Hello again, it is near the end of October as I write this. By the time you read it, Riot on the River will have been a great party in Winkleman. Picture about 2,000 bikers doing what we like to do the most. Friends, bikes, games, and fun happening in a campground that is secluded.
I hope that you went. There is a great deal going on.
I get to go to Irvine, CA for an NCOM board meeting this month. There are several bills being considered at the federal level. One of them is a house resolution recognizing that biker profiling is an issue in every state. Being a lobbyist has me involved on all levels of government. I am in contact with lawmakers at every level of the government. This year ABATE is supporting Kyrsten Sinema in her reelection bid. She has been with us for four years in congress on every bill we had in play. MRF is supporting her as well. MRF is also supporting Ann Kirkpatrick in her senate bid. Ann is a friend to bikers as well. This election will be pivotal. The animosity on the campaign trail is palpable.
Our governor has tried for two sessions to expand private prisons by 2000 beds. The marijuana legalization effort could scuttle his plans for good. If they can’t prosecute for possession or cultivation of pot, the prisons will be closing rather than expanding. Do you want a tax cut? Would you like schools to be funded fully? The extra money left after the legalization of weed will go a long way. The tax money from legalized MJ will fund schools longer than the land trust scam.
Whomever wins the presidential election will leave many on the other side disheartened and angry. I would like to remind everyone that our nation has survived much worse in its history. In my life time one president was assassinated, one likely president was murdered, one was nearly killed, and one resigned in disgrace. One president we had was never elected by the people. I hope that we can all remember that after the dust has settled, we are all American bikers and our true goal in life is to live free.
To that end, the ACMC is running a biker profiling again this year. We will be getting help from the Motorcycling Profiling Project, AKA David Devereaux. We will also receive input from Maryland, Washington, and California SMROs. This year we need everyone on board. Some people want to run a lane sharing bill but our community is mixed on that. Many do not want to see this legalized in Arizona fearing backlash from cagers stuck in traffic. One idea was to allow motorcycles to split lanes and use shoulders to exit heavy traffic. There are those who have their minds set on a full lane sharing law. Law enforcement opposes this, of course, because they claim their ability to pull over speeding bikes in traffic will be limited. The Governor’s Office of Highway Safety (GOHS) will have input as well as our Governor’s friend, the head of the DPS. I don’t expect that law to pass during this state administration.
The Motorcycle Safety Fund is on another bill. The new version will not include a board to advise and consent as to appropriations from the fund, but Alberto Gutier, director of GOHS has promised to use the majority of the money to fund AMSAC scholarships. I hope this happens. Since the beginning of this practice, motorcycle deaths are lower than prior to it.
We still have too many people going don carelessly, or hitting fixed objects. More than 50 in 2015. I hope to see this number decrease in this year. The ADOT publishes records in June after the year recorded.
In August I was hospitalized for a month. When I got home I wasn’t up to writing, or anything for that matter. I appreciate the love and well wishes from the entire ABATE membership. I thank you all for caring. My family is huge. Our community is solid. I am working on making it larger. I will see you after the election. Ride safe, ride free.
Johnny D ALMA MC
Arizona Confederation of Motorcycle Clubs Designated Lobbyist
Arizona ABATE PAC Officer