ABATE of SC has the attention of our legislators
According to all reports ABATE of SC has the attention of the legislators at
our state house. Most legislators claim to know what ABATE is and what we stand
for. I would suggest that while we have their attention we press harder for
the rest of our legislative agenda such as a tougher right of way bill. We have
several issues that deserve more attention; bills that could negatively impact
us include S1, S79, and S40. Current bills that may be beneficial to us include
S102, H3049, and H3146.
Keep writing Governor Sanford requests to veto S1 the primary seat belt bill.
It is not too late to write your senator and representative in opposition to
S1; if the governor vetoes S1 we want to make sure there are not enough votes
to override the veto. Let's make sure they know we are not a single-issue organization;
write more letters on other subjects.
The Criminal Street Gang Prevention Act S79 sounds like a good idea until your
read the contents of the bill. This bill could negatively impact more than just
street gangs. S79 contains problematic language such as "a formal or informal
ongoing organization, association, or group that consists of five or more persons
The bill would allow any person to file for the eviction of those they may deem
undesirable; this power to evict coupled with the ability to seize property
could harm the property rights of many citizens. Consider its wording and intent:
acquittal or dismissal in a criminal proceeding must not preclude
" Your property does not have constitutional rights
in civil court where you would have to fight to regain it. The questionable
use of informants to determine what is a gang-related incident is even more
reason to oppose this poorly written legislation.
Red light cameras have been shown to increase accidents according to the NBC
nightly news story aired Tuesday February 22, 2005. Studies have shown that
during the past ten years Virginia has used red light cameras rear-end accidents
increased by more than 15%. I have survived a rear-end accident on a motorcycle
and it is no walk in the park like government official interviewed in that story
implied. Virginia's legislature has voted to remove the cameras permanently
by July. S40 would allow these same cameras to be used in South Carolina if
passed into law. Letters opposing this legislation may be addressed to the members
of the Senate Transportation Committee.
Senate bill S102 provides Purple Heart tags for motorcycles; this bill has
passed the Senate and now resides in the Education and Public Works Committee.
This bill is likely to pass the house soon but letters in support of it are
H3049 and H3146 address discrimination based on motorcycle ownership or clothing.
These bills have been introduced during many of the past legislative sessions;
unless many South Carolina bikers begin lobbying for passage these bills are
unlikely to make it out of committee. Another subject parallel to discrimination
is the current law against Apehangers; you can help by lobbying to repeal handlebar
height restrictions used to harass motorcyclists.
Over two dozen ABATE members attended the most recent subcommittee hearing
for S1 but not nearly enough to stop the bill. We needed many more bikers and
concerned citizens from Pickens County to stop this bill; the subcommittee chair
represents Pickens County. To increase our effectiveness in the General Assembly
we need to increase our membership in every part of the state. It is now easier
than ever to join ABATE using our online membership form that accepts PayPal
and major credit cards. I am personally requesting that each member of ABATE
of SC recruit at least one new member this month.
While ABATE needs more chapters in all parts of the state it is important to
remember we are all ABATE of SC members and to reduce the fractionalized mentality.
Infighting and identifying more with one's chapter than our state organization
only weakens our effectiveness against our real enemies; the enemies of liberty
do not rest and will take advantage of any opportunities presented. Together
we can create a stronger ABATE of SC that is capable of defeating the enemies
ABATE of SC State Coordinator