the District's disenfranchisement.

From The Washington Post:
"It is simply not enough for the Democratic Party to support voting rights, but do nothing to ensure it or act on it," [D.C. Democratic Party Chairman A. Scott] Bolden said. He said the District's 39-member delegation was prepared to try to nominate Norton for vice president -- allowing her to address the gathering the night that Kerry's running mate, Sen. John Edwards (N.C.), speaks to the convention.

Bolden said that before Norton got the speaking slot. Now he is more than pleased, saying: "This is an outstanding development, and one which reinvigorates our notion that we have a great partnership."

The Post briefly touches on what Plotkin is complaining about: the push for plain and simple District statehood.

Norton said the new language, supporting "equal rights to democratic self-government and congressional representation" in the District, is shorter and clearer, and encompasses statehood and the current focus on Congress.

For the record, Kerry, the Post says, generally supports D.C. voting rights, but opposes a GOP plan that would expand the House by two seats, giving the District a vote in the House, as well as temporarily give Utah an additional seat.

"D.C. Democrats to Push Voting Rights in Boston" [The Washington Post]


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