Welcome to December. This is the end of 2017 and the official beginning of an election year. This year we will have another biennial mini-revolution. Every state house and senate seat are on the ballot. Also on the November ballot will be every United States House of Representatives seat, and one third of The U.S. Senate seats. If you don’t like your government don’t complain- VOTE. This year ABATE of Arizona has seen fit to support my friend, Kyrsten Sinema, in her primary campaign for the Senate seat currently held by Jeff Flake. We gave her a check for $250.00. We have donated to her before as she has been a friend to motorcyclists on a federal level. She joined the Congressional Motorcycle Caucus and has signed on to cosponsor a number of motorcycle related bills in her five years in congress. I am sure that if she goes to the Senate, she will continue her support of our issues.
I was in Oklahoma City from November 10th to the 12th for a board meeting of the National Coalition of Motorcyclists. I am the Region IX director. I learned many incredible things. I also shared issues Arizona is dealing with. One thing that shocked me was the left lane law in Oklahoma. In that state, it is illegal to drive in the left lane on a multi lane highway unless you are passing. At that time, you can pass a car provided you don’t go more than8 mph over the posted speed limit. A speeding ticket is $108.00. A ticket for impeding traffic (driving in the left lane after passing), will cost you $238.00. There is also a $35.00 court fee. If you want to fight a ticket, for whatever, you must pay the fine and the court fee first. If you win, you get the fine back but the court keeps the fee. And the new court date is at least two weeks away. So, your de facto fine is time off of work plus $35.00. I was talking to some of the people and told them that if the Arizona legislature tried that we would swarm the capitol. At least I think we would.
Another topic that came up is the first trial at Waco. The defense was filing motions to force the prosecutors to comply with discovery. The prosecutors finally did with a 1 Terabyte document dump. 1 TB is about 867,000 pages of documents. This is a standard procedure for corporate lawsuits and criminal prosecutions. You hold out on discoverable items until you are on the verge of contempt of court, then you back a truck full of papers and dump them on the opposing attorneys. Most law firms will either ask for a continuance or hire extra people to help sort through the mess. This is the new operating procedure in McLennan County, Texas. They are facing billions of dollars in lawsuits and this trial that just ended cost about $2 million. The townsfolk are up in arms. This single trial ended in a mistrial. The jury told the judge that they agreed on a not guilty verdict on the murder charge but were deadlocked on the other two charges. He sent them back to deliberate more and they could not agree. The judge did not accept a not guilty verdict and all three charges will probably be retried. A judge said that they could try one case every two months. This would mean the 153 remaining defendants would have their day in court some time before 2044. There is a new space/time void in the heart of Texas. This is an area where the United States Constitution does not apply, where human and civil rights are mythological concepts. I would advise all to avoid the void of humanity called Texas.
Other revelations include that at least five of those killed were shot by rooftop snipers. Two of the Cossacks were police informants and at least one was an undercover officer. Witnesses saw the officer take off his cut and a woman near him handed him a lanyard with a police identification. We also learned that the informants were the instigators of the fight. There is more yet to be revealed. Police are still fighting to keep video from cameras mounted on poles from being made public. One big push by the prosecution is to make life miserable enough that some will plea to some lesser charge just to end the insanity. Anyone who does that is screwed on the lawsuits over the injustice. In the meantime, many families are suffering and this will not end soon. We spoke with one of the actual attorneys fighting the cases there. He gave a power point overview. We have to remember that anything law enforcement does that is successful will be replicated elsewhere. Right now, there are police in Ohio doing motorcycle safety checkpoints. They are doing them in California as well. There is no victory in our struggle to maintain our lifestyle. Police are constantly working to curtail our freedoms. We must remain vigilant or they will have us riding in eggs with no power that stop anytime they push a button. As ever, I am watching for possible intrusions on our lifestyles. Stay warm and safe out there. Remember, we get to ride in the winter while a lot of the country is storing bikes for the winter.
Johnny D ALMA MC
ACMC Designated Lobbyist
ABATE State PAC Officer
Hello all, welcome to November. This is the time of year when most parts of the country see leaves changing, cold rains coming, and people prepping their bikes for the winter. Here in Arizona, we are just relieved that the 100+ temperatures are generally gone. We do have some elections going on, mostly school bond overrides, city council elections, or municipal bond issues. We are also seeing people jockeying for position for the 2018 election season. Next year looks like there will be many candidates for office as some state legislators are term limited and others are seeking higher office. Congressional District 9 is one to watch since Kyrsten Sinema is running in a primary for the U.S. Senate seat currently held by Jeff Flake. There are others running as well. It is important that everyone vote in the upcoming election. Everyone should vote in every election. The United States has nearly the lowest participation rate of any other nation on earth. Arizona is a bit higher than the average state but we are still just above 50% participation. When I think of the Revolutionary War, where people died to produce a republic that was run by democratically elected representatives, I think of how terrible the rule of a king or despot is on the people. Through the ages, people have suffered at the hands of unelected monarchs. At the end of World War II, many nations were saved from a tyrannical dictator by the sacrifices of brave people who died to keep people free. When I look at election results and see that barely half of all eligible voters are registered and only about half of those people vote, I feel like we are spitting on the graves of those valiant warriors.
On January 8, 2018, our legislature opens its new session. As always, I invite everyone to come down to the capitol on 17th Avenue between Jefferson and Adams Streets. The address is 1700 W. Washington, but Washington ends just before the capitol building and the road forks. Check your maps to see this. It usually gets interesting about 10:00 am. Every group with issues before the legislature sends people down there. Bikers have been going to this event for some years now and we always attract legislators and other government officials. Please try to make it. It really is an interesting event.
That is all I have for now. The best riding time of the year is upon us, be safe out there. Happy holidays.
Johnny D ALMA MC
ACMC Designated Lobbyist
ABATE State PAC Officer