We all agree that all organizations fighting for biker rights are accountable to their members for the money they receive and spend. In the following open letter to ABATE Florida (American Bikers Aimed Towards Education) Rogue, a Sturgis Freedom Fighter also member of the Motorcycle Hall Of Fame and Florida resident, tries to get an official answer from this organization.
How is it possible that a private group receiving dues from its members also receive money from the taxpayer and at the same time refuse to disclose how the money was spent? ABATE stating to be a “Brotherwood Against Totalitarian Enactments”, Rogue expects a clear answer in my Blog.
“In 2004 the Florida Legislature passed Senate Bill 682. Basically what the bill did was double the price of running a Red Light. This bill was pushed by the President of ABATE of Florida Doc Reichenbach by saying it would cut down on people running into motorcyclist with their vehicles. Many people argued that raising the fine would not do anything but raise money for the State of Florida. The State and ABATE admitted the money raised would go into the Trauma Services Trust Fund.
What people were not told was that for helping the State of Florida raise this money ABATE of Florida would receive an annual sum of $1,000,000. This was announced by ABATE after the law was passed and Doc Reichenbach stated that the money was to be used for motorcycle safety. To read the complete bill go to Florida Legislature Senate Bill.
Many people questioned how a private group of people were allowed to receive money from the citizens of the State of Florida. They also began to wonder how this money was being spent by this organization. I was one of those people and as of today I have not gotten any answer. In 2008 again with the support of ABATE, the State of Florida raised the motorcycle licensing fee by $2.00. It has been reported by ABATE that at the February 2010 State Meeting of this organization, Doc informed those present that he had managed to “recover” the $500,000.00 in State Funds that were allocated to ABATE of Florida for motorcycle safety during the 2009 legislative session.
The Florida Legislature is saying they have to cut back on services to balance the budget while they are still giving money to private organizations. I for one do not understand why this is happening. ABATE of Florida should have to explain exactly to any Florida taxpayer what money they have already spent from the amount already received and for what and with who.” Rogue. (Sturgis Freedom Fighters, Motorcycle Hall Of Fame Member)