Contributions open many doors and have permitted Members of A.B.A.T.E. of PA and other individuals concerned with motorcycle related legislation ready access to their elected officials. It is a known fact that A.B.A.T.E. of PA has become known as a highly effective grassroots lobbying organization because of the important role BikePAC plays in the political process. BikePAC has been the role model for the formation of many S.M.R.O. Political Action Committees around the country.
BikePAC contributions are only a means of gaining access to legislators and showing appreciation for those who work with us. While money is an important part of a political campaign, it is not the most important. Financial contributions help to get a candidate's message heard and pay campaign expenses. The most important factor in winning election, however, is the actual vote count. Candidates are most concerned with the opinions and desires of those registered voters who live in their district. But it is not sufficient to be a registered voter. People must also go to the polls on election day and cast their ballot. These are the people who actually "hire" the Senators and Representatives.
Candidates for public office have access to voter records. Although they cannot learn "how" you voted, they are aware of your qualifications to ask for their assistance. They know: 1) if you reside in their district; 2) if you are registered; 3) the party you are registered with; and 4) how many times you have voted and in which elections.
Just like you, they listen to their bosses who, in their case, are the people who vote. Just like you, when it comes to doing their job, they have very little reason to pay attention to anyone who cannot impact their prospects for continued employment. Therefore, when trying to influence a legislator's vote, it is extremely important that you meet all four of the qualifications mentioned.
It can be stated with some certainty that Pennsylvania no longer has a mandatory helmet law because there have been a sufficient number of qualified constituents who ask their elected officials to change the law.
BikePAC has been successful in opening many doors that were previously closed to motorcyclists, but it remains the responsibility of constituents to walk through those doors and ask for help with their issues.