Newsletter May 2017
CONGRESSIONAL BILLS REINTRODUCED TO CURB ETHANOL
Calling the Federal Ethanol Mandate “a Flop,” a bipartisan group of lawmakers have re-introduced two bills in the U.S. House of Representatives to cap the ethanol content of commercial gasoline and decrease the total volume of renew- able fuel that must be contained in gasoline on the American market.
“It’s time the ethanol mandate became a thing of the past. While well-intentioned from the start, after a decade of this policy it couldn’t be more obvious that the RFS is a flop,” announced Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) on March 2, 2017 after introducing two bills to alter the Renewable Fuel Standard (RFS), the RFS Elimination
Act (H.R. 1314) and the RFS Reform Act (H.R. 1315).
Reps. Goodlatte, Jim Costa (D-CA), Steve Womack (R-AR), and Peter Welch (D-VT) issued a joint statement after reintroducing H.R. 1315; “The Renewable Fuel Standard is a well-intentioned flop…it’s clearer than ever that the federal government’s creation of an artificial market for the ethanol industry has resulted in a domino effect that is hurting people across the country.”
The RFS Elimination Act (H.R. 1314) has the support of 60 bipartisan cosponsors and would repeal the Renewable Fuel Standard which mandates that 36 billion gallons of renewable fuels (primarily corn ethanol) be part of our nation’s fuel supply by 2022. The RFS Reform Act (H.R. 1315), which has the support of 42 cosponsors, “eliminates corn-based ethanol requirements, caps the amount of ethanol that can be blended into conventional gasoline at 10 percent, requires the EPA to set cellulosic biofuels levels at production levels, and decreases the total volume of renewable fuel that must be contained in gasoline sold or introduced into commerce for years 2017-2022.”
BLACK BOX PRIVACY PROTECTION ACT
H.R.736, the “Black Box Privacy Protection Act”, was introduced in the House on January 30, 2017 by Rep. Michael Capuano (D-MA). This bill amends the Automobile Information Disclosure Act to require manufacturers of new automobiles to disclose on the information label affixed to the window of the automobile:
(1) the presence and location of an event data recorder (commonly referred to as a “black box”),
(2) the type of information recorded and how such information is recorded, and
(3) that the recording may be used in a law enforcement proceeding
The bill sets forth similar requirements for
An “event data recorder” is any device or means of technology installed in an automobile that records information such as automobile or motorcycle speed, seat belt use, application of brakes, or other information pertinent to the operation of the automobile or motorcycle. The bill prohibits the manufacture, sale, offering for sale, or import into the United States of an automobile manufactured after model year of 2016 that is equipped with an event data recorder, unless the consumer can control the recording of information
Violators are liable to the U.S. government for a civil penalty of up to $5,000 for each
violation with a maximum penalty of $35 million for a related series of violations.
The event data recorder in an automobile or motorcycle, and any data recorded,
shall be considered the property of the owner of the automobile or motorcycle.
Retrieval or downloading of recorded data by any other person is unlawful, except:
(1) with the owner’s consent, (2) in response to a court order, or (3) by a dealer or automotive technician to service the vehicle. Certain violations are to be treated
as unfair or deceptive acts or practices under the Federal Trade Commission Act
IDAHO SENATE KILLS ANTI-PROFILING BILL THAT HOUSE UNANIMOUSLY ENDORSED
Idaho senators killed a proposal outlawing motorcycling profiling, which had passed the House unanimously, defeating H.B.123 on the Senate floor by a vote of 22-13 on March 15.
Several senators said they’d spoken with their local sheriffs or other law enforcement and learned there had been no complaints of motorcycle profiling, that law enforcement opposed the bill, and one senator testified that his local sheriff said if
the bill became law a motorcycle gang member wearing colors who was stopped for probable cause would get a plausible defense.
The bill would have banned motorcycle profiling by state or local law enforcement,
which it defines as “the arbitrary use of the fact that a person rides a motorcycle or wears motorcycle-related paraphernalia as a factor in deciding to stop and question, take enforcement action, arrest or search a person or vehicle.”
In 2011, the state of Washington passed a further-reaching law, which also included
requirements for training for law enforcement. Advocates reported that complaints
about motorcycle profiling there dropped 90 percent after the anti-profiling law took
effect. In 2016, Maryland became the second state to enforce such anti-profiling
“This bill is consistent with good police practices, which relies on conduct for making a stop,” said Senator Jeff Agenbroad (R-Nampa), the bill’s Senate sponsor in an
interview with The Spokesman-Review newspaper.
WASHINGTON ACTIVISTS RALLY FOR LANE-SPLITTING
Motorcycle advocates rallied in Olympia on Friday, March 17 in support of state Sen-
ate Bill 5378, which would allow motorcycles to go in-between cars stuck in traffic, or “split lanes.”
Some motorcyclists are demanding a public hearing. The bill has passed in the Senate with a bipartisan majority but has since been stuck in a House committee for weeks. Motorcyclists want a vote on it, and before that can happen, it needs a public
The issue has created a firestorm on social media, pitting many drivers against
motorcycle riders who want to see the legislation pass in Washington State.
“In most cases we can split a lane and not interfere with anybody or not hit anybody,
and we can move on right down the road,” Andy McAfee, a member of Spanaway
ABATE, told CBS-affiliate KREM-2 news.
Basically, the law would allow motorcyclists to ride between lanes of cars in
heavy traffic. They would have to keep their speeds below 35 mph and go no more than 10 MPH above the flow of traffic.
If passed, the legislation would also make vehicle drivers guilty of an infraction if they
intentionally block a motorcycle from splitting lanes.
Currently, lane splitting is only legal in California, though similar measures have recently been introduced in Texas(S.B.288), Oregon (S.B.385) and Hawaii (H.B.727).
GEORGIA BILL WOULD ALLOW MOTORCYCLES TO FILTER FORWARD AT SIGNALS
Introduced February 27, House Bill 490 in
Georgia would allow the operator of a motorcycle to “overtake and pass in the same
lane occupied by the vehicle being overtaken under certain conditions”:
(1) The vehicle is stationary in traffic awaiting the change of a traf-
(2) The motorcycle is not traveling more than ten miles per hour; and
(3) The motorcycle is being maneuvered to be placed in front of stationary traffic or to
gain access to an adjacent turning lane.
UTAH LEGISLATURE VOTES TO REQUIRE HELMETS FOR RIDERS UP TO
A bill to newly require motorcyclists ages 18, 19 and 20 to wear helmets has passed
the Utah legislature and is on its way to Governor Gary Herbert for his signature or
veto. Under current Utah law, motorcyclists under 18 years old are required to
The Utah House voted 43-30 on Wednesday, March 8 to approve S.B.159. The
Senate previously approved it 17-12. The bill is sponsored by Senator Brian Sh-
iozawa (R-Cottonwood Heights), an emergency room doctor who says he has seen far too many traumatic head injuries from motorcycle crashes among young adults
But several lawmakers argued against the proposal, questioning the value of restricting personal freedoms in the name of safety and describing the bill as “legislative creep.”
ARIZONA HELMET LAW DECISIVELY DEFEATED
“In Arizona, you don’t mess with regulations on who can ride in the back of a pickup truck, and you don’t force a helmet on a motorcyclists’ head,” stated the Arizona Republic newspaper in reporting the demise of a Pay-to-Play helmet law proposal in committee. “That was made clear Wednesday (Jan 18), when a bill to mandate helmets got its first public consideration in years and promptly died
Even the Democratic colleagues of the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Randy Friese (D-Tuc-
son), voted against House Bill 2046.
“Although no one could immediately pinpoint the last time the issue came before a
committee, the prior proposal inspired bikers to circle the Capitol mall, longtime staffers said. The rumble from the engines was so loud it was heard inside House and Senate chambers and shook office partitions.”
Bikers decked out in leather and bandanas told lawmakers the greater peril came from
cars and trucks and said more education for all drivers is the better solution. The eight members of the House Transportation Committee sided with the bikers, voting unanimously to reject the bill.
H.B.2046 would have imposed a fine of $500 on violators, with $300 of the fine
going directly to a fund for head trauma riders could pay a fee when registering their motorcycle allowing them to purchase an exemption to the law.
DRIVERLESS BIG RIGS NEARLY ROAD READY
Self-driving big rigs that improve logistics, cost savings and road safety, could be on freeways even sooner than autonomous passenger cars, which have been hogging
most of the limelight.
The process of automating long-haul freight trucks — the behemoths that deliver
food and goods, often to places airplanes, boats and trains can’t or won¹t go — is actually easier than it is for cars. This is because these trucks spend most of their road time on open highways, where there is less stopping and fewer traffic rules than
in areas with pedestrians, according to Anthony Levandowski CEO at Otto.
Speaking at the annual Mobile World Congress in a former software engineer on Google¹s self- driving car project, added that despite racking up only 5.6 percent of all the miles driven in the U.S., trucks are found to be at fault for nearly 9.5 percent of the country¹s
driving fatalities. Many proponents of self-driving technology believe it can reduce human error, often brought on by fatigue.
Otto, which Uber bought in August 2016, also wants to enable driverless commercial trucks to operate in carefully synchronized fleets. “Truck Platooning,” explains
Jim Elgin, Chairman of ABATE of Ohio, “is a fast track issue” using radar and vehicle-
vehicle (V2V) technologies to form and maintain close headway formation between two or more in-lane vehicles.
Smart tailgating, but “The big question,” asks Elgin is it Motorcycle-Friendly or not?
Truck convoys are nothing new, of course, a computerized driving system could
theoretically let them safely drive even closer together reducing the wind drag that makes engines work harder and burn more gas. For obvious reasons these
trucks could also stay on the road for longer stretches giving drivers some much-needed downtime rather than getting exhausted.
OWN EASYRIDERS MAGAZINE “I AM OVER THE HILL!!!,” exclaims 76- year old Joe Teresi, owner and publisher of Easyriders magazine, among other titles. The past 46 years have “been a HELL of a ride,” but Teresi is ready to “ride
off into the sunset” and rather than post an auction notice “I would prefer to sell to or read this For more info: www.PaisanoAuction.com.
Newsletter March 2017
Compiled & Edited by Bill Bish, National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM)
BUTCH HARBAUGH, GONE BUT NOT FOR- GOTTEN
It is with great sadness that we report the death of longtime Freedom Fighter, Butch Har- baugh, former Chairman of the National Coali- tion of Motorcyclists – Legislative Task Force (NCOM-LTF), among other positions.
Butch passed away February 7th from heart failure and cancer.
“When I began as the AIM (Aid to Injured Mo- torcyclists) and NCOM Attorney for Oregon back in the late 1980’s, Butch was actively in- volved with ABATE, and with BikePAC since it was founded,” recalls Sam Hochberg, AIM At- torney Emeritus, and now Of Counsel to Christopher Slater, Oregon & Washington AIM Attorney.
“He spent many years as the lobby- ist for ABATE, and was well-known, respected and liked by many in the legislature in Salem.”
A biker rights activist since the 1970s, Butch attended and helped organize many STEAM conferences and ABATE/BikePac planning re- treats.
He was a regular at many ABATE runs around the state, often helping AIM Chief of Staff “Gunny”, now retired, at the AIM/NCOM tables, and was known and highly respected in the biker’s rights community nationwide.
Butch also participated in many NCOM Con- ventions, and in 2003 was bestowed with the Ron Roloff Lifetime Achievement Award, NCOM’s highest tribute.
This year’s 32nd An- nual Convention, to be held over Mother’s Day weekend May 11-14th in Reno, Nevada at the Silver Legacy Resort Casino, will be dedicated in his honor.
For the past dozen or so years, Butch lived with his loving wife Laura in Rigby, Idaho, where he enjoyed riding his Panhead and was active in the home-brewing community.
Always friendly, engaging and enthusiastic about motorcycles and biker’s rights, he will be greatly missed.
With the 32nd Annual NCOM Convention in Reno just weeks away, at this time the Na- tional Coalition of Motorcyclists is requesting that MROs, motorcycle clubs, and riding associations submit the names of those members and supporters who have died since last May, so that we may honor their memories during the traditional “Ringing of the Bell” tribute to fallen riders during the opening ceremonies.
Dedications should be e-mailed in advance to Bill Bish at NCOMBish@aol.com, or can be hand-delivered at the Convention to “Doc” Re- ichenbach, NCOM Chairman of the Board.
NHTSA SEEKS TO CURB DRIVER DISTRAC- TIONS The National Highway Traffic Safety Adminis- tration (NHTSA) is proposing new federal guidelines to provide a safety framework for developers of portable and aftermarket elec- tronic devices to use when developing visual- manual user interfaces for their systems.
According to NHTSA and the Department of Transportation (DOT), their “Visual-Manual NHTSA Driver Distraction Guidelines for Portable and Aftermarket Devices” [Docket No.
NHTSA-2013-0137] will “encourage innovative solutions such as pairing and Driver Mode that, when implemented, will reduce the potential for unsafe driver distraction by limiting the time a driver’s eyes are off the road, while at the same time preserving the full functionality of these devices when they are not used while driving.”
Driver distraction is a specific type of inattention that occurs when drivers divert their attention away from the driving task to focus on another activity.
This distraction can come from electronic devices, such as texting or emailing on cell phones or smartphones, and more traditional activities such as interacting with passengers, eating, or events external to the vehicle.
The crash data indicate that visual-manual interaction (an action that requires a user to look away from the roadway and manipulate a but- ton or interface) with portable devices, particularly cell phones, is often the main distraction for drivers involved in crashes.
In 2015, 10% of the 35,092 traffic fatalities in- volved one or more distracted drivers, and these distraction-affected crashes resulted in 3,477 fatalities, an 8.8% increase from the 3,197 fatalities in 2014.
Of the 5.6 million non-fatal crashes in 2014, 16% were distraction-af- fected crashes, and resulted in 424,000 people injured.
At any given time, an estimated 542,073 driv- ers are using hand-held cell phones while driving.
Currently no safety guidelines exist for portable device technologies when they are used during a driving task.
RESEARCHERS BLAME “OTHER DRIVERS” FOR MOST MOTORCYCLE ACCIDENTS
An Australian study states “failure of other drivers to give way” as the most common factor in motorcycle accidents. Research by Monash University in Melbourne has found that human error was the primary contributing factor for 94% of bike accidents.
“Whilst with single-bike crashes, rider error and loss of control were found to be the most common causes, for incidents involving more than one vehicle, it was found that ‘motorcycle crashes occurring in lighter traffic more likely involved an error by another driver, including such things as failure to give way’.”
The motorcycle crash research studied over two hundred and thirty accidents between January 2012 and August 2014, with nurses at the hospitals and crash scene investigators aiding with the compilation of the data.
“Whilst car drivers were responsible for the majority of accidents in less-dense traffic, it was the motorcyclist to be more likely at fault for most ‘urban’ crashes and collisions how- ever,” Trevor Allen of the Monash University Research Centre told The Herald Sun newspaper, adding that this was most likely due to the greater frequency of danger; “Higher traffic density leads to more hazards and a higher level of difficulty for riders to move safely in and among traffic, compared with other vehicles.”
The research also found that the older the rider, the less likely it was that the rider was primarily to blame for the accident.
STUDY SHOWS MOTORCYCLE MARKET EXPANDS WHILE E-MOTO SALES FLATTEN
According to a study by the market research company Freedonia Group, global demand for all types of motorcycles is projected to climb 3.8% per year through 2020 to 113 million units. Internal combustion engine (ICE) mod- els have historically dominated the global motorcycle market, but demand for e-bikes and electric has scooters, motorcycles, and mopeds grown rapidly.
In 2005, electric models accounted for just 22% of worldwide motorcycle sales. Their share of the market grew to 35% in 2015, as the use of electric motorcycles in China in- creased sharply.
“Multiple developed countries – particularly Germany, the Netherlands, and the U.S. – also registered rapid electric product sales growth during the 2010-2015 period,” Gleb Mytko.
Global demand for ICE motorcycles is forecast to increase 5.5% per year through 2020, ac- cording to Freedonia Group’s World Motorcycle Sales Study, with advances fueled by
strong ICE product sales gains in a wide range of industrializing nations. As personal incomes in these countries rise between 2015 and 2020, more households will be able to afford motorcycles. Improving market conditions in the U.S., Western Europe, Japan, and other mature markets will contribute to growth as well.
Worldwide sales of e-bikes and electric motorcycles, scooters, and mopeds is projected to be flat during the 2015-2020 period because of declining product demand in China, by far the largest market for electric models, though demand for electric motorcycles outside of that country is forecast to grow at a double-digit annual pace
In developed nations, e-bikes will continue to rapidly capture market share from bicycles.
LONE STAR STATE Texas is contemplating becoming only the sec- ond state, after California, to allow motorcycle riders to split lanes in heavy traffic under certain conditions.
Senate Bill 228 was intro- duced on December 9, 2016, and if passed would make it legal for motorcycles to ride be- tween lanes of traffic on limited-access or con- trolled-access highways during periods of traffic congestion at a speed not more than 5 mph above the speed of other traffic, and only if that traffic is moving at 20 mph or less.
Lane-splitting, which was a long-standing but legally-ambiguous practice in California until it was made legal there in 2016, is common in Europe where motorcycles typically “filter” to the front of the line at of intersections traffic and ride in crowded cities.
NEW HAMPSHIRE LEGISLATION COULD REPEAL HANDLEBAR HEIGHT LAW Legislation repealing the restriction on the height of motorcycle handlebars — Senate Bill 27, by Senator Harold French (R-Franklin) — carried the New Hampshire Senate by a voice vote on January 19 and has been referred to the House of Representatives where most likely it will be assigned to the Transportation.
The current law prescribes that the hand grips can be no higher than the shoulders of a rider seated in the saddle. Charlie St. Clair, executive director of the Laconia Motorcycle Week Association, told the Laconia Daily Sun that if the House endorses and the governor signs the bill, New Hampshire will become the 19th state and first in New England not to restrict the height of handlebars, but it’s not clear whether the restriction will be lifted before the 94th running of Laconia Motorcycle Week in June.
As the host of the nation’s oldest rally, which attracts visitors from across the country, St. Clair said that New Hampshire should not im- pose restrictions that may inconvenience mo- torcyclists from other states.
Limits in other states vary considerably from shoulder height in Massachusetts, Maine and Connecticut, to eye level in some states and to heights above the saddle measured in inches in others.
Most restrictions on high bars, called “ape hangers” were introduced in the 1960s. Although touted as a safety measure, many motorcyclists claimed the restrictions were imposed to pro- vide police with a pretext for stopping and searching bikers.
MISSISSIPPI CONSIDERS LOWERING SALES TAX ON MOTORCYCLES
Legislation has been introduced (House Bill No. 1631 by Representative Steve Hopkins R- D7) which would “reduce the sales tax rate on retail sales of motorcycles from 7% to 5%,” as well as reduce the sales tax on other agricultural and farming products.
On February 15, the legislation was referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
QUINCY MIDNIGHT MOTORCYCLE BAN – FALSE! According to the Massachusetts Motorcycle Association (MMA), a recent report on quincy.com indicating that the City of Quincy, MA, has instituted a ban against any motorcycle being ridden between the hours of Midnight and 5am, unless exempted for work or emergency purposes, is NOT correct.
Although such a proposal was indeed filed, the council member who introduced it “immediately asked that it be withdrawn” after learning that such a proposal would not be legal.
NCOM CONVENTION ROLLS INTO RENO The 32nd annual NCOM Convention will be held Mother’s Day weekend, May 11-14, 2017 at the Silver Legacy Resort-Casino, located at 407 N. Virginia St. in Reno, Nevada so reserve your room now for the special NCOM rate of $99 by calling (800) 687-8733 and mention “GNCOM17”
The largest gathering of motorcycle rights activists in the world, this year’s NCOM Convention will draw over a thousand concerned bikers from across the country to the “Biggest Little City in the World” to engage in serious discussions on topics of concern to all riders.
All motorcyclists are welcomed and encouraged to participate in the many meetings, seminars and group discussions that focus on legislative efforts and litigation techniques to protect our riders’ rights and preserve Freedom of the Road.
Topics will range from legal and legislative issues to organizational effectiveness, with Special Meetings for Veterans Affairs, Women in Motorcycling, Clean & Sober Roundtable and World of Sport Bikes, as well as the Christian Unity Conference and Confederation of Clubs Patch Holders Meeting.
NCOM has successfully outreached to numerous segments of the motorcycling community in an effort to unite for our rights, both legal and legislatively, and has become a unifying voice amongst North America’s motorcycle rights organizations (MROs), motorcycle clubs, women riders, religious riding organizations, touring groups, trikers, sportbikers, and minority motorcyclists.
To pre-register for the 2017 NCOM Convention, contact the National Coalition of Motorcyclists at (800) 525-5355 or visit www.ON-A-BIKE.com.
QUOTABLE QUOTE: “Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.” ~ Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), statesman, and inventor.
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