From The Chairman’s Perspective

Annual Meeting for PDAC

The Powersports Dealers Association of Colorado held its annual membership meeting on Wednesday August 20, 2008. We had our best turnout ever of member dealers, industry associate members and potential dealer members. It was gratifying to see the increased level of interest among Colorado dealers and other representatives of organizations tied to the retail powersports industry. Now, we hope we can convert that interest into some new members for PDAC!

At the meeting, we reviewed the association’s financial status. As a reminder, all dues are collected by our accounting firm and monthly financial statements are reviewed by PDAC officers and YTD statements are reviewed quarterly by the board of directors. All records of income and expenses are reviewed annually at the membership meeting.

Five members of the board of directors were elected to two year terms. They are: Brent Flambures of G-Force Powersports, Mike Hendry of Foothills BMW/Triumph, Donavon Facey of Xtreme Performance Center, Jack Star of RPM Motorsports and Duane Akiyama (Dave Burke) of Sun Enterprises. Directors with one year remaining on their terms are: Marshall Van Thorne of Interstate Honda, Kurt Finley of Colorado Powersports, Brian Harris of Fort Collins Motorsports, Steve Larson of Wild West Motorsports, Bill Comegys of Gran Prix Motorsports and Jason White of Fay Myers Motorcycle World.

In addition, the members asked that Lincoln Davis of Davis Service Center and Tom Grover of Handlebar Motorsports be invited to attend each board meeting for the next year in order to ensure that a western slope perspective continues to be provided to the board.

Members then discussed the range of planned and potential action items for the 2009 Colorado legislative session and upcoming regulatory matters, including limited use of off road powersports vehicles on public streets, roads and highways, increasing the GAP price ceiling, the clean up of scooter and motorized bicycle regulations, Sunday sales of motor vehicles, the further strengthening of franchise laws and the fundraising needs, activities and benefits of the association’s political action committee (PDAC PAC).

PDAC is currently engaged in fundraising for the PAC, PDAC’s legislative campaign fund organization. Over the last two years, the PAC has raised and contributed nearly $12,000, relying primarily on PDAC directors’ organizations for funding. Indeed, in the last two years the PAC has received $1,000 or more from Grand Prix, Fay Myers, Xtreme, Sun, Foothills BMW, Colorado Powersports, Fort Collins Motorsports, RPM and COHVCO. Also contributing at least $500 to the PAC have been Handlebar Motorsports, Wild West Motorsports and Interstate Honda.

PAC contributions are made to current and prospective Colorado legislators who have philosophies and beliefs about government that are compatible with the interests of a majority of our members. Often during the legislative session, it is extremely helpful that PDAC PAC has been an active participant in the campaigning process when we need help promoting, amending or opposing a piece of legislation that would impact our industry.

It’s often said that Mark Twain said, ""No man’s life, liberty or property is safe while the legislature is in session."" We know he wasn’t taking about the Colorado legislature, but still the work of PDAC remains critically important through promoting or opposing certain legislation to create or maintain a stable environment in which retail powersports dealers can operate. The PDAC PAC is a vital part of that effort, one that we need to expand. I hope you’ll help by sending a contribution to: PDAC PAC c/o Kish Leake 5031 S. Ulster St. Suite 420 Denver, CO 80237.

This work and PDAC’s efforts to support its dealers was highlighted in a spirited discussion at the membership meeting about dealer/OEM relations. In its short life, the new powersports dealer licensing law has helped at least one dealer keep his franchise and another dealer to compel the manufacturer to follow the law in re-purchasing product once the franchise was terminated. PDAC has assisted these dealers and other members with resources and information regarding their rights under the new law.

PDAC’s work on legislative and state regulatory matters is comprehensive and devoted exclusively to the interests and concerns of retail powersports dealers. In the last four years, the organization has welcomed record numbers of dues-paying dealers, achieved a very professional level of financial transparency and accountability and successfully addressed a huge variety of issues of concern among powersports retailers in Colorado. Over the next year, we plan to build on that record and to provide even more value for members with an alliance with the Colorado Independent Automobile Dealers Association. Watch for more on that development soon.

Thank you for your support.
Kurt Finley

Bill puts workplace democracy at risk
By Arnold E. Perl, Automotive News

When Sen. Robert Wagner introduced his 1935 bill that was to become the nation's basic labor law, the National Labor Relations Act, he declared: "Democracy cannot work unless it is honored in the factory as well as the polling booth; men cannot be truly free in body and in spirit unless their freedom extends into the places where they earn their daily bread."

Since then, the National Labor Relations Board, which administers the National Labor Relations Act, has conducted some 423,000 elections involving more than 40 million employees.

In running elections, the NLRB makes voting simple and convenient by setting up polling places wherever employees work. In short, secret-ballot elections are at the core of our nation's basic labor law.

Moving ahead to today, organized labor and its congressional supporters are seeking to supplant our nation's basic labor law with the so-called Employee Free Choice Act. The House passed its version, H.R. 800, on March 1 by a vote of 241 to 185.

Obama a co-sponsor
It is noteworthy that Sen. Barack Obama is a co-sponsor of the Senate version, S.1041.

Under the bill, employees actually would lose their free choice to vote for or against union representation. Instead, a workplace would be unionized if the union obtained signatures on authorization cards from a simple majority of the proposed bargaining unit.

A boon for unions
Employee choice is sealed off from any input except from the union. That violates the spirit and intent of the free-speech rights accorded to employers under the National Labor Relations Act.

Most observers agree that the Employee Free Choice Act would simplify and hasten labor's ability to gain union representation at companies and thereby overturn years of declining membership.

In 1979, UAW membership peaked at 1.5 million. The UAW says it had 469,910 members at the end of 2007, down more than 1 million from 1979 and at the lowest point since 1941.

And union dues are falling along with membership. The July-August 2007 cover of a Detroit business journal asked, "Can the UAW survive?"

The U.S. Supreme Court in NLRB vs. Gissel Packing Co. Inc. (1969) maintained that "secret elections are generally the most satisfactory - indeed the preferred - method of ascertaining whether a union has majority support." The NLRB agrees. The court underscored that cards are "admittedly inferior" to the "acknowledged superiority of the election process."

No secret ballot
Not only does the Employee Free Choice Act do away with secret-ballot elections to resolve questions of representation; it mandates binding arbitration where parties have not agreed in collective bargaining to determine the initial terms for two years of a first contract.

The mandatory-arbitration provision cannot be understated. The idea that an arbitrator would be able to set wages for two years should give pauses to every employer. Simply stated, an outsider determines fundamental issues such as wages, benefits and working conditions. That raises questions about the constitutionality of the legislation.

Wagner, father of the NLRA in 1935, would be stunned by the Employee Free Choice Act. For more than 70 years, we have accepted the premise that "democracy cannot work unless it is honored in the factory as well as the polling booth." Not only do the union and its congressional allies want to overturn our labor laws; they want to rewrite history.

It is incongruous to accept the unions' stance when at the same time our country preaches democracy and secret-ballot elections around the world.

When we go to the polls Nov. 4, we will take for granted our right to vote in a secret-ballot election. We also will take for granted our fundamental right to hear from both sides before we vote.

Those democratic rights will no longer exist in the workplace if the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law. Moreover, it defies the teaching of Thomas Jefferson that "information is the currency of democracy."

Board of Directors
Chairman, Kurt Finley - Colorado Powersports
Vice-Chairman/Treasurer, Jason White - Fay Myers Motorcycle World
Director, Donavan Facey - Xtreme Performance
Director, Dave Burke/Duane Akiyama - Sun Enterprises
Director, Bill Comegys - Grand Prix Motorsports
Director, Brian Harris - Fort Collins Motorsports
Director, Jack Starr - RPM Motorsports
Director, Mike Hendry - Foothills BMW/Triumph
Director, Steve Larsen - Greeley H-D, Honda, Yamaha
Director, Brent Flambures, G-Force Powersports Director, Marshall Van Thorne - Interstate Honda

Executive Director, Jerry Abboud
All Sports Honda
Alpine Motorsports
Apex Motorsports
Aurora Honda
Colorado Powersports
Coyote Motorsports
Davis Service Center
Fay Meyers Motorcycle World
Foothills BMW/Triumph
Fort Collins Motorsports
Grand Junction HD
Grand Prix Motorsports
Greely HD, Honda, Yamaha
Handlebar Cycle
Hi Country Motorsports
Interstate Honda
Motorcycle Accessories
Pikes Peak Harley Davidson
Rocky Mountain Kawasaki
RPM Motorsports
Sun Enterprises
Sun Sports Unlimited
Twin Peaks Motorsports
Vickery Motorsports
Xtreme Performance Center
Universal Underwriters
Tucker Rocky Dist
Western Powersports
Retail Powersports Mang. Group
T3RG Motorcycle School

Disclaimer: PDAC is not authorized to dispense legal advice. The information contained in this newsletter is for informational purposes only. PDAC advises that dealers consult legal counsel on the specifics of any law or regulation to ensure full compliance.