Renaming streets - the down side

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Fun article at the Florida Times-Union
Naming places after living politicians can be embarrassing
As Rep. Cynthia McKinney was preparing to leave office after being ousted by voters in her own party, a state lawmaker proposed striking her name from a major thoroughfare that runs through her former district.

"The reason is her track record, the fact that she has done things that are embarrassing," said state Rep. Len Walker, whose district borders the Atlanta-area district once represented by McKinney, the state's first black congresswoman.

McKinney has long been controversial. She once suggested the Bush administration had advance knowledge of the Sept. 11 attacks but kept quiet to allow defense contractors to profit from the aftermath. More recently she scuffled with a U.S. Capitol Police officer. Still, the Cynthia McKinney Parkway in DeKalb County, just east of Atlanta, remains named after her.

As the parkway illustrates, naming public infrastructures and buildings after living politicians, particularly those still in office, can be fraught with the potential for embarrassment, and a lot of costly changes.

"Their legacy isn't even established yet," said Derek Alderman, a cultural geographer at East Carolina University in Greenville, N.C. "They are more susceptible to the politics of the day."
A couple more examples at the article including this winner:
Ohio University recently was in a similar quandary. In December, its Board of Trustees scratched the name of former U.S. Rep. Bob Ney from an athletic facility on its St. Clairsville, Ohio, campus, a month after Ney resigned from Congress and pleaded guilty to federal corruption charges. The former Robert W. Ney Center for Health and Physical Education is now the Ohio University Eastern Campus Health and Education Center.
DOH! Not just Ney but his aide as well.

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This page contains a single entry by DaveH published on March 15, 2007 5:27 PM.

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