However we feel obligated to do so should at some point in time, like urban legends, others besides himself may begin to believe them. Below the letter we have parsed it and added links that involve a lot of reading. We have added links to detail apart of Florida's helmet battle you may not be aware of. Yes it is tedious. However if you wish the truth “to set you free” you must be willing to search for it! Because James D. Reichenbach II bets on the fact that you won't!
I want to briefly talk about HB 137. This bill was fought against down to the passing and signing of this bill by the Governor by Abate of Florida. All committee hearing are public record and you can hear and even see some of them to see how Abate fought this bad legislation. We did succeed in taking out the confiscation section and raised the speed limit to 50 miles over and included all motor vehicles not just motorcycles. This bill certainly looked like it was going to be vetoed until we had an internet Cowboy threaten the life of the sponsor. In our society you CANNOT do that, do you think that is going to accomplish anything? We have fought for over twenty five years for motorcycle rights, long before any of these internet cowboys were even living in this state. Some of them weren’t here for the helmet fight in 2000 but certainly use the law to ride without a helmet that Abate of Florida got passed. Then we have the people from other states who are legends in their own minds that think we should do what they tell us in our own state. I don’t see them paying taxes, feeding our children nor doing anything else to support Florida so why should we do what they want? Abate of Florida will continue to fight for the rights of all motorcyclists in this state.
I appreciate the support that was given me for the Federal Advisory Committee that I have been appointed to. We are one of two states that will represent the county for states rights on this committee. The committee makes suggestions to the Federal Department of Transportation on highway matters that effect motorcycles. The name of the committee is the Motorcycle Advisory Committee-Federal Highway Administration (MAC-FHWA).
AND NOW LETS LOOK AT HOW MUCH CRAP IS IN THAT POST:
“I want to briefly talk about HB 137. This bill was fought against down to the passing and signing of this bill by the Governor by Abate of Florida. All committee hearing are public record and you can hear and even see some of them to see how Abate fought this bad legislation.”You will also see how the president of ABATE of Florida supported SB1992 which had SB802 (the companion bill to HB137 rolled into it). Stating from the back of the committee room while this writer was at the stand arguing against it (SB1992) that “Bikers” support this bill. So yes, we would encourage all to get the transcripts and read them. But as we all know, in politics there is always the back story, the story they do not want you to know. We know it, because we have documented it.
Check out the following links and you will see how the President of ABATE of Florida did not advocate against this bill until he was called on his stance, that the "bill is dead” and “do not write your legislators” by the internet cowboys he routinely disparages. As he does with Sportbikers.
The truth about HB137 it's companion bill SB802 and SB1992:
There are 4 pages of links on our site giving a blow by blow description of HB137. Go here to search them:
There are two pages of links chronicling SB1992 here:
Bruce from Bruce and Rays forum,
reports over 200 hundred posts on his site chronicling these bills.
Many of them made by respected Bikers Rights activists.
If James D. Reichenbach would like to add info re his back room dealings we would be glad to include that also.
“We did succeed in taking out the confiscation section and raised the speed limit to 50 miles over and included all motor vehicles not just motorcycles.”
We don't know who we is. We do know that the committee meetings were not overflowing with ABATE members. In fact only one other ABATE member was seen with him, commonly referred to as “Doc's bodyguard" by other ABATE members at one of the last committee hearings. He did not speak at the hearing.
It may be that Doc , as claimed by Representative Lopez-Cantera (but Doc denies), http://www.bigbendbikersforfreedom.com/2007/11/one-letter-from-politician-cantera-one.html
worked with Representative Cantera to seek a “compromise” which resulted in, by ABATE's own admission, a very bad law. $1000.00 , moving violation, points on your license, and most likely an insurance increase for a moving violation.
There were other individuals fighting against HB137 and it's related bills, SB802 and 1992, who were not seeking any compromise that could come down the pike and bite us in the ass as failure to defeat this bill has done. Doc forgets that? If Doc were alone in his battle, it was behind closed doors. But our last sentence in this document will reveal the result of any of that if it occurred.
“This bill certainly looked like it was going to be vetoed until we had an internet Cowboy threaten the life of the sponsor.”
This is a statement that Doc (president of ABATE of Florida) has repeated of late. When the blogger known as Bullfrog (and since his name was all over the south Florida Papers the president of ABATE of Florida should be aware of which “Internet Cowboy” he is referring to.) wrote in his blog, after HB137 had “already passed” the legislature,
“Clearly I now must kill and eat Carlos Lopez-Cantera,''A statement most people took for what it was, a metaphorical jibe at Lopez-Cantera. It did however, as reported in the papers land state investigators, at his door.
Note: Bullfrogs site was for “car racing enthusiasts.”
The only person who had any veto power at that point in time was the Governor. If ABATE of Florida had any info at all indicating that the Governor of the state of Florida has intentions of vetoing this bill until “Bullfrog” made his statement they have not substantiated it. We find it highly unlikely that Doc has any sway over governor Christ. To our knowledge Governor Christ has not been exactly motorcycle friendly.
If it is the highly improbable case that Doc has Governor Christ s ear and if he does lobby him re certain issues then it may be that Doc is once again in violation of another state law.
“In our society you CANNOT do that, do you think that is going to accomplish anything? We have fought for over twenty five years for motorcycle rights, long before any of these internet cowboys were even living in this state. Some of them weren’t here for the helmet fight in 2000 but certainly use the law to ride without a helmet that Abate of Florida got passed.”
Another perversion of truth/history. Just like HB137, ABATE of Florida was not the only player in the Helmet game. In fact if you take the time and do the research you can make a case that,
A. were it not for ABATE of Florida's involvement Florida's helmet law would have been a clean repeal instead of due to a last minute compromise it became a modified law with an insurance attachment.
B. ABATE of Florida was a minor player.
The above however is almost a mute point since the Courts in Florida on at least two occasions ruled the Florida helmet law unconstitutionally vague.
THE REAL TRUTH BEHIND FLORIDAS HELMET LAW-
CHICO BEATS THE LAW and DOC TAKES THE CREDIT:
Name: Sharkey Pruette
Referred by: Net Search
From: Milton, Florida
Time: 2000-06-04 21:32:39
FLORIDA COURT RULES FLORIDA HELMET LAW UNCONSTITUTIONAL (March 1995) Chico Yasco, Florida State Director for the Helmet Law Defense League, won a major victory against Florida's twenty five year old helmet law. Yasco won a "not guilty" decision on three charges of wearing an illegal helmet, on the grounds that the Florida helmet law is unconstitutionally vague. Defense Attorney Demetrios C. Kirkiles, working pro bono, and Chico Yasco (crediting help provided from HLDL headquarters in California) presented their case as never before tried in the State of Florida. After hearing three-and-one-half hours of testimony, Broward County Judge Peter B. Skolnik, in a ten page written opinion, declared Florida's helmet law unconstitutional. In explaining its decision, the court wrote: "This case came before this court from the consolidation of three traffic citations issued by two police officers. . . . The court having heard testimony from both officers and the defendant (Chico) and appropriate notice being given to all concerned parties including the state attorneys office, finds as follows: "1. Citations were issued premised on improper headgear pursuant to Florida Statute Section 316.211 which is required to follow the standards established under 49 CFR 571.218 (FMVSS 218). "2. The officers predicated the stops based on the appearance of the helmets. They testified the helmets appeared too small, too tight and close to the head, and to be of a type thought by the police officers to be in violation of the statute. "3. The officers confiscated helmets on two of the three occasions. "4. Officer Smith testified he observed the Defendant in traffic from a distance as he was driving in the opposite direction. Officer Scarapino testified he observed the Defendant as the Defendant made a right turn at the intersection. Officer Scarapino was stopped at the intersection facing south. The defendant proceeding ease made a right turn at the intersection. "5. After the stop the officers made a visual inspection of the helmets and determined that they were in violation of Florida statute Section 316.211(1) because the padding was too thin, the weight of the helmet was too light, and the size was too small. Both officers also testified that at least two inches of styrofoam padding was necessary to make the helmet compliant with the standards. "6. The officers based their determination that the helmets were unsafe on their own subjective knowledge and personal experience. "7. The officers were not engineers, materials experts, or helmet experts. "8. They received to formal police training in detecting unsafe helmets. "9. There was no scientific testing done on these particular model helmets by the police officer or any other governmental testing agency prior or subsequent to the issuance of the citations. "10. These particular model helmets were not the subject of a recall and were not the subject of any pending DOT investigation at the time the citations were issued. "11. The helmets in question were properly labeled in accordance with 49 CFR 571.218. The officers agreed that the required certification labeling was on the helmets and was in accordance with the statute. "12. The officers produced a list of approved helmets issued 1989 from the Florida Highway Patrol. The list was difficult to obtain and did not indicate on its face, nor was any evidence presented, as to who compiled or published the list. No updated or subsequently approved helmet list is available. In ruling on these issues, Judge Skolnik stated: "This court finds the defendant 'NOT GUILTY' on all counts of improper headgear under Florida Statute Section 316.211 which incorporates FMVSS 218, under the due process clauses of the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments of the United States Constitution and Article I Section 9 and Section 16(a) of the Florida Constitution. The ordinary citizen must be able to read FMVSS 218 and understand clearly the mandated behavior. "A citizen can, as in the instant case, comply with the law and still be subject to punishment. "This court further finds there is a substantial inconsistency in the courts regarding ruling on this statute and certifies the following question as one of great public importance: "WHETHER FLORIDA STATUTE SECTION 316.211, WHICH INCORPORATES 49 CFR 571.218 (FMVSS 218) AND FLORIDA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION ADMINISTRATIVE ORDER 15.B-1.006, IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL AS VIOLATIVE OF DUE PROCESS BECAUSE; CITIZENS ARE NOT AFFORDED FAIR WARNING OF PROSCRIBED CONDUCT DUE TO THE UNAVALIBILITY AND LACK OF THE STATUTORILY REQUIRED CURRENT LIST OF APPROVED HELMETS; THE STATUTORY IMPOSITION OF SELF CERTIFICATION BY HELMET MANUFACTURERS THAT HELMETS MEET PERFORMANCE REQUIREMENTS CANNOT BE RELIED UPON WITH CERTAINTY BY CONSUMERS AS COMPLIANCE; AND/OR A JUDICIAL DETERMINATION THAT A SPECIFIC HELMET IS IN COMPLIANCE CANNOT BE RELIED ON WITH CERTAINTY AS COMPLIANCE." The importance of this decision is that, in Florida, a finding that a statute is unconstitutional is subject to immediate (within 30 days) review by the Florida Supreme Court. The certified question (above) must be answered, and a final determination by the Supreme Court rendered. If the process is followed as prescribed by law, Florida will be a helmet law free state in time for Daytona. Chico insists that this victory couldn't have been possible without the helmet of the Helmet Law Defense League, but the HLDL is quick to respond that this victory wouldn't have come at all were it not for the dedication of Chico and his trusty attorney/friend Demetrios Kirkiles -- a one-man dynamo of litigative expertise. The one thing we don't have to wait for March first to report is that this case, like the Washington decision, absolutely confirms the HLDL's fighting slogan -- "NO LIST?, NO LAW!" (While Chico and Demetrios are, at their own expense, struggling to make sure this case holds up -- which would take out a law that has lasted over a quarter of a century in Florida -- the resources of Florida's motorcycling community are being spent lobbying the Florida Legislature for a bill which would exempt motorcyclists from wearing helmets on Sunday . . . or otherwise just picking up trash on the freeway. Am I missing something here? Ed) IN THE COUNTY COURT OF THE SIXTH JUDICIAL CIRCUIT OF THE STATE OF FLORIDA IN AND FOR PINELLAS COUNTY STATE OF FLORIDA, V. FRANK LANDRY, Defendant. CASE NO. 96-09369 OPASP ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS BASED UPON DEFENDANT'S RELIANCE UPON THE COURT'S RULING THAT FLORIDA STATUTE 316.211 IS UNCONSTITUTIONAL THIS CAUSE coming before the Court on May 8, 1996 to be heard upon the Defendant's Motion to Dismiss Based upon the Unconstitutionality of Florida Statute 316.211(1), the Court having heard testimony of the Defendant, argument of Counsel and having reviewed case law and being fully advised in the premises, it is hereby ORDERED AND ADJUDGED THAT the DEFENDANT'S Motion is GRANTED based upon the Defendant's reliance upon the Court's ruling in State v. David Raynal, Case No. 94-22863 OMANC (North Pinellas County Traffic Court 12-8-95) and State ex rel Williams v. Whitman, 156 So. 705 (Fla. 1934). DONE AND ORDERED in St. Petersburg, Pinellas County, Florida, this Eighth day of May, 1996. RADFORD W. SMITH COUNTY JUDGE cc: Ron Smith, Esquire County Attorney State Attorney Attorney General Pinellas County
Note: Some of the persons familiar with this case are the same out of state persons Doc did not want help from.
NOW READ HERE: http://www.bikersrights.com/states/florida/nolistnolaw.html
And note that the Suncoast Chapter pulled out of ABATE of Florida
or here: http://18.104.22.168/search?q=cache:zscjLjjoBBAJ:boltusa.org/members/pan/nolistnolawworks.pdf+Chico+Yasko&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=5&gl=us&client=firefox-a
ALSO IN 1996 the court rules the law unconstitutional:
WHERE WAS DOC????MORE:
Comments: Thank you for doing this web page!! I found out about it from a link posted on Cowboy's list. I had been checking in on Abate of Florida but there were no updates after November. Wish you well on the floor votes, and hope that the 100k senate amendment is taken out. I understand that Jeb Bush is ready to sign if the bill gets to his desk. From California with envy, Good Luck!!! Ian Morrison
Name: t. Finley
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
Time: 2000-05-05 08:12:56
Comments: So Joel, where has ABATE been? We haven't heard anything from you until the bill passed, What's up with that?
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
Time: 2000-05-06 04:55:15
Comments: In response to billy's question,ABATE has been fighting this issue from the beginning.I don't think too many people know about this site yet but they will.I have recently taken position of pres. with polk county chapter and also became an internet junkie.I have been with ABATE since '94 and am a life member because I believe in my rights as a biker and a voter.I wish I could have found this site sooner.It is informative to me as I hope that it is to all others that will be finding out about it.
Name: Robert Valdes
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
Time: 2000-05-09 23:02:41
(except of interest that in 2000 this dude got it) How about fines for the cell phone drivers who have tried to kill me 3 times in the last week. Lets get serious, ok? Robert Valdes
Name: Robert Valdes
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
Time: 2000-05-26 12:15:13
Comments: Well guys, looks like he's not gonna sign it. The insurance is not enough. Well it saves me from having to vote republican next time. I'll just keep riding illegally and take the chance of tickets for my right to dissent. Maybe next year.
Name: Larry "Gator" Elferdink
Referred by: From a Friend
Time: 2000-06-02 08:44:08
(Excerpt) Keep up the good work, this is one of the most informative pages I have seen on the subject. (I JUST WANT THE FREEDOM OF CHOICE)
A VERY INTERESTING COMMENT:
Referred by: Just Surfed On In
From: Fort Lauderdale
Time: 2000-06-17 00:35:42
Comments: I want to apologize for mis-typing in Frank's name as "George". I was calling everyone I could think of to tell them of the news after I verified it, and just got done calling "George". (Too excited) Frank, you have done a spectacular job with the site! Your personal efforts have made those of the MRO's look shameful at best. Thank you again. I have written a "thank you" letter to Jeb, and encourage everyone else to do the same...because next year after we've proven the medical coverage unnecessary, and lobby to have it removed, I want him to remember that we remembered him and his actions.
Read posts dated 10-7-200
by Robert Vales
See who is listed in the credits of this site: http://home.tampabay.rr.com/ourplace/Biker/credits.htm
AND THIS SHOULD PUT TO REST ANY CLAIM JAMES D. REICHENBACH AND ABATE OF FLORIDA HAVE OVER SINGLE HANDLEDY REPEALING THE HELMET LAW.
ANY CLAIMS TO SUCH ARE A LIE!
Though do to his propensity to COMPROMISE we may lay at his door the “modified” helmet bill?
We would also ask, as we have in the past without answer, ABATE of Florida to define the successes they have had over the past “25 years” of any value re: Bikers Rights that did not involve compromise. An example might be, does ABATE of Florida consider the compromise on handlebar heights a victory? When we had no law dictating such previously?
“Then we have the people from other states who are legends in their own minds that think we should do what they tell us in our own state.”
Some of the persons from out of state who attempted to “help” fight against HB137 and never tried to tell, this writer anyway, what should be or not be done are some of the most renowned Bikers Rights activist in the country with a list of accomplishments and credentials that are without question. To not accept “help” from individuals of such caliber just because they do not live in Florida is a function of ego and fear of sharing the “limelight”.
It is analogous to turning down the best Doctor for an operation because they don't live in your state. Which begs the question is the president of ABATE of Florida interested in what's best for Bikers Rights or what best for himself?
“I don’t see them paying taxes, feeding our children nor doing anything else to support Florida so why should we do what they want? Abate of Florida will continue to fight for the rights of all motorcyclists in this state.
I appreciate the support that was given me for the Federal Advisory Committee that I have been appointed to.
The committee makes suggestions to the Federal Department of Transportation on highway matters that effect motorcycles. The name of the committee is the Motorcycle Advisory Committee-Federal Highway Administration (MAC-FHWA).”
The relationship between Lopez-Cantera and the president of ABATE of Florida is in question due to the mixed messages sent out by both. Mary Peters and the D.O.T. have a history of using moneys allocated for motorcycle safety to lobby for helmet laws.
We do know that it's not unusual in politics to trade favors and make deals. We can not substantiate that any deal was/has been made or favor granted. We do not however trust politicians nor those who sleep with them. Two letters: one reportedly from Doc, one from reportedly from Lopez-Canterra:
We find it tedious to be in a position to have to refute misstatements, untruths, manipulations of the facts, innuendos and on and on, just to keep lies from becoming truths. Our hope would be that the members of ABATE of Florida would get off their ass, do a little research and rectify the situation. But then that involves exercising personal responsibility and independence.
We take the cause of “rights “ seriously and do not wish the credible efforts of those who work hard in this arena to be overshadowed by an individual who suffers from “little man syndrome”.
Note: There are reports of the president of ABATE of Florida threatening to sue this writer, or have this writer taken care of the “old way”. In our mind any of those actions would do nothing but affirm that we have been accurate and may get to learn more!
Now an interesting side note: I was told by an individual, whom I won't name, during a session that everything Doc wanted in the bills would be stripped out of the legislation at the last minute.
I did not print this and only communicated it in private to possibly three people prior to the end of the session as I was not sure whether or not to believe it. They are free to acknowledge this if they wish. Sure enough, at the end of session the stiffer penalties clauses were stripped out. The legislators have no fear of James D. Reichenbach and/or “Bikers”.
But then why should they? Two individuals had the balls to stand up and go to court over what they believed to be bad law and as a result of their actions the Florida legislature was “forced” to take remedial action. Those are the individuals to whom respect should be given!Add to Technorati Favorites