NCOM 2017 Conference
By Bobbi Hartmann
This years 32nd Annual NCOM Convention was held at the Silver Legacy Casino and Resort in Reno Nevada. Myself, Skypilot and his wife and brother Buddha drove there, staying over one night in Hawthorne NV. We arrived with enough time to attend open afternoon BOD meeting. Attending the Thursday afternoon BOD was a first for me, as I’m usually flying in on Thursday and getting to my destination after its over.
BOD members introduced themselves and talked a bit on what was happening in their areas. Frank Ernst, current Chairman of the NCOM Legislative Task Force I’m on, talked a bit about our agenda for later on that afternoon. The LTF always held their session the same time as the A.I.M. Attorneys on Friday morning of the conference. As many of us wanted to attend it to listen to latest with attorneys, they finally moved our LTF session to the afternoon. Richard Lester talked about the clubhouse plaques they provide to the clubs and how they inform LE that they have an attorney. There was talk of the ‘Freedom Fund’ and having it pay for members of the BOD to attend various events in D.C..
A.I.M. Attorney session Friday morning discussed police encounters. They said to keep calm, remain polite and do not ‘offer’ information not asked for. You are better off to calmly assert your rights. Once stopped, DO NOT admit why YOU think the pulled you over. Let them tell you. You can refuse search but say “I know you’re just doing your job.” You can repeat the following more than once, “Are you detaining me or am I free to leave?” If they pat you down, DO NOT resist. You can say, “I do not consent to this search, but I’m not resisting.”
LTF session. I’ve been a member of the NCOM Legislative Task Force (LTF) for more years than I can remember. It is comprised of grassroots activists, from around the country, ready to take action. This includes lobbyists, retired state legislators and many of those involved at the highest levels of motorcycle rights and communication. It is in essence a legislative and policy think tank, specializing in the field of motorcycle rights. Each of its members, have a tangible record of achievement and success that can easily be transposed and applied to any state or region in the country.
This year we discussed many of the issues we see motorcyclists struggling with in other states. Handle Bar height restrictions, Helmet use mandates, Blue Dot tail lights, Left on Red, Equal access, Noise issues, Autonomous vehicles and Anti-Profiling. We let those in attendance know that any of the LTF members are available to assist them in their states, via phone, email or actual presence, and all they have to do is ask. We announced that we will be having a ‘mock legislative session’ during our presentation next year.
Confederation of Clubs session took place Friday night. The moderator was good friend Troy, Chairman of the Northern NV COC – HAMC. Following is information from a few of the state reports given by members of the COC’s represented.
– AR – Introducing an Anti-Profiling bill this year
– CA – San Diego taking in 2-3 clubs a month. Running out of colors and no one seems to want to wear Pink. Police jacking them up. Considering 4 rings on one hand as ‘brass knuckles.’
– CA – Monterey has 43 clubs, working on Anti Profiling, tightening up their biker community and trying to connect better with local legislators.
– CO – After shooting at key swap meet, the Iron Order and Mongols are banned. They are taking a wand to everyone entering, even vendors. They now have search dogs in place and beefing up security.
– IN – Their COC has been in existence for 30 yrs and uses the Defender Program. A lot of biker bars support them. They go to City Council and Town Hall meetings and get involved.
– LA – They have 2-3 new clubs each meeting. During Mardi Gras the cops were pulling riders wearing full faced helmets. They are running a bill (HB161) to address this issue.
– WVA – Dealing with some political turmoil. Some of the bigger clubs are now saying that they have to stick together or go down together.
– OK – Their COC has 100 members. They hold 2 lobby meals each year at the capitol and are working to eliminate the ‘No Colors’ policy at the state fair.
– AL – Since WACO incident, now holding COC meetings on private property. All law enforcement are now ‘bonded’, supposedly to protect you against their misdeeds. 2018 NCOM Conference will be in Mobile AL.
– SCA – Southern CA has 120 clubs in COC. Working with MRF and ABATE of CA. Inspired to move forward and never quit or give up. Tombstone had 3 words for us, Responsibility, Communications, Participation.
– NV – Troy talked about setting a lot of precedence arguing to wear patches in Nevada courtrooms. It all started when the DA stated NO HA in NV courtrooms. All clubs sign off on new colors. They donate up to $30,000 a year to charities, meet with their mayors, go to city councils and bring up what they do not like.
Regional Meetings – AZ is in Region IX, along with NV, NM, and UT. We meet with Region I and III states to discuss what’s been going on with legislative issues in our areas, and anything else that effects motorcyclists in our states.
– CA – Spike with the Hessians MC is working with Double D on the Profiling issue. They, like so many of us, are finding it hard to get legislative support. They met with CHP to see what they would recommend for a lane splitting bill. Stats show no difference in crashes at higher speeds of splitting, CA is a “me first” state. Commissioner needs to make a decision and then let them run the bill. Need to have tips on the website as before. – OR – Running driver accountability bill. Adding motorcycles to statutes that now talk about bicycle and pedestrians regarding ‘reckless driving.’ There are 8 motorcyclists on the Governors Advisory Committee.
– WA – Working with ABATE on various bills, including an Equal Access bill.
– CO – They are threatened each year with the helmet law. Regarding interlocks on motorcycles, there are no laws against it. The safety issue is the biggest concern, but is against the creator of the interlock. Some riders go to NE to have it installed.
– MT – Legislators only meet every other year. They have very few Stupid Laws. Helmet repeal failed, despite their argument that if women have a choice with their bodies, so do bikers.
– ND – Cops recently made biggest drug bust ever, so now gun ho on profiling. They have session every other year and you do not have to be registered to be a lobbyist. They often see their local legislators in the local bars and restaurants.
– SD – Conceal carry bill lost by a small margin. Handle bar height bill passed, gathering info for profiling and working on Right Of Way legislation.
– NM – Miera who is on the NCOM Legislative task force will be announcing his candidacy for Lieutenant Governor for 2017. Rick served in the House of Representatives for 27 years and retired in 2015. Their 14th annual bike day at the capitol drew over 400 motorcyclist, bicyclist, families of fallen and survivors of motorcycle crashes. New legislators looking to run a helmet bill again. Their attempts at a Careless Driving bill got watered down this year so they pulled it to protect the integrity of the organization and to let legislators know they will not accept a watered down handout.
– NV – On the legislation side they partnered with our COC attorney, Stephen Stubbs, and pushed for a bill that would introduce a process for an attorney to submit information to the court identifying any type of negligence or abuses on the part of law enforcement personnel. Currently there is no process for this in the State of Nevada. Referred to as the Police Accountability Bill this would be a tool that could be used by anyone and therefore should get a lot of support. On the safety side, Warrior – Chairman of the Southern Nevada COC, has been invited and attending quarterly committee meetings of the Nevada Strategic Safety Plan with Motorcycle Critical Emphasis. They are reviewing statistical data relevant to motorcycle crashes and coming up with methods of prevention as the opportunity is identified. One of the road safety items is the requirement of the trench plate companies to place some type of traction material to the trench coverings that will be left on the roadway. Also, Nevada Governor, Brian Sandoval, has declared May Motorcycle Awareness Month.
– AZ – We were told that no anti-profiling bill would be heard in the state Senate as long as Steve Yarbrough is the President of the Senate. The Senator who had been sponsoring our bill since 2013 told us that she had been presented with evidence of motorcycle gang activity by the Department of Public Safety and that she no longer wanted to associate with us. On February 15, we had our annual Motorcycle Day at the Dome. We found that we still have friends there, but we are having trouble finding a new sponsor for our profiling bill. We re-established our Motorcycle Safety Fund, but eliminated the council that reported to the Governors office of highway safety, regarding it. We will work directly with the GOHS Director to assure our money is going where we want it to. We met and debated a ‘Helmet Fee’ bill, that was introduced by a trauma surgeon in Tucson. The language was written so bad, that it hardly took any effort to tear them a new one and get this bill killed. Since then ABATE has done a good job of working to bring this legislator around to our side and way of thinking.
NCOM 2017 Conference
Left Tuesday morning headed for Reno. First stop was a visit to Paulden then to Prescott Valley, all in the rain. Stayed overnight at Bobbi’s. Left Prescott Valley Wednesday morning and drove in the fog, all the way to I40. I40 between Ashfork and Kingman is rough road with a lot of construction. Stopped in Kingman to stretch our legs, then on to Henderson NV for lunch and a gas stop. Found a great restaurant at Lake Mead Drive and Boulder highway. Didn’t see anyplace to pull off in Vegas for fuel, so stopped in Area 51 where gas was cheaper then in Henderson. Met a couple from Tennessee on a nice looking Harley that the owner put together himself. I invited them to NCOM. Area 51 was a good choice for a fuel stop, as it was 25-35 cents cheaper a gallon then Tonopah and Hawthorne. Stopped for dinner and sleep in Hawthorne, which has the largest ammo depot in he United States. It also holds one of the largest Veterans conventions the 3rd weekend in May. While eating dinner, we met some of the American Cruisers with the Hawthorne chapter. I happen to be good friends with Pilot in the Phoenix chapter, as he helps with my MAP classes I do in that area. Only got lost twice between Hawthorne and the hotel in Reno, which I blame on my navigators. We finally arrived, got checked in and got registered, prior to attending the Board Of Directors meeting.
The Board Of Directors meeting covered how to get better relationships between everyone. Everyone needs to work together, including clubs, MRO’s and independents. Although we don’t have to even like each other, we need to put aside our differences and work together. NCOM is paid for by Richard Lester and his attorneys. The Roughriders, Independents,, VV Christians, Crusaders, Survivors, LRMC, MMA of AZ, Vietnam Vets, Alma, Road Warriors, Fallen and Nomads where just a few of the clubs represented. No new members were added to the BOD. Lady Ninja had to keep on fixing the mic as Doc Reichenbach told us that we only meet to make the causes work. Some of the causes are handle bar heights, helmet and insurance, bluedot lights, noise, autonomous vehicles and three wheeled vehicles. Animal, head of the special committee, discussed future meeting places. The Board meeting in the fall, will be in Oklahoma, and next NCOM Conference in Mobile Alabama.
Veterans Affairs sub-committee – Tiger Mike, head of this committee, needs feed back on Vet Connect Proposal. No grants in the works. AIM reports four million cards had been given out. The $200,000 budgeted for AIM, includes NCOM. There are 7,000 shops on board. Bill Bish, PR person who does News Bites, will pay for hot lines for information that needs to get out within your states. Also, money will be provided for travel to DC, under the Freedom Fund. Retreads and touring groups are not a part of NCOM. Invitations have been sent to them, but no response at this time. Lots of popup clubs with online presence. Bit mp COC or event presence. $100,000 raised for WACO, all monies being used for bikers needs, other than defense. The have been 166 helped, no one has come to trial and not trials scheduled till 2018. Lady Ninja stated that a lot of sport bike riders have a cruise bike as well, and that a lot of riders getting older. Boar had his eyes opened when he went to bikers on the beltway last year, and is going again in 2018. DC is run by the interns who like to see the bikers show up. Remember everyone needs to get along. The was $25,000 in the Save the Patch Fund, which went to the Mongols defense lawyer. Government is not done with this subject, so we need more funds. A statement was made and the end, that all COC’s and Clubs are infiltrated.
AIM Attorney conference was held on Friday morning. They discussed the WACO tragedy and how $90,000 plus dollars had been given to the victims of this tragedy. All those arrested have lost their jobs, home, families etc. The prosecutors just gave the defense over 10,000 pages of discloser to go through in about a week. One attorney went through it all and found no information that pertained to the case, even though each lawyer must go through it to make sure nothing was slipped in. RICO refers to racketeering and corruption. If you’re organization is found to have 2 cases of racketeering within a 10 year period, they can apply that Act to you. When you are pulled over keep calm, you might be profiled, but remain silent. Keep your insurance, registration and license in one place. As for unlawful termination of patches, the government has found that to be very expensive, so they are looking for new ways to harm us.
Opening Ceremonies – I got to meet the Mayor of Reno, Hilary Schieve, and received a Reno pin from her. I then attended the NCOM Legislative Task Force meeting, followed by the Christen Unity meeting. I had to leave half way through that meeting, in order to attend the federal Anti-Profiling meet. My sugar got low, lo I missed part of the Patch Holder meeting. One of my highlights on Friday, was breakfast with Tiger Mike, where we got to exchange ideas fro Region II and what was working there. Also at our table was a gentleman from Louisiana, who explained about the riders in there state being pulled over for wearing masks, including full faced helmets. This comes from a law that was used against the KKK.
Saturday morning started with the General Session, followed by ‘Ringing of the Bell.’ The goal is to not have to ring the bell at all. Regional meetings were up next.
Slider Gilmore Diabetic Rider was a great session. He talked about understanding the challenges of being a diabetic rider. The U.S. is 3rd in the world for this disease and it is our 7th leading cause of death. It causes kidney disease, stroke, vision issues, heart problems and death. The best sugar reading is between 130-80. There is no known cure for diabetes. Your before breakfast reading should be between 130-80, but two hours after meals, it should be less than 180. It damages small and large blood vessels. A person might have a harder time with control issues. The average person takes in 52 teaspoons of sugar per day, when women are supposed to ingest no more than 6 and men 9 or less. There are 10 teaspoons of sugar in a can of soda alone. Recommended reading is Eat To Live by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, MD.
Civil Rights and how to protect them, was the next seminar. Bowtie recommended that we ‘sing our rights’ to whoever pulls you over. He proceeded to give us an example of a song about his rights, that he made up and sang to officers. Do not say anything period. Have all you documents together in one place which is easy to access. Ask them “Am I being detained or am I free to go”?
Driverless vehicles are scary. They are being designated to have a 0 vision and no accidents, but they don’t factor in motorcycles, bicycles, or pedestrians in their plans. I heard the same from a speaker last September at Meeting Of The Minds. In very little time, this industry has tripled, with Reno picking up 3 major companies working on driverless vehicles.
Silver Spoke Award – The Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award went to Boar. He is on the NCOM BOD as the liaison for the confederations of clubs. He is also Sons of Silence.
The trip home was 14 ½ hours. It was windy enough to cut into my mileage and dropped it to an average off 22.7 mpg. We stopped at Tonopah station for lunch and met up with a group of Soldiers For Jesus of the Las Vegas chapter. Then onto Area 51 for fuel and then to Route 66 Diner in Kingman for dinner. I visit this diner every trip through Kingman, as they have the best shakes of any place I know.
I don’t know what was happening on on I40 East of Kingman, but there were a lot of sheriffs cars in the median strip with lights going and some were standing outside of their cars facing East. Then a mile or so up the road another sheriff car was in the middle with lights flashing and the officer was outside of the car, with gun drawn. The last thing we saw was a whole lot of cars with flashing lights traveling Westbound in front of traffic. Got to Bobbi’s and turned on the news, but didn’t see anything except that I17 was closed. Glad we decided to stay at Bobbi’s.
NCOM 2017 Conference
May 10, 2017
On Wednesday May 10, 2017, we left Bobbi Hartman’s place on Coyote Springs Road in Prescott Valley. We were heading for Hawthorne, Nevada where we planned to spend the night at a Travelodge. After about 11 hours on the road we arrived at the motel. We did stop for lunch in Boulder City, Nevada.
May 11, 2017
The next morning, we headed for Reno, Nevada at about 8:30. We arrived at about 11:30 and checked into the Silver Legacy Casino and Resort. We then went to the conference center to sign in before heading to lunch. After lunch, we went to our first meeting.
Board of Directors Meeting. 1:30 – 2:45
After the meeting, we mingled we other people we knew for a while. We then found dinner and went to our room and relaxed for the rest of the day.
May 12, 2017
We awoke about 6:30, dressed and headed for breakfast at the Central Café there at the casino. We then headed to our first meeting.
AIM Attorney Conference 10:00 – 11:30
The attorneys discussed civil and criminal litigation. Much of the criminal Crap that bikers have to put up with is based on RICO statutes. Prior to the RICO statutes there were very few federal laws that could be applied to bikers. The RICO act was instituted to battle organized crime which was the Mafia at that time. It did not take federal prosecutors long to see that they could apply these same laws to biker clubs and organizations. The RICO statutes often conflict with local and state statutes which is confusing and hard on bikers to keep up with. An example would be that RICO can bust a club for something a member did before he or she joined the club. AIM attorneys recommend that at COC meetings that clubs discuss civil rights and legal but not discuss individual club issues. The attorneys then discussed how you should handle yourself when police make a traffic stop. They stressed remaining calm and polite. One of the major problems with RICO has been the mountain of paperwork that get dumped on defense attorneys. This slows down the legal process.
Opening Ceremonies 1:00 – 2:00
Doc Reichenbach, the chairman of NCOM, leads the Pledge of Allegiance and a Moment of Silence for downed riders. Troy, who is the chairman of NOR NV COC, and part HAMC. He welcomed everyone to the conference and the Northern Nevada COC who were co-sponsors of the event. He then introduced the Mayor of Reno, Nevada Hillary Schieve.
The mayor welcomed everyone to the “biggest little city in the world”. She talked about becoming mayor and how she is not really a politician but a business woman. The mayor then invited three members of the audience up on stage, one of whom was Skypilot of the LRMC. She then quizzed them by asking trivia questions about Reno. Skypilot got his question right and received a pin, called Mayor Bucks, from the mayor. The pin was fashioned in the shape of the original capital letter R that was used to signify Reno. The city council had changed its look but the mayor is for going back to the original. The mayor kept the discussing entertaining and funny.
Doc then talked about a survey that was included in our conference packet. If we filled it out and turned it in at the banquet, it would be put in to a drawing for a $100.
Legislative Task Force 2:45 – 4:15
Frank Ernst, chairman LTF, headed this meeting. He began by talking about using form letters from NCOM, to send to our state and federal legislators.
Your Rights as a Veteran – Veterans Affairs 4:30 – 5:30
Buddha attended this special meeting. Vet motorcycle clubs help veterans with getting all theirs rights and benefits from the Veterans Administration. Because of the increased incidence in suicides with returning vets, it has become a big issue with both the VA and vet clubs. This is occurring with the new returning vets along with older veterans. There is a national suicide hotline and many local vet centers have their own hotlines. Homelessness is another issue with vets. Local vet centers try to concentrate on this issue but with very limited success. Most all vets need some type of assistance at one time or another. The assistance may be as simple as helping them get all their benefits, or going with them to a veteran’s service officer to get their disability benefits raised.
COC General Patch Holders Meeting 6:30 – 8:30
Both Buddha and Skypilot attended this meeting. Each of the individual COCs present were offered the time to speak about their local issues. About one-third of COCs were not present due to problems in their areas. At the end of this meeting we mingled with some of the clubs we knew.
After this meeting we went to the Soldiers for Jesus hospitality room and grabbed some eats for a late dinner. The SFJ explained that the hospitality room was late getting set up because of problems with the hotel. We then retired to our room for the evening.
May 13, 2017
Woke up about 6:30 and went to SFJ hospitality room to get some breakfast. Made a donation to their hospitality jar.
Main Opening Ceremony 9:00 – 10:45
We were welcomed to the event by Doc Reichenbach. That was followed by the Ringing of the Bell. Each state’s motorcycle rights groups, clubs, and COCs, had provided Doc with the names of brothers or sisters that had passed the previous year. As he read each name the bell was rung once in remembrance.
Region I and Region IX Meeting 11:00 -12:30
Each state from these regions spoke about their state. No one from Alaska was available. California is doing good. Spike from California spoke about the anti-profiling bill. A rep from the Hells Angels spoke about lane-splitting speeds. The Oregon Bike PAC spoke about lane-splitting and driver accountability. Oregon’s governor’s motorcycle advisory council not really bike friendly. Washington discussed lane sharing. Colorado stated that news was mostly good but the use of Interlock device in not so good. Montana is working on killing a helmet bill. North Dakota stated that things were good. South Dakota’s Jim Puttman speaks about Law Makers MC. He discussed why that created it and what is wants to accomplish. Wyoming was a no show. Utah has changed their helmet law to only require helmets until the age of twenty-one. New Mexico sent a report that things are mostly good in their state. Nevada is working on anti-profiling but otherwise good. Arizona was able to kill the helmet law that was introduce by the legislation. Arizona’s COC has created a PAC to help elect motorcycle friendly legislators. Skypilot then talked about saving Arizona’s motorcycle safety fund. Bobbi Hartmann then spoke about MAP classes.
Went to lunch in the SFJ’s hospitality room.
Motorcyclist Diabetes Class 2:00 – 3:30
Slider Gilmore teaches this class because of a death in his club. No one in the group knew how to help the member when the crises occurred. Paramedics were also not able to help by the time they arrived. Thirty million people have diabetes in the US and being treated for it. Fifty-seven million people have diabetes and don’t know it. The disease effects the kidneys, heart and is the leading cause of strokes. The disease can lessen your life expectancy by ten years. Type 1 diabetics, which involves 10% of them, are insulin dependent. Type 2 diabetics are not insulin dependent. Up to now there is no cure for the disease. Glucose feeds the cells which sugar can’t get into. Diabetes can cause high blood pressure, strokes, dementia, blood vessel ruptures, and ED. Pain and tingling in joints and extremities can also occur. There are ten teaspoons in each can of soda pop. OSC is considered sugar by the body. Carbs are our enemy. Being overweight increases your chance of diabetes by 90%. Slider recommends the book Eat to Live by Joel Fuhrman as a helpful book. Exercise does not help with poor eating habits. Smoking is also very bad for diabetics.
Civil Rights and How to Protect them. 3:45 – 4:30
Stephen P. Stubbs, aka Bowtie, AIM attorney from Nevada teaches this class. The first thing he stated was that police lie to you, but you can’t lie to them. You are allowed to film police during stop as long as the person filming follows all police commands. Reasonable suspicion and probable cause are the leading reasons that police use to search your bike, possessions, and person. Police can’t legally access your phone. Know your rights and ask if you are being detained and the reason for this detention. If you are not being detained, state that you would like to leave. Always tell the police you will not speak to them without an attorney present.
Driverless Vehicles 4:30 – 6:00
Rick Mellon hosted the meeting. Automated vehicles are being developed much faster than anticipated. Intelligent Transportation Systems or ITS is the main component or this. Moore’s Law of Computing which doubles the development of computer tech every 1.5 years is in effect, but ITS is developing faster than this. Developers of ITS do not have answers to questions about motorcycles, bicycles, and pedestrians. In the future roads will have more cameras filming what is happening on them. In 2005, the computer program RITA, a component of ITS, was created to figure out where and when you were traveling. New automated vehicles will have five levels of automation. Level 1 will have some driver’s assistance. Level 2 will increase the control by computer. Level 3 will have very limited driver control. Level 4 will lessen the driver’s control even more. Level 5 will be a completely automated car with no driver override or control. They will not even have windows. No studies on the effect of motorcycles sharing the road with these automated vehicles. Polaris Motorcycles is shutting down their production of Victory bikes due to the aging motorcyclists who will need trikes to continue to ride. Indian Motorcycles already has three wheelers already in production and will continue with such.
We proceeded to take a break by going to our room and resting and dressing for the banquet. The banquet and awards ceremony 7:30 went on to approximately 11:00. Buddha received prime rib with his beef ticket which was very tasty. After this we retired to our room for the night.
May 14, 2017
We woke up and left the hotel by 7:30. While heading for Arizona’s Prescott Valley and Bobbi’s house with fought 50 mph head winds. It took us about fourteen and a half hours to reach her house.
NCOM Meeting 2016 by Bobbi Hartman
This years NCOM Conference was held at the Harrah’s Casino in Atlantic City, New Jersey.
The approximate 5 hour flight wasn’t near as bad as I thought it might be.
What made it worth it however, was the stretch limo Richard Lester had waiting for us.
Skypilot and myself along with Rick Miera, an ex state of New Mexico Rep, and his wife, came in the same flight and all rode together.
Rick is on the NCOM Legislative Task Force (LTF) with myself and others.
One thing to keep in mind while running profiling bills at the state level is that all police dept. supposedly have a budget for ‘In Service Training’. This should equate to No Cost to the state for adding profiling training requirements in your legislation.
Both Washington and Maryland have run and passed state level profiling legislation. Their law requires their state police to include specific training to address the profiling of motorcyclists in their states.
One thing that neither state included was punitive damages. PA is currently running state profiling legislation (HB1580), that not only requires officer training, but includes a paragraph ‘Private right of action established’.
This allows any victim of motorcycle profiling to take private action against any officer or police dept that violates this law. In their action, they may be awarded injunctive relief, actual damages, punitive damages and reasonable attorney fees and costs.
A Double D of Washington and members of Maryland are in the process of running a bill to include a Private Right of Action in their laws as well.
It was made clear that there was no National U.S. Defenders. They exist at the state level only and each COC should be taking part in their own defender program.
Calls To Action by a states Defender Program will depend on the action needed. It may be a call to defend the COC’s member clubs, or respond to a State MRO’s need for action.
Your state commanders need to be someone who checks their email at least once a day, if not more. Not seeing a need for a CTA for even 3 days from the time it happens is not acceptable. It’s all about ‘accountability’.
PATCH HOLDER MEETING:
VA – in the process of collecting data to run a state-profiling bill.
NC – Homeland Security has been showing up and any of their large rallies, since the Waco incident.
CO – Shooting at the fair is going nowhere. No charges could be brought, due to not being able to get witnesses to testify.
CA – A bill, initially started by ABATE of CA, has had legislators making unacceptable amendments to enforce CHP Guidelines. ABATE of CA is no longer in support of this legislation as amended. They might consider submitting a bill to allow lane sharing on non-highways, and see where that goes.
OK – Profiling bill still alive with original verbiage. They are tracking data for their case, by using a form that WA provided them. Still issues with ‘no colors’ at state fairs, but capitalizing on other A.I.M attorney successes in other states Their COC did an exceptional job in their efforts as an immediate response team during OK tornadoes and storms.
Canada – Very few problems for COC’s to address. They have started a ‘Black List’ of all businesses practicing motorcyclists’ discrimination. They are working with each of these bars, directly, to possibly get their name on the ‘White List’. They recently had a unity ride to help overcome some of the personal wars in their area.
IN – Doc with Sons of Silence told of how they rode over 200 miles to their COC meeting in a particular bar. With Richards help, they kept the location private. Even with all of that, LE showed up about 1 hour into their meeting. However, the woman owner said that if they didn’t leave, she was going to charge them with trespassing. She told them later that LE threatened her with fire code violations.
A lot more states working on profiling bills, dead read, discrimination and the usual list goes on. Many states and Canada are working directly with bar owners to get the ‘no colors’ signs down.
OR – Mel Yeager talked about their Bike PAC of Oregon and its success. They are protesting the mandatory use of E15 just as most of us are. They are working on increased penalties for ROW legislation, Gear choice such as helmets, retro vests etc., Lane Sharing and Anti Profiling legislation.
WA – Double D said they were going to re-address the profiling legislation to include the ‘relief provision’, but that the helmet law came first.
CA – Spike talked about profiling be of no cost to LE and that they are having trouble getting a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) on certain things due to being told they are currently under investigation. Tombstone believes CHP wants Lane Sharing legislation to pass, to make it easier to do their jobs.
CO – Diablo stated that there was not going to be any prosecution in the CO shooting, as only one side is talking. LE said Mongols wouldn’t cooperate, but more than one witness. DA won’t prosecute claims of self-defense. A new DA coming in soon so will have to wait and see where this goes.
ND – They said Double D ‘lit them up’ to help other states. Started Profiling bill.
NV – Just Rick of Reno said running Lane Share with 3omph for traffic and 10mph differential for bikes. Working on handle bar bill of 6” above shoulder. Won battle with hospital regarding no letting a marine wear his hat in the hospital.
Southern NV – had an event with Double D attending, as well as a counter terrorism expert. LE still making frequent stops on clubs, and looking to make Fremont Street biker friendly.
Slider Gilmore presented his Golden Hour presentation.
Please also read Skypilot’s NCOM Report for further comment on that. Slider has been a personal friend of mine for many many years. On my trips to WI each May, I would spend my 3rd night out in Council Bluffs IA with some old South Phoenix friends.
One year, instead of heading to WI from there, I took a few hour ride straight north to Spencer IA, which is near Cherokee. I left my bike at Sliders brothers place (Chopper Charlie) and rode with him to his HUGE pig farm, miles of muddy roads from there.
I got to see the pig farm and learn all about its operation, met his folks and even got to hear his mother play piano.
Sliders wife Connie was a special host. As many times as I see his Golden Hour presentation, I still learn something new.
I look forward, as does everyone else does to seeing him each year, whether it be at MOTM in NCOM.
NCOM Report 2016 – By Skypilot
On May 5th, I got up and checked my computer to see if our Bill was on the Third Read calendar, for the day. It was. I called the Capitol to see what time the Floor session began.
It normally starts at 1:30pm, but that day it was starting at 8:30am. They had 8 pages of bills to be heard, on the Third Read calendar. My brother Buddha dropped me off at the airport and then went to the Capitol for us. By 11am, they hadn’t even put a dent in the list of bills.
By the time I landed in Philadelphia, the bills had not moved.
On the 5 hour flight, the person sitting beside me, rode with the Black Mountain Riders. The guy in front of me was a Triumph and Enfield rider. The three of us had a very interesting discussion.
When I arrived in Philly, I have to thank Richard Lester for the stretch limousine ride to Atlantic City. During that ride, Bobbi and I had a chance to have a good long talk with Rick Miera, a retired state of New Mexico legislator, and his wife Bernadette.
As soon as we arrived at the hotel, we had a discussion with Tiger Mike of Oklahoma, a lobbyist from MO, and Frank Ernst of MN and the newly appointed Chairman of the NCOM Legislative Task Force (LTF). It is great to trade ideas with great minds.
Friday morning, before the first break out session, I got to visit with Double D and another LTF member, regarding Waco.
Richard Lester was the moderator of the A.I.M. Attorney break-out session. Bob Smith and Mitch, both A.I.M. attorneys, were speakers for this session. One of the topics was, “Law Enforcement and the Bandidos.”
This was a discussion on the Waco tragedy on May 17th, 2015. There were 9 bikers killed, 24 injured and of the 262 retained, 177 were actually arrested. There were 151 firearms recovered. As it turned out, Waco was not the normal meeting place for this particular COC meeting.
It was discovered, during the investigation, that an undercover cop, wearing a Cossack patch, took his colors off and grabbed his badge and gun, prior to the shooting starting. Another form of Texas justice evolves around the fact that the prosecutors ex-law partner is also the sitting judge for those 177 arrested.
What To Do During a Traffic Stop:
KNOWING YOUR RIGHTS + KNOW YOUR RIGHTS = BALANCE OF POWER:
– This is not always guaranteed, but very helpful.
– The Fourth Amendment is important, against unreasonable search and seizure. It shall not be violated.
– Under the Fifth Amendment, you need to provide, insurance, registration and license, but nothing else.
– Be respectful and tell the officer, “Under the advisement of my attorney, I do not answer questions.”
– Your lawyer is your mouth piece.
– Pull over and keep hands where they can see them
– Address the officer with a good morning, good afternoon etc.
– If in a vehicle, roll down the driver window, but only part way (be aware, the odor of marijuana is justification for a search.
– Ask the officer, if they are detaining you or are you free to go.
– Remember, the police can legally lie to you.
– DO NOT run from law enforcement.
All police departments have 24 hours of In Service Hours in their budgets. This could include training, which is important to remember, when running a state bill for officer training regarding Profiling.
Law Enforcement and Your Groups:
The speakers claim to fame is that while being a Professional Witness, 95% of all cases are a no-brainer, with 5% jumping off the page. There is little training in the smaller jurisdictions.
In Santa Cruz County CA, there are eight to ten members of the fire department, that wear Gorilla MC patches. Two of their members were pulled over for supposed motorcycle safety. One of the bikes had an 81 support sticker on it, and one of the riders wore an 81 support bandana.
This was cause for the local police sergeant and the gang task force, to be called to the scene. Both were ticketed for issues involving motorcycle safety. After the fact, the sergeant took it upon himself, to contact the fire chief, which cost one of the riders his job.
The speaker, an ex-DEA agent, and now professional witness, went on to talk about other cases. After a very short time, most of the attendees, including myself, were at a loss as to what the speaker was actually there for.
He was subjected to intense questioning by the crowd, as to what to do if they were in this same situation. He had no answers for them, except to contact an attorney. At this point, a few of attendees stood up and told him that he had informed us of nothing that would help our causes. Session ended.
The Confederations of Clubs Patch Holder Meeting:
The general theme was profiling and abuse by local state fair owners. An example was when Home Land Security showed up at a North Carolina biker rally that had been going on for 20 years, without incident.
A message from the President of the Pagans message was to teach young people the biker code, don’t move into someone else’s area, and to protect the life style.
We were informed that Boar, Lady Ninja, Louie Nobs, Animal and Sarge had formed a committee to oversee the Save the Patch funds.
The Mongols MC patch forfeiture case got an extension to 6/29/16. It was reported that it may not actually be over. NCOM will let us know the results. The Devils Desciples MC, of Southern CA, have been fighting their case for over a year. They not only had their patches taken, but property was oonfiscated as well. Law enforcement is prolonging the forfeiture and it may be fall before it moves on.
Kickstart MTS Safety and First Aid:
Christine Firehock, master motorcycle trainer, was the speaker of this very informative session. 92% of motorcycle crashes are rider mistakes. At 18 mph you can swerve around an object, faster than you can break. You should ride your own bike with proper riding gear. Christine told of an accident she was involved in. As she was on an unfamiliar bike, the results of the crash were not determined by the vehicle driver, but by actions of her own.
The Golden Hour – Slider Gilmore:
Remain Calm and Think!!!
– A confident person needs to take charge of safety at the scene.
– Check for head injuries every time.
– Keep spine straight.
– 77.1% of total hazards are at 11 – 12 – 1 O’clock. 43% are left turns.
– Take care of each other.
Congratulations to Slider and the Sons of Silence MC on their 50th Anniversary.
NCOM Meeting Durango Colorado – November/December 2015
Saturday, 9/5/15, I had the pleasure of attending NCOM’s annual meeting, held in conjunction with the 4 Corners Rally. This year the meeting was held at the Holiday Inn, in Durango CO. I had previously attended these meetings on a regular basis, since
the early 90’s, but not had the opportunity for the past so many years.
I’ve always loved this meeting as it provides a way to meet new people that might not come to the NCOM Conference in May. Richard Lester, Founder AIM & NCOM, discusses current Litigation and Problems Nationwide.
An AIM Attorney. usually talks about new
or pending cases, and lets us know what the case is about, some of their strategy in winning it, and where the case stands at that time. This year, there was a talk regarding Search and Seizure and other rights, and what is left of the constitution.
And, last but not least, is the COC meeting where anyone from any COC in attendance, can report as to what is going on in their state. It was discussed that the Mongols MC trademark case was in the process of being dismissed, and that they had gotten the old judge recused.
It was said that if dismissed, it would also take care of the 2nd case NCOM was involved with, involving the Devils Diciples MC. I have come to fi nd out since that
meeting, that the case against the Mongols MC has been dismissed. A BIG win for all COCs and rights organizations everywhere.
One of the attorney’s spoke of a cam recording of a New Jersey cop verbally telling club members that he pulled over, that the only colors that fl ew in NJ where Blue and Gold. You can imagine how that went over at the precinct. Bless those good old dash cams!!
There was a very informative discussion on the Waco TX incident.
Many asked Richard why it seemed to take so long for NCOM/AIM to respond, or to get all of us around the country, some kind of current information as things progressed. He stated that he was working on getting his NCOM LTF Chairman out of jail, but that their Criminal Defense Attorney Bill Smith in Texas and someone out of Vegas were on scene immediately.
Richard has hired an ex-Texas Ranger to investigate However, the discussion was intense, as it should have been, when it came to the lack of ‘up-to-date’ communications by Richard’s office. This was discussed back and forth for some time. Richard said
that they would do much better in the future and it was decided that Sarge would make that happen for Richard’s office moving forward.
It was brought up that those club members who had been shot, had not received any proper emergency medical treatment. In fact it was stated that when one of the Booze Fighters MC tried to ‘break through the line’ to possibly assist someone, he was immediately arrested.
All arrest warrants were filled out the same. Didn’t matter what they did. Four are still detained, but was based on priors and violated their probation. The bond for many was dropped to $25,000. Michael, AIM Attorney out of WI, talked about Search and Seizure, and the way things are today, most everyone has all of their pertinent information in their
You can turn off your GPS, but if the phone is on or off and the battery is still in the phone, you can still be pinged. There is a fine balance between Privacy and Rights. Something as simple as doing ‘research’ for your job or school, and searching on ‘meth’ or how to grow pot etc., can be used against you if they see fit.
We want the Feds to protect us, but we need a balance. They need more oversight on them.
He went on to say that when pulled over, you need to take the blood alcohol or blow test, but do not have to agree to do ‘roadside maneuvers.’ Be sure you have ‘Uninsured/Underinsured’ and not only Liability, which only covers us when we do wrong. And NEVER consent to a search.
Louie, National Liaison for the Soldiers For Jesus MC, talked about their Motorcycle Response Team (MRT) and how he was on scene at the jail, immediately afterwards. Try as he might however, he was denied access to any of the prisoners in the Waco incident.
After contacting the powers to be in D.C., letting them know that these prisoners were being denied their ministerial rights, things changed. The sad part is that it still took 17 days for him to actually get to see anyone. They kept jacking him around by telling him they were bringing so and so out to see him, and then left him waiting for hours in the visitors area, only to have been lied to once again.
A fund has been started to assist those in need, that were jailed in the Waco Shooting. Many have lost their jobs and cannot now find new employment due to their arrests. Families have been broken up and the destruction of their lives continue.
This fund is being used to help with things like a monthly mortgage payment, or an electric bill or to buy new phones, as theirs were confiscated. It has also provided $100 gift
certificates to Wal-Mart for those in need of food and everyday necessities. It is costing $350 a month for those with ankle bracelets. As of 9-5-15, $30,000 had been collected.
NCOM is asking that anyone and everyone that can, contribute to this fund.
Make out your checks to Shield of Faith.
Send your contribution to:
Texas Christian Unity, PO Box 2321,
Cedar Park TX 78630
Also, John with Soldiers For Jesus MC out of Houston was there, selling ‘Remember Waco’ patches. They are Black background with a Sliver motorcycle/rider and Red letters saying REMEMBER WACO across the top, along with the date 5-7-15. They come with or without ‘9 Red Crosses’, various sizes, placed across the length of the Silver rider and say UNITED
WE STAND across the bottom.
You can get them with or without the 9 crosses. In mid September, I was taking orders for those patches ($10 minimum) and sending one order to John, along with a check for all of them at once. If anyone reading this would still like to check into getting themselves one, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be sure to include your name and phone number so that I can contact you
and discuss any future orders.
A few states were represented at the COC meeting:
New Mexico – Had a few issues in Northern New Mexico with No Colors signs being put up. Come to find out the incident that happened was not caused by patch holders. It was caused by a non-patch group making asses of themselves. Patches were ok to go in, and only restriction on group that caused it. Mayor of Grants NM said that a non-patch group
again caused Fire and Ice to be cancelled. And NMMRO fought hard and won over on 2 different helmet bills that were being introduced in 2015 session.
Arizona – More LE clamping down, stating no correct permits. This includes permit renewals of some clubhouses. Events being shut down before starting. To avoid discrimination, suggestion was to go to clubhouses to party. More ‘open house’ events lately.
One local clubhouse was raided. Excuse LE used was that club member was involved in a bar fight with others. The differences in the AZPOST, from a few years ago until now, were discussed. Plan to run Profiling bill again.
NCOM at Denver 2015 – September/October 2015
This year the 30th Annual NCOM Convention was held in Denver Co. This year we have a lot of issues concerning motorcyclists going on, so the Convention was really well attended.
As the Region 9 Board Member and the AZ AIM Rep I always get to the Convention earlier than most to attend the AIM Rep Meeting held on Wed May 6th. I believe due to the economy everything has been slow for everyone including the AIM Attorneys.
I know we all have a lot of choices out there when retaining an Attorney after an accident, but the AIM Attorneys, primarily Richard Lester are the only ones putting on a Convention to keep us all informed and up to date as to what is happening all over the Country concerning Motorcyclists and Motorcycles Issues.
Thursday is the Board meeting, all Board members report as to what has been happening in their respective States and areas, and have hand outs available for all other Board Members and Officers. The fi rst Board Meeting is the closed session for Board Members to discuss issues concerning the Board, and also to make decisions about future Board
meetings and Regional Meetings.
We will again be back in Reno next year and so the Region 9 Regional Meeting this year will be at the Four Corners Event in Ignacio CO. over the Labor day Weekend.
This year there was definitely a Theme about the Convention, “ Save The Patch “. There are now five Clubs Nationwide indicted on Federal Charges with added RICO stipulations to make it easier for the Govt. taking all properties owned by these Clubs including their Patchs, emblems, and anything associated with their Brand, their Club Name and Club colors.
To a lot of Motorcyclists out there, including many in the MRO Communities that doesn’t seem too important as they believe, “ That really doesn’t affect Me “. What they are not realizing is this is just the beginning of the Domino effect. If the Govt. is allowed
to take Patches and property from any Clubs it will only be the beginning of the Govt. way of completely outlawing Bikers, your Freedom of expression and overall Freedoms and Liberties.
We as a Community try our best to unite and believe in our Freedoms, our Lifestyle and way of Life. This is the time to help take a stand, make your Phone calls and emails that you are asked to do. If you stay complacent and keep believing that it will NOT
affect you, Think Again. “ Save The Patch “
The Meeting was opened with the Pledge of Allegiance and Moment of Silence for our fallen Brothers. Richard Lester gave the National Confederation of Clubs Report and what has been going on nationwide. Of course, we are still very concerned and involved with the “SAVE THE PATCH” campaign. His office has been collecting funding for this campaign and so far has collected just over $45,000. This will only be start-up funds to hire the best possible Civil Rights Attorney. We’ll need a minimum of $150,000 and possibly a lot more.
Next, a big WIN in Florida — Mark Denico a member of the US Military Vets MC along with Timothy Newberry and Dennis Walsted, members of the Spirit Riders Motorcycle Ministry were denied entrance to the Florida State Fair for refusing to remove their Colors. Jerry Theophilopoulos, the AIM Attorney for Florida, filed a 107-page Civil Rights lawsuit on the bikers’ behalf. The lawsuit contended that the bikers were denied their rights to Freedom of Speech, Freedom of Association and Freedom of Religion by blantantly being turned away by the local Sheriff’s Office and Fair employees. It took some time for this matter to be resolved as this took place in 2010, but after all was said and done; the bikers received a settlement of $72,500. The real win was that it was proven that they were discriminated against and this outcome will be able to be used in similar cases nationwide.
Paul Landers then took the floor and discussed the National Defenders Program. Accountability — that’s the difference between the National Defenders program and others that have failed in the past. Each Club has at least two reps that get a call to action to then get information out to all their members. As the info and calling and emailing go out to the masses, the reps contact their people to make sure that the communication has happened and then they report back to the Commanders to verify that it has happened. Already, many pieces of legislation nationwide that could have been detrimental to our cause have been stopped by use of the Defenders Program. It was also the key to getting the State of Washington to PASS the only Anti-Profiling Bill on record to date.
There were other important national issues discussed such as Riders Rights and Liberties, Search and Seizure, and how little by little our Rights and the Constitution are being eroded away along with our Freedoms. All we can do as Riders and Individuals is to stay informed, make those calls and emails when asked, know which Legislators really understand our cause and if they don’t — VOTE for someone else. We are in an important Election Year, exercise your right to VOTE and lets get people in our State House that represent motorcyclists.
NCOM Convention 2014
This year’s NCOM Convention was held in Dallas, Texas. As usual, all the main players were there. There were Patch Holders, AIM Attorneys, the NCOM Founders, Officers, Board members and attendees from all around the country. As the Region 9 Co-Director, Board Member, it never stops being inspiring to see so many like-minded individuals gathering in one place to discuss our rights as motorcyclists, individuals and proud Americans.
The first order of business was the Board Meeting. This is a closed session for the Board to go over any old business that might not have been resolved yet and to make tentative plans on where future Conventions, Board Meetings, Grass Roots Seminars and Regional Meetings will be held. In April of 2015 a new type of Convention will be held in Region 9 in Las Vegas — a National Sport Bike Convention. Over the past five years, we have been working diligently through the guidance of Sharon, “Lady Ninja” , the National Sport Bike Liaison to the Board, to get more Sport Bike groups involved with Aim and NCOM.
Our LTF, Legislative Task Force, has gone through some major changes. Our Chairman, Jim “Putter” Putnam, a former Senator of South Dakota, has some medical issues that he needed to attend to and our Vice Chair, Glen Fengstad, passed away suddenly this past year. So the new Chair will be Paul Landers and Vice Chair will be Frank Ernst. Together with the other dedicated LTF Members, they plan to reorganize, revitalize and move the LTF forward dealing with all the current legislative motorcycling issues being discussed in Washington DC. A trip to Washington is planned for some of the members to be able to discuss these issues in person.
This year, more than in other years, there seemed to be a definite theme for this year’s Convention. It was “Save The Patch.” Several years ago the Mongols of Southern California had many of their members all incarcerated at the same time and the Federal Judge at that time decided, because of the RICO Statutes, to confiscate everything from the Club that they could — including their cuts with their patches. At the time, at least one of the Mongols members who was not involved in any type of criminal activity got an attorney and some of their property was returned including their patch and the right to be Mongols under the First Amendment. After reviewing what had happened due to some loopholes in the law, the courts were again allowed to take the Mongols patch. This is the first big step in the Government stepping in and taking OUR rights away. For those that don’t see it, if this is allowed to happen, where will it stop and with whom? I believe already we have all either been stopped and hassled for nothing, or have been treated like secondclass citizens just because of our lifestyle. We all need to pay close attention to how this is all going to play out. Some of you might not think so or don’t believe it will happen to you or your group.
Region VI Regional Meeting and 2013 Board of Directors Meeting
It is not listed on the general Agenda for the Meetings here in Atlanta but Board members, Liaisons and Officers have their Closed Board Meeting Friday evening. That is why it is necessary that attendees for this Meeting get into Atlanta early enough Friday to be able to attend. The meeting did end up getting started late anyway as one of the members was getting harassed at his local Airport just long enough to miss his intended plane.
After the meeting being brought to order there were the Board introductions and new or Temporary Members being brought on board. Paul Landers the head of TMRA II, Region II and a great driving force for the National Defenders Program was voted in as Co-Director for Region 2.
There were several new proposed groups wishing to become NCOM Groups, one of which was the MMAA from here in AZ. As the Co Directors for Region 9, we were asked if we knew anything about this group. As they are from AZ I do know about them and do know a lot of their members and so stated that they should become an NCOM represented group. The Vote was then taken, it was unanimous and MMAA of AZ is a now member of NCOM.
Jim “Putter” Putman, former Senator from South Dakota discussed what is going on with the Legislative Task Force. First there are going to be some personnel changes in the task force. As with any other group there are people that join and then do not follow through with their responsibilities, and these members are going to be removed from the Task force. Putter has actually been in contact with several National Legislators to become members but at this time has not received a definite commitment, but remains hopeful. Part of his goals for the upcoming year is to obtain as many Federal Grants as possible to be used for National Motorcycle related issues.
One of the important issues we deal with at our Board Meetings is discussing and coming up with reasonable cities to hold future Conventions and Board meetings. Animal, David Reid generally handles the legwork making sure that cities being considered will be viable locations. After discussion and voting it was decided that the 2014 Convention in May, will be in Dallas, TX and the 2014 Board Meeting in November will be in Baltimore, MD.
Then discussion commenced for the important Silver Spokes Awards Nominations for the banquet at the 2014 Convention. This is the highlight of the Convention to honor those that have gone above and beyond for the Motorcycling community. There are awards given in different categories from Government to entertainment to the special Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award. It was decided that our very own, AZ Motorcycle advocate Bobbi Hartman will receive this award in 2014. She is currently involved with the Lobby Team representing MMA of Arizona.
We then went on to discuss what type of new Seminars we can bring for the membership that attends the Convention. This next year we seem to be focusing on what it will take to move forward with researching and writing to receive Grants and to pass Legislation, local and national. Also, there was a presentation from Slider Gilmore on Staying Alive — training and education for new riders, including Trike riders.
Saturday morning, after the open Board Meeting for all in attendance, the Regional Meeting continued with “Putter” covering Freedom of the Road throughout the USA.
The points included:
- How free are we to just ride from one state to another?
- Are laws in your state valid in other states and viceversa? If you have questions, check laws in other states prior to going there.
Because it is so important for all to understand, “DD” from the Outsiders MC out of Washington State explained how he and the concerned Motorcyclists of Washington got the first and only, to date, Anti-Profiling Bill written into State Law. He was followed with the Regional attendees reviewing what has been going on in their local areas. The Regional Meeting was rounded out by the Confederation of Clubs Meeting and Christian Unity.
Steve “Muskrat” Musgrave
NCOM Region 9 Board Member
After 15 years, it was great to once again attend the NCOM conference in Albuquerque New Mexico. The first session Friday started off with the NCOM Legislative Task Force (LTF) meeting, of which I am a member. Chairman, State Senator Putnam of South Dakota, described the new structure of the LTF and informed the participants that we are available to assist them in their states, and just a phone call away.
Opening ceremonies was conducted by Doc, chairman of NCOM, and introduced the hosting parties and the mayor of Albuquerque. Mayor Richard Berry, talked about his relationship with New Mexico bikers and standing side by side with them in the future.
In the first seminar, Double ‘D’, Outsiders MC out of Washington state and one of the key people in the passing of Washington’s recent Profiling Bill, talked about how we have to ‘unify’ and ‘focus’ on the same political issues. He described the importance of documentation and the ability to represent ourselves in public and to the legislators, and that the elements we need to do that are, natural passion, knowledge, the ability to embrace the language and confidence. He stated you have to be as knowledgeable on the subject, so that you become the ‘expert’. You need your organizations support and to be able to ‘control the message’ and have consistency along the way. He spoke of the importance of a ‘Media Kit’ that is visually appealing, and contains the Purpose, History, and Mission Statement of your organization as well as a Press Release and Summary.
Gimmy Jimmy, Bandidos MC and National Commander of the US Defenders program, talked about the importance of all of us researching the ‘Fusion Centers’ in our states, and of telling our legislators about them.
Following is a report from the Confederation of Clubs General Patch Holders Meeting:
Indiana – Has a pro-motorcycle governor that may run for the White House. Has a lot of participation from ABATE of Indiana in their COC.
North Carolina – Ran a ‘specialized plate’ Bill to allow motorcycle clubs to have their names on their plates.
Oklahoma – Their COC is doing better than just ok and they are hosting the Region II in 2011.
Southern California – Have had to change their COC meeting locations, due to Law Enforcements putting pressure on building owners. They had one of the largest blood drives on record and surprised the local hospital by breaking an all time record. Success with ‘Share the Road’ signs decreasing fatalities and running a repeal on ‘biker only checkpoints’.
Southern Nevada – Have spent 12 years trying to repeal the helmet law and finally got it out of committee this year.
Arizona – Talked about last years no colors run to Kingman and the success of the protest run to Pima County Fair this year and how, after showing up with lawyers and the media, 300 patch holders were allowed access to the fair. This was brought upon by the fairs ‘No Colors Policy’, leading to the 2010 arrest of a member of the Devils Diciples MC. He was charged with criminal trespassing for not removing his colors when asked to do so, but had been a vendor at the fair and in and out of it for days prior.
TMRA2 Texas – Talked about the unbelievable success of the US Defenders program and how Gimmy Jimmy came into Corpus Christi and ‘Lit Them Up”. They make a point of being seen and recently filled the rotunda at the Texas Capitol on legislative day.
North Dakota – Supported a ‘rumble strip’ Bill, as they have a lot of accidents caused by drivers crossing the center line.
North Carolina – Working well with their MRO, execution of the US Defenders program and finally got a sponsor to submit an Equal Access Bill.
Michigan – Working on a helmet repeal.
PA – Eastern town – The cop shop there doesn’t like bikers riding through their town with their ‘colors’ on. On club member gets ticketed at least once a month and told them that he just considers it $200 rent a month to ride through their city.
The Keynote speaker at Saturday’s general session, was none other than State Representative Rick Miera, also a member of the NCOM LTF. Rick is a long time motorcycle supporter and rider. He welcomed everyone to the ‘Land of Enchantment’ and said he knew we had a good time Friday night, because he could hear us! He described the historical perspective of New Mexico, the fight to repeal the helmet law in the past and NHTSA’s blackmail efforts. The state legislators asked themselves, do we really want the feds to dictate via dollars, how we run our state? He said we need to get organized by seeking the help of one another and to stay organized and ahead of the game. In closing, he presented NCOM with a House of Representatives proclamation of
Following is a report from the Regional Meeting:
Arizona – Discussed Highway signs, handle bar heights, 2010 HIPAA Bill, potential Distracted Driving Bill, left turns and the Medical Care Plan for bikers in our state.
Wyoming – Didn’t have any motorcycle specific Bills, but lobbied a non-smoking Bill and Against the state putting up energy windmills in their yards, and For being able to exceed the speed limit by 10mph when passing and Against the 3ft clearance of bicycles when passing. As of July 1st, Wyoming will honor out of state ‘Conceal Carry’ licenses.
Nevada – Reno Rick doesn’t understand the ‘closed COC’ concept and talked about their COC having sport bike clubs and women’s clubs and even trying to get dirt bikes involved.
Colorado – Talked about surprising the legislators by rallying to the Capitol on a snowy cold day, and how they do not want another call to action on a Bill, if they can help it. Diablo said we need to Step Up – Speak Up – and take our House back. It’s our F’n House.
South Dakota – State Senator Jim Putnam, Chairman of the NCOM LTF, spoke of the ‘No Colors’ issue in Sturgis and that more bars are implementing the policy. He said that in the future, S.D. will honor Concealed Weapons permits from all states.
Washington – Double D described Washington’s success and how the US Defenders Program has brought them together. They’ve had 100% success on their protest runs on 1st and 4th Amendments and with zero incidents on the road, among the clubs or in their establishments, they have been able to show a truly unified effort in making things happen. Most have never seen PigPen smile as much as he has, since Washington riders are speaking with ‘one voice’.
California – COC’s and MRO’s have come together this last year. A victory in Santa Cruz when fair officials apologized to COC members and opened their doors to them.
A final seminar on ‘Motorcycle Only Stops & Roadblocks, is a whole article in itself. Perhaps for another time.
MMA Authorized Lobbyist
NCOM LTF Member
I had the very unique pleasure of attending NCOM this year in Albuquerque. I’ve been trying to think of what to say and how to express my experience. Everyone gets something different from it and takes that experience home with them and then shares this with their Districts and clubs or organizations.
As I was trying to find a way of putting this into words I read what Mick Degn and Bobbi Hartman were thinking. They are amazingly prolific and covered the meat and potato’s of the conference extremely well. Anything I might come up with would be simply redundant. So as I talked to some of the others in my District who were able to make the conference, I realized that, they having taken their own unique outlook home with them. I’m going to share their views as well as mine.
*First we have Mojo. These are his insights.
For me the NCOM Convention gave me a new feeling of acceptance and appreciation. I went five years ago to the Louisville, KY convention and to see how much its grown let me know that the convention is working. To see 100 people in the region nine meeting compared to 12 five years ago was a real inspiration to keep up the fight for motorcycle rights, it makes me feel like I’m a part of something that is making our world a better place. One of the most inspirational speakers was a young man named Double D from the Outsiders MC from Tacoma, WA.
Double D along with his clubs help & Abate of WA were able to pass a Non-Motorcycle Profiling Bill in WA, if you look at him you would never know he could be as articulate and informative as he was, he is an outstanding representative of the motorcycle community and we are lucky to have him. Also to see some of the same officers (MRO & MC) and many new officers working hard together for our rights and not getting burned out gave me the resolve to keep going. Sometimes you might feel like you’re all alone and doing all the work, trust me you are not alone and we are making a difference.
Spread Your Wings & Fly
Eagle Dist. Board Member
*Next we have Cheri Dubrow
What a beautiful ride for all five of us, Mick, Billy, Buzzard, Mike, & Cherie 10 hours 220 miles later.
Friday: AIM Attorney Conference. Richard M. Lester discussed Freedom of the road and use of the courts. Bottom line, if you get into any situation call the AIM attorneys. They may not be able to handle your case but can refer you to the proper people.
Opening ceremony – good overview of orientation and goals of the convention. Good speaker from the state of New Mexico (I can’t remember his name).
World of Sports bikes – Everyone agrees that we need this very valuable group of riders. NSBA doing a lot to try and get the various groups together.
U. S. Defenders program – Moderator Gimmy Jimmy, Bandidos MC/COC great information on how the U. S. Defenders program is working throughout the U. S.
Women in Motorcycling – great discussions on Women & motorcycling. Two groups of “Leather & Lace” one in New York and one in California have been disagreeing for years, but came together at this venue to put down the disagreements between them and move forward in a positive manner.
SMRO’s & COC working together – Some great examples of how to work beside each other instead of fighting each other.
Freedom Fighters Social – not many attended, but it was nice that they provided this event.
Saturday: General session, great speakers. 214 names read for the ringing of the bell, very moving. Unfortunately there are too many names each year. We learned about Fusion Centers the government is setting up with Data Bases of information on bikers.
Regional Meetings; we are region 9. COC Pima County Fair Protest Run had 400 bikers participate. Last year it was the Kingman Protest Run. Before that is was Jerome. We have lost some great people, Kimmy, PaulaR, and the injuries to Colin and J.
Our Lobby Team:
- Sky Pilot – lobbyist for COC, Governors office of Highway Safety. They are very uncooperative. Will not approve the use of our network of Highway Signs (Amber Alert), The HIPPA law was shot down by the insurance companies. Currently working on Handle Bar height. No comprehensive study has been done to determine what if any dangers the height of the handle bars presents.
- Bobbie Hartman – working on unfair settlement, not cover in some cases. Unfair Discrimination will not cover. Distracted Driver bill was too close to the current Reckless Driver law.
- Mick Degn – We have had money swept from our State fund by the state. We are establishing a 501 (c) 3, we have attorneys and legislative person on board. We will use it to educate with media, PSA’s and Billboards.
- Carol – ABATE we have had several left turn accidents this year, working on trying to change the traffic signals.
- Cat – Medieval Maidens Arizona Motorcyclist Medical Care Plan from Tennessee. $300.00 per year physician coverage. $500.00 couples, $750.00 covers 4 people.
Motorcycle only stops and roadblocks – Double D from Washington State, told us about the no Profiling bill they passed unanimously. He offered to share the bill with anyone trying to get this type of bill passed in their states.
2nd Amendment – Right to bear arms. Some states will allow you to carry your weapon if you have met your states requirements.
Silver Spoke Awards Banquet – Honoring those that have worked so hard over the year to make Motorcycle riders safer, treated equally, and not harassed.
Sunday: 10 hours 220 miles later glad to be home.
Bills to get involved in:
HR904 Federal Bill, S436 Fix gun law to require all sales go through registration (even private transfers).
HR822 National right to carry (guns).
MMA attending districts:
- Casa Grande
- Rim Country
Next year NCOM – Indianapolis, Indiana
* Then we have our Road Captain, Buzzard
on the 5th of May 2011, I had the privilege of attending the 26th Annual NCOM Convention. The ride there along with other members of the MMA Eagle Dist. was fun as well as pleasurable. The weather was fantastic and being with friends and associates was enjoyable. We checked in at the Hyatt Regency, dead tired and ready to relax. Some of us went and socialized with other riders! This was a great opportunity to find out who was there and where they were from and who they were representing. We meet some very interesting and articulate people from all over the country. The next morning, May 6th at 10:00 a.m. was the first conference. “Freedom of the road and the use of the courts”. Followed by “Profiling”, “Personnel Injury” and “structured Settlements”. I couldn’t wait for lunch to get here! At 1:00 p.m. “Opening Ceremonies” the pledge of allegiance and host comments. And a very nice welcome speech from the Mayor of Albuquerque, NM. At 2:00 p.m. Seminar 1, I attended “Public Speaking”. This presentation was performed by a young man of about 24 or 25 years of age. Member of the outsiders M/C State of Washington COC’s. You would never have guessed by the looks of this young man that he was so well informed, intelligent and so articulate with his presentation! Re: $90.000 court award from the state of WA. For Motorcycle Profiling and Illegal roadside spot checks. At 5:30p.m. I attended, (in my opinion) the best seminar, #2. State MRO’s and COC’s are working together. (Power and Influence by numbers!) The guest speakers were very informative and entertaining! Posers, Wanna Be’s and Patch Holders was the topic, it was educational and funny at the same time. You really needed to be there to grasp the importance and desire in this important topic! At 8:30 was the Freedom Fighters Social. Almost everyone ended up outside to talk about the day’s events and find out about each other in the beautiful evening weather. On Mat 7 the General Session started at 9:00am with the Chairman of NCOM Board of Directors and the Invocation, Special Dedications and the “Ringing of the Bell”. This year there were 144 names (2 for the same person) so nit was 143 names, still too many people to leave us, so soon. At 11:00am Regional Sessions began, and we attended Regions 1, 3 and 9. This is where your Regional Chairman made comments limited to 2 minutes each. 15 States in these 3 regions. It was interesting but long! At 2:00 p.m. I attended “Motorcycle Only Stops and Roadblocks”; this presentation was moderated by NY & CT. State Attorney. Mitch Proner. His presentation addressed the States misuse of individual rights and profiling of Motorcyclists. At 3:30 the next seminar covered the 2nd Amendment “Your Right to Bear Arms”, at 7:30pm the Silver Spoke Award Banquet. The presentations were professionally done and the food was OKAY! Later that evening we all went about our own, most went outside by the Downtown Boardwalk and lounge areas to socialize and tell stories and make new friends.
Jim Taylor, ”Buzzard”
Eagle District, MMA
And as for me…
I was amazed at the grace and eloquence that the presenters and attendees alike spoke and presented their presentations and questions. Its funny how the general public have this misconception that Bikers are just a bunch of drunken, no brained dolts. Nothing could be farther from the truth and was demonstrated very well at this conference. I was proud to be there and be a part of it. I would like to thank you all for your trust and confidence and hope you all enjoyed reading about what we all experienced. Next year… Try to make the trip yourself. You won’t regret it!
Billy Larson, “DESPERADO”
Eagle Dist. BOD.
MMA Authorized Lobbyist