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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Spin Control

Motorcyclists want candidates’ attention

A Spokane group of motorcyclists is fighting for attention among local politicians.

The Inland Empire Chapter of ABATE, a motorcyclist rights organization that opposes helmet laws and other restrictions on motorcycle riding, has been hosting a series of candidate forums that are restricted to one topic: motorcycle law.

Tonight, Democratic nominee for Congress Daryl Romeyn and state House candidates Democrat Andy Billig and Republican Morgan Oyler will participate. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. at The Ticket, 1221 N. Howard St.

Steve Puccio, the legislative affairs director for the Inland Empire chapter, said the group works to keep politicians in contact with motorcyclists. He said ABATE stands for A Brotherhood Against Totalitarian Enactments.

"They enact legislation and regulations taking away our rights, and they've never talked to us," Puccio said.

In the 6th Legislative District, it has endorsed Republican Michael Baumgartner over Democratic incumbent state Sen. Chris Marr.

In an interview on Tuesday, Baumgartner declined to say if he supports the law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets. He said he has "no plans" to sponsor legilsation that would repeal the helmet rules, but added he is "sympathetic to the personal liberties" of motorcyclists.

The chapter has declined to endorse either incumbent Democrat state Rep. John Driscoll or Republican John Ahern in the 6th District state House race, Puccio said.

The group has endorsed Oyler and Billig's opponent, Republican Dave White, in the state House races in the 3rd Legislative District.

Puccio said Oyler and White support the repeal of the state law requiring motorcyclists to wear helmets.


Jonathan Brunt
Jonathan Brunt joined The Spokesman-Review in 2004. He is the government editor. He previously was a reporter who covered Spokane City Hall, Spokane County government and public safety.

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