Anne Jordan was a contributing editor to GOVERNING.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Among the items in the gift catalogs I was browsing through last evening are "talking president" dolls--12" action figures of George W. Bush and Franklin D. Roosevelt. The rendering of the current president is a reasonable, if strangely scowling, likeness. But the one of FDR looks nothing like any images I've ever seen of him.
The people of Rocky Mount, North Carolina, can relate to this problem. Several years ago, the city commissioned a statue of Martin Luther King Jr., who had given a speech there in 1962. When the bronze sculpture was installed in a park in 2003, however, citizens complained that it looked nothing like the civil rights leader. Decide for yourself: pictures are here and here.
Here's what's happened since: This fall, the original $56,000 statue was taken down and put into storage. A different artist was hired to sculpt a replacement (pictures are here). But his early efforts didn't meet muster with local residents, either. This week, the city council voted to abandon the project.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.