Former President Ronald Reagan already has an airport, several highways and other prominent buildings named after him – but the quest to name a mountain in the Silver State after the nation’s 40th president has come has come to an abrupt end thanks to partisan maneuvering by a Nevada Democrat.
According to The Washington Examiner, Nevada Rep. Dina Titus submitted a proposal back in October to rename the peak of Frenchman Mountain after Maude Frazier, the state’s first female lieutenant governor. The proposal came after the Nevada Board on Geographic Names approved renaming the peak, which is located east of Las Vegas, after the Gipper in September. The legislation is currently sitting in the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation but there are no immediate plans to debate it.
Meanwhile, the Mount Reagan Project proposal was headed to a federal agency for final approval when Titus’ legislation trumped it. According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, any act of Congress trumps that by the United States Board on Geographic Names, which would otherwise have the final say.
“Unbelievable,” Mount Reagan Project organizer Chuck Muth told The Examiner. “This cheap shot is as petty, partisan and politically vindictive as you’ll ever see. Titus didn’t even have the courtesy or decency to tell us about the stunt she was pulling.”
The Associated Press reports that Titus’ spokeswoman, Caitlin Teare, said that there were no personal or political implications behind the legislation. It does note, however, that Muth had run against then-State Sen. Titus back in 1996.
“It’s simply an effort to name a Nevada landmark after a notable Nevadan,” she told the AP. “What could be a better way to celebrate Nevada’s 150th birthday than honoring one of our own?”
The Mount Reagan project was part of a larger effort by Americans for Tax Reform founder Grover Norquist to promote Reagan’s legacy. Upon learning of the proposal’s defeat, Norquist told The Examiner, “It is sad to see the Washington politician Titus unaware of what Nevadans have been working to achieve for more than one year now — to name a mountain peak after President Reagan. Washington politicians stepping on local leaders making local decisions is unhelpful and too common.”
Muth added that it was well-known that his group was making a push to rename the peak after Reagan, especially after it had already been approved by the state board, and that Titus’ proposal merely serves to keep his proposal on hold indefinitely.
“Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying Frazier – who you likely have never heard of – isn’t deserving of being honored, especially as the state’s first woman lieutenant governor. But she should get her own mountain or other natural feature; not the one the Nevada Board on Geographic Names already approved for President Reagan!” he said.
h/t The Washington Examiner