Giving Washington, D.C., greater congressional representation is usually seen as a Democratic cause. Republicans have repeatedly hampered the progress of D.C. voting rights bills in Congress, and the GOP also does not warm to the idea of giving full congressional representation to the heavily liberal city. So it may come as a surprise that one of Washington, D.C.'s congressional delegates sees potential allies in some of this fall's most conservative congressional candidates.
"There is an aspect of the Tea Party movement that I find to be very principled, and I think it'll be easier to work with people who, on principle, are opposed to government intervention in states' affairs," says Paul Strauss, the district's non-voting "shadow senator."
Strauss spoke with Whispers at a Tuesday night fundraising event for DC Vote, an organization that has been advocating voting rights for Washington, D.C., since 1998. Strauss concedes that the November elections may result in a more Republican Congress, which could make the passage of future voting rights legislation difficult.
But he also maintains his optimism that newly elected Tea Party members, with their devotion to constitutional tenets like self-determination, would help champion his cause. "If you're for states' rights, and you pursue that on principle, then you have to support the District's case in Congress," he says.