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October 13th, 2004 John Buffaloe | News Stories
 

Plated Politics

     
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Rian Moore and his 4Runner.
IMAGE: TOM OLIVER
Rian Moore, like many Americans, dislikes the incumbent president. He just found a unique way to say so. You may have seen Moore's white Toyota 4Runner tooling around town. His vanity plate: "IHATE W."

Moore, a 32-year-old producer for Food Chain Films, dreamt up the plate shortly before the Iraq invasion.

"I never considered myself an overly political person," says Moore. "But now I can't help myself."

Reaction to the plate has been overwhelmingly positive. Drivers honk; pedestrians yell and give Moore the thumbs-up. So far, his fears of vandalism have not been realized, though he's seen a couple of middle fingers. His most treasured moment came when he returned to his ride after lunch to find a $1 bill tucked neatly under the windshield wiper.

Moore's partisan sentiment cleared the state approval process required of all vanity plates. A seven-member state Driver and Motor Vehicle Services panel vets all slogans, screening out references to intimate anatomy and excretory functions, as well as drug references and inflammatory statements about gender, class or race.

Political statements aren't prohibited. WW asked DMV spokesman David House if a plate reading "BUSHSUX" would pass muster.

"Probably," House says. "We've had licenses with S-U-X approved before."

 
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