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A Voice Vote in Congress Moves Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Forward–SPECIAL MESSAGE FROM THE NMA

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Thank you to all who took action after receiving our initial alert last week about the Walberg Amendment which is designed to limit run-arounds of state civil asset forfeiture laws by local enforcement agencies. The U.S. House took a voice vote shortly after the NMA alert was sent and, well, we’ll leave it to TheNewspaper.com to report on the results. Note the reference to the National Motorists Association:

US House Moves To Limit Car Seizures
US House of Representatives votes unanimously to block local police from seizing cars and other property under federal rules.

Rep. Tim Walberg

The US House of Representatives decided last week to limit the federal government’s ability to work with local law enforcement to take cars away from motorists who have not been convicted of any crime. By a voice vote, lawmakers adopted an amendment to the Justice Department funding bill restoring a prohibition on “adoptive seizures” that allow local law enforcement to turn cases over to federal agents who operate with few restrictions on confiscation.

“These forfeiture options provide a loophole that helps local law enforcement evade stricter state laws — like my own in Michigan — governing civil asset forfeiture by seizing property and transferring it to federal authorities in exchange for up to 80 percent of forfeiture proceeds,” Representative Tim Walberg (R-Michigan) explained on the House floor. “For many years, I have worked in a bipartisan way to shine a light on civil asset forfeiture abuses.”

Walberg also introduced a more comprehensive civil asset forfeiture reform bill called the Fair Act, which has twelve Democratic and seven Republican cosponsors. Despite the bipartisan support, the current ideological split between the House and Senate means the only sure-fire way to pass legislation is to add it to the “must pass” end-of-year spending legislation as Walberg did last week. A coalition of conservative groups like Campaign for Liberty and the Heritage Foundation have joined with liberal groups like the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and the NAACP along with non-partisan groups like the National Motorists Association to urge final passage of the funding bill with Walberg’s amendment.

“Federal law enforcement can confiscate property it seizes from individuals and businesses without ever filing criminal charges,” the coalition letter explained. “Those property owners must then navigate a legal system that is stacked against them if they are to have a chance to get their property back… Even worse, the agency taking the property typically gets to keep the proceeds, which poses an obvious financial incentive to engage in this practice.”

On July 19, 2017, then-attorney general Jeff Sessions reversed a ban on adoptive seizures that was put in place in the prior administration. Over the last five years, the Justice Department has seized 11,739 automobiles.

“Due process means the government can’t take your body, your rights, or your property without a fair process, the presumption of innocence, and the opportunity to be heard,” Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-Maryland), a Fair Act cosponsor, explained. “But the lawless seizure and ‘forfeiture’ of people’s private property is now standard operating procedure in far too many police jurisdictions across the country.”

The House is expected to pass the underlying Justice Department funding bill by the end of the week.

There is still much work to be done to pass comprehensive forfeiture reform at the federal and state levels. We will keep you apprised every step of the way.

Gary Biller
~~~

In late April, U.S. Representative Tim Walberg of Michigan introduced the Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration (FAIR) Act of 2019. The proposed legislation, which would institute much of the reform for which the NMA has been lobbying, has strong bipartisan support. The FAIR Act will hold the government to a much higher standard of “clear and convincing evidence . . . that there was a substantial connection between the property and the offense” before that property could be seized. Current seizure standards allow agencies to confiscate property from a person or persons who have not been convicted, or even charged, with a crime.

Why is this important to motorists? Because those on the road have become primary targets of asset seizures in recent years. The Washington Post reported in 2014 that in the 13 years of 2001 through 2013, the government conducted nearly 62,000 seizures on the nation’s highways, resulting in the confiscation of property worth more than $2.5 billion.

That is why civil asset forfeiture reform, along with the prohibition of federal funding for state-based traffic ticket quota programs, is the focus of current NMA lobbying efforts in the halls of Congress.

Rep. Walberg has just proposed a bipartisan amendment, ordered as Amendment #97, to H.R. 3055 which is a comprehensive appropriations bill that includes FY 2020 funding for the Department of Justice. The Walberg amendment will prohibit the DOJ from using any money to undertake specific actions related to state or local civil asset forfeiture activities. This will make it harder for local law enforcement to use the federal government to bypass state laws when pursuing asset seizures.

This isn’t the final solution to reform, but it is an important step along the way. According to the Majority Leader’s office, the House will begin debate on H.R. 3055 later today. While the Walberg amendment could be debated as early as this evening, there will not be any recorded votes on the amendments to H.R. 3055 until tomorrow — Thursday June 20th — at the earliest.

The NMA has joined the Institute for Justice and the ACLU in endorsing the Walberg amendment to all members of the U.S. House. of Representatives. Because this is fast-moving, please call or email your representative today or tomorrow expressing your support of Amendment #97 to H.R. 3055.

We will keep you informed of the progress. If you haven’t already donated to the NMA’s 2019 Legislative Fundraising Campaign, please consider doing so now. The money raised will help us keep up the lobbying pressure for this reform as well as pushing through the NMA’s DETER Act which will stop the National Highway Trafic Safety Administration from funding several hundred million dollars worth of high-visibility enforcement actions every year based largely on ticketing activity.

Donations to the NMA can be made online or by calling us toll-free at 800-882-2785 weekdays from 9 am to 5 pm Central.

Thank you.

Gary Biller
President

BIKERNET SPONSORS STURGIS TRIKE SHOW 2019

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Although we no long host Bikernet Trikes we still support trike efforts. Plus, we are working hard to build the first Streamlined Trike in the headquarters. In fact, more fabrication and welding will take place today in the shop. Hang on for more reports. Check out the Salt Torpedo techs on Bikernet in Bandit’s Cantina.–Bandit

2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC: World’s most powerful production motorcycle

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From EIN Motorcycle News:

Triumph Motorcycles has revealed the specifications of its upcoming 2019 Rocket 3 TFC.

Touted as the world’s most powerful motorcycle, it packs a 2,500cc engine and comes with a bunch of modern features including an integrated ‘GoPro’ control, Tire Pressure Management System (TPMS) and keyless ignition

Notably, the motorcycle will be produced by the company’s custom production department in limited numbers.

Here’s more.

Triumph Rocket 3 TFC: At a glance
Design

The 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC comes with a cruiser design, rounded dual headlamps, alloy wheels, and features a muscular profile thanks to its bulky fuel tank and wide tires.

It sports a digital-analog instrument console and uses an all LED setup for lighting.

Moreover, the company has revealed that the bike weighs 323kg which is 44kg less than its previous model.

All the important stuff
Engine

The 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC is powered by a 2,500cc inline three-cylinder engine which is capable of producing 182hp of power and an unprecedented 225Nm of peak torque.

Also, the bike comes with a bunch of new-age electronic features including a TFT display, ‘GoPro’ control feature, Tire Pressure Management System (TPMS), Bluetooth, and keyless ignition among others.

Triumph Rocket 3 TFC: On the road
Safety

The 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC comes equipped with top-of-the-line Brembo Stylema disc brakes on both the front and rear wheels along with cornering ABS and Traction control.

The bike houses Showa’s fully adjustable 47mm upside-down suspension on the front and a monoshock unit on the rear to handle the suspension duties.

Moreover, it offers four riding modes: Rider, Rain, Road, and Sport.

Pricing and availability
Pricing

The 2019 Triumph Rocket 3 TFC is an upgraded model of second-generation Rocket 3 which was launched last year.

The company had manufactured only 750 units of its previous model with an on-road price of £25,000 (approximately Rs. 22.7 lakh).

Hence, looking at upgrades, we expect the new model to cost somewhere around £30,000 (approximately Rs. 25 lakh).

Monster Energy® Kawasaki Captures Podium Finishes in Both Classes at Inaugural Race at WW Ranch Motocross Park

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June 22, 2019 | Florida National | Jacksonville, Fla.

Foothill Ranch, Calif. (June 23, 2019) – After a 22-year hiatus of the AMA Pro Motocross Championship in Florida, Round 5 returned to the “Sunshine State” at WW Ranch Motocross Park with Kawasaki landing on the podium in both classes as Monster Energy® Kawasaki rider Eli Tomac earned a hard-fought second place overall (7-1) and Monster Energy/Pro Circuit/Kawasaki rider Adam Cianciarulo captured third overall (5-3), in their respective classes.

As the 450MX class lined up for Moto 1, Tomac and teammate Joey Savatgy prepared to brave the blistering temperatures that combined with the humidity made it feel well over 100 degrees. As the gate dropped, Tomac was buried in the back but wasted no time making his way up through the field from 18th position. By Lap 3, Tomac was able to break into the top-10 and continued to push forward before time expired, ultimately reaching the finish line in seventh. Savatgy got off to a good start in seventh but as the race went on, he dropped a few positions due to increasing pain in his hands and the heat affecting his pace. He was able to power through the pain and finish 11th.

Moto 2 saw Tomac grab his first holeshot of the season, jumpstarting a perfect moto and a 4.1-second margin of victory as he grabbed the checkers for his fifth moto win of the season. Savatgy got off to another respectable start out the gate in sixth, but continued to have the same struggles as the first moto and had a hard time holding on, finishing 18th and going 11-18 for 13th overall.

Tomac leaves Florida with a six-point lead in the 450MX championship points standings as the series reaches its halfway point next weekend in Southwick, Massachusetts on Saturday, June 29th.

#3 Eli Tomac
2nd (7-1)
#17 Joey Savatgy
13th (11-18)

“I got totally buried off the start in Moto 1 and I was struggling with my pace; those are the two major factors that played a role in a seventh place finish but we were able to turn it around for Moto 2. I can’t remember the last time I holeshotted like that! I felt good and found my rhythm early on so I was able to put it all together and ride my own race. My entire Monster Energy Kawasaki team worked their tails off in this gnarly heat this weekend. I can’t thank them enough for all their efforts. We’re all excited to head to the Wick with the red plate.”

– Eli Tomac

“Today was a tough day, but we did what we could and got it done. I continue to get better and feel more comfortable on the bike. I’m still making adjustments and trying to play catch up from the time off from my injury. We’re headed in a good direction, I just need to be on the bike a little more and keep getting after it. I’m glad to get this one over with and looking forward to Southwick.”

– Joey Savatgy

COAL MINE FIRE LASTING 57 YEARS: LOWBROW RIDE

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 Let’s go!

Mikey here at Lowbrow rode out with his wife and a group of friends, headed out with their wives and girlfriends to Babes Ride Out in New York. It is a women-only event, so the guys then left to go on their own road trip, hence the ‘DPO’ nickname…

Dude’s Pull Out.

Now where to go? Centralia, Pennsylvania has had a coal mine fire burning under it since 1962 and is now virtually abandoned. Seems like the perfect place to check out, no? Click here to see how it went…

Profound Privacy Risks without our Consent: from the National Motorists Association

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GeekWire posted last month that Portland, Oregon quietly launched a controversial mobile location data project with partner Sidewalk Labs (a subsidiary of Alphabet–which is the parent company of Google). In this year-long pilot program, the city has authorized that people, who have smartphones, will be tracked without their consent or knowledge.

Portland is using software called Replica that cost nearly $500,000 and expects to determine how people actually move in the metro and surrounding counties. The city claims the software will use de-identified mobile location data, but in a NY Times article late last year reporters were able to debunk the premise of anonymity with this kind of location tagging.

Pam Dixon, executive director of the Oregon-based World Privacy Forum, said:

“If a city is going to use a system, it has a responsibility to have full transparency about where all of the data is coming from, how it is being deidentified and to what level, and if that data is reused again or stored by Replica or Sidewalk or passed to its parent company. There’s too much that we don’t know.”

Other cities on deck for Sidewalk Labs’ Replica testing include Chicago and Kansas City. Sidewalk Labs has already been working with the city of Toronto on a smart cities project which has not been without controversy.

Researchers at the International Data Corporation or IDC released a report last month titled Surveillance Avenue—Urban Mobility and Addressing the Erosion of Privacy which concluded that it is becoming more difficult for people to use public transportation systems without giving up some personal data. They showed how easy it is now using various surveillance technologies such as facial recognition cameras, license plate readers, and mobile phone data in combination with other datasets to paint a detailed picture of the movements of individuals.

Mark Zannoni, IDC’s Worldwide Urban Mobility Program researcher wrote:

“As increasing amounts of data are collected, we are faced with the issue that one must exchange personal privacy for the use of publicly funded transportation networks or assets. Whether initially personally identifiable or anonymous, individual data from urban mobility can be deanonymized, which is not only invasive but also enables potentially dangerous situations.”

The IDC report urged the federal government to put in place measures to protect people’s privacy, particularly specific movement-related data of individuals. This would provide a framework for local governments to build privacy protections into their own regulations.

Personal data held by companies and governments are often at risk to cyberattacks. Even worse, some sell that information outright without the consent of those whose privacy is being invaded.

Another example of privacy intrusion is the use of facial recognition technology. The FBI has access to over 641 million photos in their database that have been culled from driver’s licenses, passports, and mugshots. The US House Committee on Oversight and Reform recently discussed the issue of regulating facial recognition. Chairman Elijah Cummings said in an opening statement on June 4th: “There are real concerns about the risks this technology poses to our civil rights and liberties and our right to privacy.”

Earlier in June, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) led 60 other privacy, civil liberties, civil rights and other groups in urging Congress to put a moratorium on facial recognition for law and immigration enforcement. The coalition issued a letter asking that the use of this technology be stopped until Congress debates and determines how this technology (that we do not give consent for) can be used.

Privacy rights issues have also been taken up by local governments. The San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors adopted in May 2019, a ban on facial recognition by police and local government agencies. This has brought more awareness to the privacy issue, but many are skeptical that either this will not be enough or it is a mistake to take these kind of devices out of commission. Nearby Oakland passed in 2018, a Surveillance and Community Safety ordinance which the Electronic Frontier Foundation or EFF has declared the gold standard.

Civic engagement on the local level is important in bringing transparency to this situation. This 2018 The Nation post entitled: Mass Surveillance begins at the Local Level. So does the Resistance explains what groups are doing to fight back against this exploding surveillance landscape.

The NMA encourages members to become involved in supporting privacy laws on a local, state, and national level. We will keep you informed of further developments.

RIDING FREE FROM DC: from the Motorcycle Riders Foundation

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Your Weekly Biker Bulletin from Inside the Beltway

Your Motorcycle Riders Foundation team in Washington, D.C. is pleased to provide our members with the latest information and updates on issues that impact the freedom and safety of American street motorcyclists. Count on your MRF to keep you informed about a range of matters that are critical to the advancement of motorcycling and its associated lifestyle. Published weekly when the U.S. Congress is in session.

Rules, Rules, Rules…

Just past midnight on Wednesday night, in a committee room inside the U.S. Capitol the issue of motorcycle profiling received a brief debate and roll call vote before the Rules Committee. How did that happen? Well Congressman Mike Burgess (R-TX) and Congressman Tim Walberg (R-MI) used the appropriations amendment process to force Congress to vote on the issue of motorcycle profiling.

The gridlock that grips Congress means that few stand-alone bills pass both the Senate and the House. However, appropriations bills, which fund the government have to pass, if they don’t a government shutdown ensues. These must pass appropriations bills become a key tool for lawmakers to press legislative priorities. If they can attach an amendment to a bill that has to pass, the legislative priority becomes law. However, the amendment offered must be related to the appropriations bill in some way. Congressman Walberg and Congressman Burgess drafted the following amendment to the appropriations bill that funds the Department of Transportation:

AMENDMENT TO DIVISION E OF RULES COMMITTEE PRINT 116–18 OFFERED BY MR. WALBERG OF MICHIGAN

SEC. ll. None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the National Highway Transportation and Safety Administration for activities intended to encourage states to adopt legislation, regulations, policies, directives or guidance to profile motorcycle riders, nor shall such funds be used by States to implement any activity with the primary intent of profiling motorcycle riders.

Before the full House of Representatives votes on the appropriations bill and the amendments the Rules Committee holds a hearing to decide what will go to the floor for a full vote. Unfortunately, the Rules Committee is the most partisan committee in the House and because our two main champions are Republicans the chances of the Rules Committee allowing this amendment to proceed were slim. On a strict party line vote the amendment was defeated 8 to 4.
While it’s disappointing that the full House of Representatives was not allowed to vote on this amendment it was a solid step forward in the debate about motorcycle profiling. Additionally, this does not stop our campaign to have H. Res 255 passed by the House of Representatives. In truth this should further energize us. The full House of Representatives should be allowed to vote on H. Res 255 and the issue of motorcycle profiling should not be blocked by the vote of just 8 lawmakers.
Click here and skip to the 7 hour 4 minute 15 second mark to watch the debate and vote.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2-6S3om9Tig

Ride to Work Day

Monday, June 17th was the 28th annual “Ride to Work Day.” While we at the MRF don’t need a special day to ride our motorcycles it was nice to get an email from Congressman Troy Balderson (R-OH) with the following message, “I am a lifelong motorcycle rider and a big advocate for motorcycle awareness and safety. This national ride to work, let’s celebrate our biker community and keep the roads safe.”

Congressman Balderson sent us this picture of him on his bike Monday headed to his congressional district office in Worthington, Ohio. Thanks to Congressman Balderson for being a true champion of the motorcycle community.

Your Team in D.C. Rocky & Tiffany

The Motorcycle Riders Foundation

HORROR in New Hampshire

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Here’s the local TV News Station in Manchester, NH – 6:00 p.m. (6/22) update link . . .
 
 
On June 21st 2019 Jarheads MC was riding to a charity event at the local American Legion in Gorham, New Hampshire Post #82. Our pack was struck by an oncoming vehicle and we lost 5 patch holders and 2 supporters, and many others are injured. Our club and the families are going to need help and we cannot do it alone. I am pleading with you all, please do what you can, and this money will go where it is needed to help ease some of the burden of these victims families. Jarheads MC has always been about helping veterans and their families and sadly, today we are in need of that same support.
 
 
Names and conditions of all will not be shared at this time as we are still being impacted by news as it arrives. We will be in New Hampshire the rest of the weekend supporting our friends and families.

*Jarheads Motorcycle Club is a club consisting of active duty or honorably discharged Marines and FMF Corpsmen. We ride and serve veterans and veteran families in our committees, with chapters in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Maine.

–from Paul Cote

Harley recalls 46,000 bikes for leaky oil linked to two crashes

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Harley-Davidson (NYSE:HOG) said Friday it will recall approximately 46,000 motorcycles in the U.S., citing a potential oil leak that has been linked to two crashes.

The recall includes certain 2017 Electra Glide, Road Glide, Road King and Street Glide bikes. The affected motorcycles were built between July 2, 2016 and May 9, 2017.

The bike maker said an oil line may come loose, causing oil to leak onto the rear tire’s path. There have been nine reports of displaced oil lines. Harley is aware of two crashes and one minor injury due to the issue.

Dealers will repair a clamp on the engine oil cooler line at no extra cost to owners.

Law Tigers Stylin N’ Sturgis 2019 Contest

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It’s an awesome new video promoting our Stylin N Sturgis contest.

To enter go to www.lawtigers.com/win And win a complete Sturgis Motorcycle Rally vacation package worth over $21,000! Free airfare, cabin & Harley-Davidson motorcycle rental plus exclusive prizes and products like a AR-15 from Sturgis Guns and $1500 to spend at NightRiders Jewelry!

Contest ends July 15th, 2019

Check the website to enter: www.lawtigers.com/win

–The Law Tigers Team