MRF E-MAIL NEWS Motorcycle Riders Foundation
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For Immediate Release

02 December 2008

Contact: Michael "Boz" Kerr, MRF Vice President

Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell Possible Cabinet Nominee

A note from the MRF’s legislative team:

Washington is currently abuzz with rumors, leaks and "short lists" of names of people that may be nominated for a cabinet position in President-elect Obama's administration. One such name that jumped off the page at us here at the MRF is Ed Rendell, the Governor of Pennsylvania.

Governor Rendell has been a great friend to motorcyclists in the Keystone state and we thought it would be enlightening to get an opinion of him from those who know Governor Rendell best. ABATE of Pennsylvania's BikePac Chairman Charles Umbenhauer graciously offered to write a report on the politics of Governor Rendell taking a cabinet position, and his record and relationship with the motorcyclists of Pennsylvania. We thank Charles for sharing his insightful report that is presented in its entirety below.

The good news on this is that there are friends of motorcyclists being considered for cabinet positions. Let's hope that some of them are nominated. We will soon be reporting on how to contact President-elect Obama’s transition team concerning potential cabinet nominations.

Rendell Watch
By Charles Umbenhauer

It's no secret that Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell is on an Obama short list where he is being considered for Secretary of Transportation.

While this would be a good pick from the perspective of motorcyclists nationwide, it unfortunately, will probably not happen. Rendell has repeatedly stated that he will not leave office as Governor until his term expires in January 2011.

Recent developments in Pennsylvania have also complicated any attempt for Rendell to leave office early and accept an Obama appointment.

Early in November our Lt. Governor, Catherine Baker Knoll, unexpectedly passed away while battling cancer. She has been replaced by Senator Joseph Scarnati who will be both Lt. Governor and also continue to hold his position as President Pro Tempore of the Senate. Scarnati is a Republican while Rendell is a Democrat. If Rendell were to leave office early, that would pave the way for Senator Scarnati to step into the office of Governor. Rendell is not likely to allow that to happen.

Ed Rendell has been and continues to be a friend of motorcyclists. In 2003 he signed a bill that modified the 35 year old mandatory helmet law for all riders in Pennsylvania. Before Rendell became Governor he was Mayor of Philadelphia. During that time he became friendly with the ABATE organization. The Delaware Valley Chapter of ABATE organizes a yearly ride to the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia each holiday season. The event draws 60,000 motorcyclists to the single day event and supplies toys to not only the Children's Hospital but to other agencies in the greater Philadelphia area. Mayor Rendell was the Parade Marshall during that time and became familiar with the good charitable works of motorcyclists. He also became familiar with the ABATE legislative agenda and often joked with ABATE officers that if he became Governor he would sign a modified helmet bill allowing freedom of choice for adult riders.

Rendell remained true to his word and signed the bill in his first term as Governor. The Governor also spoke at many of the annual Motorcyclists'
Rights Rallies held at the state capitol, and was often the guest of ABATE at their annual Leadership and Legislative Seminar.

Rendell has expressed an interest in working in Washington after his term as Governor ends. Let's hope that his talents and extraordinary support for motorcyclists eventually finds Ed Rendell in DC.



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(c)All Information contained in this release is copyrighted. Reproduction permitted with attribution. The Motorcycle Riders Foundation, incorporated in 1987, is a membership-based, national motorcyclists' rights organization headquartered in Washington, DC. The first motorcyclists'

rights organization to establish a full-time presence in Washington, DC, the Motorcycle Riders Foundation is the only Washington voice devoted exclusively to the street rider. The MRF established MRFPAC in the early 1990s to advocate the election of candidates who would champion the cause of rider safety and rider freedom.


The MRF proudly claims state motorcyclists' rights organizations and the very founders of the American riders' rights movement among its leading members. The MRF is involved in federal and state legislation and regulations, motorcycling safety education, training, and public awareness. The MRF provides members and state motorcyclists' rights organizations with direction and information, and sponsors annual regional and national educational seminars for motorcyclists rights activists, as well as publishing a bi-monthly newsletter, THE MRF REPORTS.