March 2008
Make Anti-Biker Politicos Pay A Penalty At The Polls!
"Those who are too smart to engage in politics are punished by being governed by those who are dumber."--Plato
"I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians."--Charles de Gaulle
The focus of this article is HB-137, proposed legislation which will authorize the seizure of motorcycles and revocation of motorcycle endorsements in the State of Florida. I am broadcasting this nationwide because if this bill becomes law it will affect ALL bikers: If you ride to Daytona for Bikeweek, you will be subject to these draconian provisions. And even if you don't, passage of this bill will set a precedent for similar legislation to show up in your own statehouse. So please read on ... and please do whatever you can to help us kill this legislation and remove from office the anti-motorcycle politicians who sponsor and support it.
I do not know what the amended wording of HB-137 is as of this writing...
...nor do I know when we can expect their next move on related Senate bill SB-802:
What I do know is that ANY legislation that empowers Big Brother to revoke my motorcycle endorsement or seize my motorcycle for ANY reason is legislation to which I am opposed!
Thanks in large part to our own political apathy and lobbying impotence, on 13 March 2008 a group of anti-biker politicos--many of whom were elected without opposition in 2006, and as of yet face no opposition in 2008--gave HB-137 the approval of the Florida House Committee on Infrastructure by a 9 to 1 vote (see who voted how below). We must see that HB-137 does not pass in the Florida House, and that SB-802 is killed in the Florida Senate. If you do not know what you can do personally to assist in this regard, I encourage you to contact your nearest SMRO chapter for guidance. If such guidance is not provided when requested, I encourage you to challenge your SMRO leadership.
Beyond that, I want to encourage all bikers everywhere to start paying more attention to who we are electing to office, and to what legislation they sponsor or support once they get there. We need to show legislators everywhere that sponsoring or supporting anti-motorcycle legislation will have serious political consequences. And the best way to do that is to work openly and aggressively to oppose the re-election--and hopefully terminate the political careers--of those who legislate against us. Let's support those who support us (like Greg Evers did), and...
Let's unseat those who would unsaddle us! It's high time we started making anti-biker politicos pay a penalty at the polls. We can start with the sponsor and supporters of HB-137, key information about whom I provide below. They are all up for re-election this year, so let's do what we can to boot them out of office. And by "we", I don't just mean those of us who live in their districts ... or even in Florida: If they are running unopposed, let's find a qualified candidate to run against them. If they have opposition that is (or could be persuaded to be) sympathetic to our cause, let's get them elected (and never let them forget how they got there). And if they have skeletons in the closet (as most of them do), let's dig'em out and help the media dish the dirt.
Remember, "It's not about FAIR."
Speaking strictly for myself and no other individuals or organizations,
Bruce Arnold
Author and Publisher, LdrLongDistanceRider.com
Co-Moderator, Bruce-n-Ray's Biker Forum
Premier Member, Iron Butt Association
Sustaining Member, Motorcycle Riders Foundation
2007 Chairman's Circle, American Motorcyclist Association