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Mint to D.C.: Leave It On Your License Plates

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."

Those of you who took part in my contest this morning to predict when and how the Mint would stuff the city mainly named dates in March and April. Although no one predicted an instant response like we've now seen, I am awarding the prize to "The Cosmic Avenger," who wrote that "the Mint will wait a few days before the deadline for the design is due, then the letter will say, in brief, 'Congress holds our purse strings, and they say 'Get bent'." Cosmic, please shoot me an email with your contacts and I'll get your prize out to you.

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."

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