R. I. Motorcycle Association

Letter from Buddy

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7/23/10 Letter from Buddy Cardoso, President of RIMA, regarding up-coming elections and officials

Well the election season is here and very shortly all the signs will be popping up as well as the phone calls and the sight of candidates canvassing neighborhoods.

This year, as I mentioned in a newsletter a little while back, we have a unique opportunity here in Rhode Island.  We will be electing a new governor, as well as the entire State legislature.

While many voters this year may be tempted to simply vote for �anyone else� other than the incumbent, I would urge us all to find out where your current legislators, as well as the challengers stand on the issues that are most important to the bikers of Rhode Island. Over the next several weeks R.I.M.A. is sending letters to candidates through out the State to get their views and positions on three main areas of concern. 

1)      What we want to know is what is their position on a mandatory helmet requirement.  Is a candidate in favor of, or opposed to mandatory helmet laws.  Does he, or she believe that helmet choice is a personal, or a public safety issue?

2)      What is a candidate going to do about the issue of distracted driving and holding motor vehicle operators responsible for the damage and destruction that is caused by inattention, and right of way encroachment?  This can be especially devastating to a motorcyclist and his/her family.

3)      We also asked what, as an elected state official, he or she feels about local cities and towns passing their own motorcycle noise ordinances beyond what is already mandated in state law and inspection requirements.

As of today each of the candidates for the General Officers have been mailed and we are waiting for responses.

Over the next weeks we will contact incumbents and challengers to the legislature and get their views, or their failures to respond.  It is through this kind of communication that we as citizens, voters, and bikers can make an informed decision about whom to vote for.    

Another important aspect is to use R.I.M.A. as a coordination site to find out whom among the candidates is already known as biker friendly or unfriendly.  I would urge anyone to contact me and share what you may know of a particular individual running for office. 

For instance, in the past R.I.M.A. has had a very good relationship with several legislators.  Off the top of my head I can think of Sen John Tassoni, Sen. Dennis Algiere.  Rep�s Charlene Lima, Peter Petrarca, Thomas Winfield, Arthur Corvese, and Jan Malik to name a few.  These are people that we can and have worked with and that�s information that all of our members can use.

Also Former Rep. Peter Kilmartin, who is now running for Attorney General was very instrumental in getting text messaging banned, and this year sponsored the �Colin Foote Act� which was passed into law in June.

We are fortunate here in my home in East Providence to have a R.I.M.A. member running for Senate in District 18.  Jim Miller is a biker, R.I.M.A. member, and one of the founders of the Brian �B=Lo� Lundstom Run.  Jim has already responded to our questions, and as expected, he would oppose any mandatory helmet law, plans to work with R.I.M.A. on a distracted driving/right of way bill, and believes that it is the states responsibility to regulate motor vehicles, not the cities or towns.

In Coventry we are also fortunate to have another biker running for the Senate seat being vacated by Lou Raptakis.  Councilman Frank Hyde is running for that vacancy, and on the town council seat, another R.IM.A. member, Gary Cote is running.

In closing, I want to encourage the sharing of any and all information with regards to motorcycling issues as it applies to candidates for public office in Rhode Island. It is through this sharing of information that we the Bikers, Citizens, and Voters can take control of our State back.

Responses from our legislators

 

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