2005 Helmet Law Support Rally and Tax Protest
First let there be no doubt that this Helmet Law
Support Rally is held annually to support South Carolina’s
current helmet law that allows adults to decide whether or not
to wear a helmet. ABATE won a six year battle in 1980 defeating
the all rider helmet law. Let us not become complacent and lose
the ground we worked so hard to gain.
I want to thank all the members who attended our
rally. Attendance was good despite overcast skies. A couple
of members asked me before the rally why we keep moving the
starting location; the answer is we keep out growing parking
lots as attendance continues to grow each year. I suspect we
may need an even larger location next year.
The rally at the steps was opened by the state
coordinator who welcomed everyone and introduced the first speaker
from Aiken. Jim Bronder of our Aiken chapter did a great job
explaining the unfair personal property tax on motorcycles.
The elected officials in attendance all took note of Jim's talking
points. Representative Mac Toole suggested ways for us to address
the unfair taxation of motorcycles. Reb Sutherland addressed
the crowd on the steps of the statehouse concerning her upcoming
campaign for state superintendent of education. Andre Bauer
our Lt. Governor rode his motorcycle right up to the steps of
the capitol and he was not wearing a helmet. I'm glad he is
part of our team and has the power to send bills to committees
of his choosing.
The after party at the Flying Saucer was the best
attended yet. The Flying Saucer Restaurant had great food and
all Carolina Micro-brews on sale for $2.50 a pint. More importantly
it was an easy place for out of town biker to find and a great
place to network with fellow members. DB Bryant kicked out the
jams and entertained the crown from 2pm to 6pm. You can learn
more about both online at www.beerknurd.com and www.dbbryant.com.
This year’s rally got more media attention
than those of years past due largely to efforts to improve media
relations by our media coordinator Ed Haas. Pickles of our Lexington
Chapter did an enormous job planning the parade and rally at
the steps; my hat is off to Pickles and his team of hard workers.
Cathy Dillon did a great job planning the after rally party
close to the capitol and arranging entertainment. Keeping the
after rally gathering close to the capitol helped increase our
visual impact. I see great things in the future for ABATE of
SC and our state rallies. The party after the rally did not
cost ABATE one red cent; next year ABATE will likely make money
for our cause with the after party. We will be taking bids from
businesses in the Vista interested in hosting our after rally
The next major event on the ABATE of SC calendar
is our Legislative Warrior Day on the opening day of the legislative
session Tuesday January 10 th. Please make plans now to attend;
we can send a powerful message together if we have over 500
motorcycles parked around the capitol on opening day. Arrive
early at the statehouse for the best parking. Early arrival
increases your chances to speak with your legislators; appointments
are also encouraged.
Our Lexington Chapter will hold its normal monthly
meeting 7:30pm Monday January 9 th. Last year many legislators
attended this primer for our Legislative Warrior Day; bikers
from as far away as Tennessee and North Carolina came to observe
ABATE of SC’s strategy and tactics. Food will be served
and everyone is welcomed. The Lexington Chapter meeting is held
at the VFW located at 424 Cedarcrest Drive, Lexington, SC 29073.
Come early and spend the night in Lexington or Columbia. The
more involved you get in ABATE the greater the reward; I look
forward to seeing you there.
ABATE of SC