James 'Doc' Reichenbach II and the Dissolution of ABATE of Florida White Sands Chapter

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Release Number 0092

Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely: James Doc Reichenbach II
Should James 'Doc' Reichenbach II be fired as elected president and paid lobbyist of ABATE of Florida?

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From: whitesandspres@hotmail.com
To: d_woods2005@comcast.net
Subject: White Sands Dissolution a long read.
Date: Mon, 14 Jul 2008 11:07:54 -0500

On July 13, 2008 the last formal meeting for the White Sands Chapter of ABATE of Florida, Inc. was held. For the past 2 months there have been no officers in place and after contact with many of the members it was found that there are no interested parties to accept the responsibilities of the available offices. With 38 members in attendance it was voted unanimously that the chapter would disband.

Many of the reasons for disbandment are the same reasons that have been reoccurring over the years, ABATE of Florida, Inc. has changed the true intent of the meaning of "A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments". We have become what we vowed to fight against.

We now make laws, negotiate with the safetycrats and sell the souls of the motorcyclists for the sake of notoriety. This year is a fine example of soul selling! ABATE of Florida, Inc. no longer cares what the members of the organization think and does not allow them to voice their concerns at state meetings upon request. The organization has become discriminatory in it's selection of who is heard and what is said at meetings.

White Sands members made the request to be placed on the April state meeting agenda to ask about the lobbyist contract and performance agreement. The state state meeting was attended by myself and my husband as delegates for the White Sands Chapter, April 13, 2008 in Tallahassee. Upon receipt of the agenda it was noted by myself, that we were not on the agenda. When I stood and asked why we were not on the agenda I was, by the president/lobbyist, told that we could not speak during the meeting but were to meet in the back room after the meeting. In attendance in the "backroom" were the president/lobbyist, vice-president, and 2 sergeant at arms. Three White Sands members were allowed in this meeting as well. White Sands was told by the president/lobbyist that we did not support ABATE, did not care about motorcyclists rights because...we did not volunteer at Daytona. This was not the issue at hand. I call this a diversion. Why? The issue at hand, which White Sands asked to be placed on the agenda pertained to the performance agreement and the lobbyist contract. As we all know this is and has been a very sensitive subject for the president/lobbyist.

If you recall 2 years ago, White Sands Chapter members asked to see the contract and review it to ensure that the members of ABATE of Florida, Inc. were protected in case one party or the other did not perform in accordance to the terms of the contract. We, much to our surprise, found that there was no contract. There was an agreement to pay $50,000 a year for 62 days work to the lobbyist/president. Now, that equals out to $806.45 a day. White Sands then questioned the state board about the performance criteria that has to be met by the lobbyist/president for the $806.45 a day pay? NONE! There is no criteria other than the statement on the agreement that said that the lobbyist would do as he has in the past.

We found this to be unacceptable. Especially since there are no lines of definition as to how the lobbyist/president divides his cellular telephone use between the (independent contractor) lobbyist use, president of ABATE of Florida Inc. use and NCOM/AIM use. How the travel expenses are divided, how the lobbyist pays the ABATE of Florida, Inc. office staff for using their time, paper, machines, etc. If you recall 2 years ago when White Sands Chapter published the agreement (which affects all members of the organization) in their newsletter the state board of directors came to our monthly meeting with the intent to disband us. After a consultation with a contract attorney I was told that if you are part of the business organization you have every right to publish/provide the contract to your members and by law the contract belongs to the members. The president/lobbyist told us differently.


The agreement identified the lobbyist as an "independant contractor". For those who keep up-to-date on state meeting information, you will recall that the lobbyist/president failed to comply with the Florida Statute "11.045 Lobbying before the Legislature; registration and reporting; exemptions; penalties.- This resulted in a fine to the lobbyist. Now for $806.45 a day, one would think that this individual would know enough to realize if you enter into an agreement with someone and are paid to lobby for them you are now an independent contractor and need to follow the law. Enough of this...... White Sands questioned....What are we as members of this organization getting for our $50,000 a year investment? Look at the rights that we lost last year and this year. Here is a person going to the legislators saying he represents the "motorcyclists of Florida" and yet really represents .0083 percent of the motorcyclists in Florida. (By the way the 900,000 figure of endorsed riders is ABATE of Florida, Inc.'s number. There are only 7,500 members of ABATE of Florida, Inc. Do the math.) Back to the point at hand.........

If we are a freedom fighting organization, then why are we not allowed the FREEDOM to address the delegates at a state meeting? Why are the voices of its members being stifled? Why are the contracts entered into by the state board kept a secret? Why did all of the (half million dollar) safety money spending get decided by the board and not by the members? Of all of the chapters throughout the state of Florida each chapter should have had a billboard promoting Motorcycle Awareness in their respective areas. Money should have been spent on long term items for Awareness.

We are not educators. We are motorcyclists. Why did we not consult professionals on how to effectively utilize a half a million dollars to save lives? Why were materials on motorcycle awareness not purchased for each chapter? Why were the members of the organization not given a vote on what to order for their area? The state of Florida is not a one-size fits all state. Each area is unique. Our needs are different.

White Sands Chapter routinely, throughout the year, would reach at a minimum of 60,000 motorcyclists. I guess this doesn't count as support for ABATE of Florida, Inc. On the first Friday of every month White Sands Chapter would set up a booth to disseminate materials to the public about ABATE of Florida, Inc. and Motorcycle Safety and Awareness. White Sands Chapter routinely set up their booth at local motorcycle runs and events again to promote ABATE of Florida, Inc and Motorcycle Safety and Awareness. White Sands Chapter assisted the Panama City Beach Police Department in organizing the Cops & Kids events throughout the year so that in times of need the children in our community would not go without. We also set up our booth and distributed the same materials here. White Sands Chapter would adopt the Veterans at Clifford Sims Veterans Home and ask others to join in thus allowing non-members exposure to what we, White Sands Chapter of ABATE of Florida, Inc. is about. But in the words of the president/lobbyist, James Reichenbach II, White Sands Chapter does not support ABATE of Florida, Inc. As current members of ABATE of Florida, Inc. you can transfer your membership to "AT-LARGE" status. For those of you who will expire in the next 2 months, should you want to continue your membership with ABATE of Florida, Inc. you can do so through your Masterlink.

I personally will take my $20 and support an organization that does not threaten its members, does not lie to their members and is not in the business of motorcycle rights because "Bikers are the only ones that would accept me after I came back from Viet Nam". I have researched the achievements (or lack of) for the ABATE of Florida, Inc. lobbyist. The "Red/White/Blue" license plate, not ours, look where the money goes, not to motorcyclists. Look at the "Handle Bar Height"....We never had one before the lobbyist negotiated one for us. I don't call that a success, I call that a sell out. Look at the mandatory training........

The icing on the cake? Follow the trail of HB 137 introduced by Carlos Lopez-Cantera. The members of ABATE of Florida, Inc. were given false information by the person that is collecting $806.45 a day to be informed. He called it a dead bill then placed blame on the "internet cowboys" for his failure to keep up to date and hide the fact that he negotiated this bill with the legislators. For $806.45 a day, I would think that the lobbyist could negotiate and influence our legislators on the front end and not "in the back door" as we are told.

Definition:"Lobbying" means influencing or attempting to influence legislative action or nonaction through oral or written communication or an attempt to obtain the goodwill of a member or employee of the Legislature.

When speaking with a legislator recently about motorcycle issues I was asked if Reichenbach represents the "Viet Nam Veterans motorcle group". I asked why. The response was because Reichenbach always refers having done 3 tours of Viet Nam then states he represents the states motorcyclists. They were confused as to Reichenbach's position. I am no longer confused. After the April meeting, I was done. I tried my best to overlook the stupidity and arrogance of the president/lobbyist because some people cannot change.

Hopefully the membership of ABATE of Florida, Inc. will wake up to the fact that the membership has hovered in the same numbers too long. There is a problem within its ranks. Until that is resolved I will not support ABATE of Florida, Inc.

I wish you all well in your endeavors. I will continue to fight for my rights as a motorcyclists. I will not let someone go to the capital and pretend to represent the motorcyclists of this state and sell us short. If you care to join me....keep in touch.

Diana L. Woods


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