State Legislators Join Caucus to Support Automotive EnthusiastsWASHINGTON--July 22, 2005--State legislators around the country with a common goal to support the motor vehicle hobby have joined the State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus. Formed this year, the Caucus is a bi-partisan group of state lawmakers whose common thread is a love and appreciation for automobiles. Fifty state legislators from California to New York and points in between constitute the charter members.
The Caucus is anticipated to help raise the motor vehicle hobby's profile in the state legislatures and in the eyes of the public. Working in state capitals, many of these legislators have sought to preserve and protect the hobby by seeking the amendment of existing motor vehicle statutes and creating new programs to safeguard and expand the hobby. Over the past several years, their work has brought a series of significant legislative accomplishments for the vehicle enthusiast community on issues ranging from equipment standards to registration classifications, and from emissions test exemptions to hobbyist rights.
Montana State Senator John Brueggeman, who is serving as the Caucus chairman said: "From pre-World War II classics to street rods to 60s-era muscle cars to late model imports and everything in between, the automobile stands as a testimony to ingenuity and craftsmanship while serving as a source of recreation for tens of thousands of enthusiasts and collectors throughout the U.S. By joining the Caucus, these legislators have demonstrated their commitment to enabling this enthusiasm for years to come."
The Caucus is being supported by the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) Government Affairs office in Washington, D.C. SEMA maintains an experienced government and technical affairs staff charged with monitoring, analyzing, advocating and communicating issues affecting the specialty automotive aftermarket industry and enthusiast groups. The association's Government Affairs office is an influential, proven and effective force in ensuring the continued growth and prosperity of the specialty automotive aftermarket and its customers, the motor vehicle enthusiasts.
"Our SEMA Action Network, a nationwide partnership between car clubs, individual enthusiasts and the specialty aftermarket parts industry designed to fight unfair automotive legislation and to support car-friendly laws has proven a huge success," commented SEMA Vice President of Government Affairs Steve McDonald. "Thousands of automotive enthusiasts have access to our legislative information through our dedicated Web site (www.semasan.com), direct broadcast e-mail, monthly newsletter (Driving Force) and the many national and regional trade publications. Through the Caucus, these hobbyists will now be able to quickly identify which state legislators have chosen to be recognized for their support of this great American hobby."
SEMA, the Specialty Equipment Market Association founded in 1963, represents the $31 billion specialty automotive industry of 6,466 member-companies. It is the authoritative source for research, data, trends and market growth information for the specialty auto parts industry. The industry provides appearance, performance, comfort, convenience and technology products for passenger and recreational vehicles. For more information, contact SEMA at 1575 S. Valley Vista Dr., Diamond Bar, CA 91765, tel: 909-396-0289, or visit www.sema.org and www.enjoythedrive.com.
State Automotive Enthusiast Leadership Caucus Chairman: Senator John Brueggeman (R-Montana) Members: Senator Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona) Senator Ken Bennett (R-Arizona) Senator Harry Mitchell (D-Arizona) Senator Tom McClintock (R-California) Senator John Campbell (R-California) Senator Ken Hollis (R-Louisiana) Senator Ron Jelinek (R-Michigan) Senator Bob Beers (R-Nevada) Senator Rob Boyce (R-New Hampshire) Senator John Syverson (R-North Dakota) Senator Tim Burchett (R-Tennessee) Senator Mike Williams (R-Tennessee) Assemblymember Doug La Malfa (R-California) Assemblymember Bob Huff (R-California) Assemblymember Gloria Negrete-McLeod (D-California) Assemblymember Mark Manendo (D-Nevada) Assemblymember David Parks (D-Nevada) Assemblymember Donna Lupardo (D-New York) Delegate Barry Glassman (R-Maryland) Representative Bill Konopnicki (R-Arizona) Representative Russ Jones (R-Arizona) Representative Johnny Key (R-Arkansas) Representative Debbie Benefield (D-Colorado) Representative Toni Walker (D-Connecticut) Representative Alan Powell (D-Georgia) Representative Calvin Hill (R-Georgia) Representative Dwayne Alons (R-Iowa) Representative Tom Thull (D-Kansas) Representative Doug Gatewood (D-Kansas) Representative Melvin Neufeld (R-Kansas) Representative Harold Lane (D-Kansas) Representative John Proos (R-Michigan) Representative Pat Garofalo (R-Minnesota) Representative Dan Dorman (R-Minnesota) Representative Melissa Hortman (DFL-Minnesota) Representative Jim Abeler (R-Minnesota) Representative Clayton Smith (R-Mississippi) Representative Dannie Reed (R-Mississippi) Representative Gordon Hendrick (R-Montana) Representative J. Gail Barry (R-New Hampshire) Representative Phillip Frye (R-North Carolina) Representative William Current (R-North Carolina) Representative Larry Brown (R-North Carolina) Representative George Cleveland (R-North Carolina) Representative Nelson Cole (D-North Carolina) Representative Margaret Sitte (R-North Dakota) Representative Robin Weisz (R-North Dakota) Representative Richard Marron (R-Vermont) Representative Charles "Pat" Childers (R-Wyoming)