January 22, 2013

It appears that President Obama’s decision to use a District license plate advocating District statehood rights [“Obama to use D.C. protest license plates,” Metro, Jan. 16] may violate federal regulations.

Under Section 101-38.202-6 of the federal property management regulations, all government vehicles are required to display official government license plates, unless an exemption applies. An exemption contained in 101-38.200(f) and (g) permits an agency head or designee to decide that “conspicuous identification will interfere with the purpose for which the motor vehicle is used.”

To adorn the presidential limousine with a political slogan diminishes the presidency and serves as an additional example of divisiveness and partisanship. If the political composition of District voters would favor the Republicans, I suspect there wouldn’t be any license plate changes and the most ardent fighters for District residents’ voting rights would fade away.  

Frank Silnicky, Bethesda