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11-25-09

Seeking Your Support

Many of you know me from the legal advice columns I write and the appearances I’ve made through the years at motorcycle events & functions across the country, at local meetings around Ohio and the surrounding states, and at local, state & national legislative seminars, and you know that I not only represent bikers who are accident victims or prosecuted under the law, but I also believe in fighting for bikers rights in both the courthouse and the statehouse.
My unwavering commitment to standing up for our right to ride has led me to yet another endeavor that I humbly request your support for: to be elected Member Representative on the board of directors of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF).
This is a national position representing MRF membership nationwide, so if you or anyone you know is a member of the MRF in any state, or are planning to join, please vote for “Ralph Buss” and provide me the opportunity to put my motorcycling experience and dedication to bikers’ rights to work for you. The voter ballot will appear in the upcoming MRF Reports, but before I can ask for your support I feel that I should give you some background and briefly describe my biking credentials:
I’ve been fascinated with motorcycles since before the average motorcyclist was on training wheels, and my earliest childhood memories include Nazi soldiers taking me for rides on their BMW motorcycles while the German Army occupied our family home in Riga, Latvia during WWII. Perhaps it was the experience of living under a fascist regime that inspired me to dedicate the bulk of my adult life fighting for the rights and liberties of individuals, particularly motorcyclists.
When my family immigrated to the United States after the war, I knew that education was important to success and so I studied engineering. After retiring as an engineer testing metals used in building materials, I opened a martial arts school in northeast Ohio while working my way through Law School.

Nazi soldiers would take me for rides on their BMW motorcycles when the German Army occupied my childhood home during WWII. Living under a fascist regime inspired me to fight for individual freedoms, particularly bikers’ rights.

It was in the parking lot of my dojo that some biker friends talked me into riding one of their bikes. After I dropped the big H-D everyone got a good laugh, except for me and the bike’s owner, but I soon learned to ride correctly and bought my own bike. The friendships I made in the biker community developed into occasional legal work, and before long I was known around the region as the “biker lawyer” and the name Ralph Buss became synonymous with motorcycle accident litigation and civil rights representation.
Back in 1986, Michael “Redbeard” Warren, founder of ABATE/CMRO and later a member of the board of directors of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), introduced me to California attorney Richard Lester who was starting a nationwide legal network called Aid to Injured Motorcyclists (AIM), which provided sole funding for a national motorcyclists’ rights organization called the National Coalition of Motorcyclists (NCOM), and I soon became one of the first AIM Attorneys in the country, representing Ohio and later expanded into West Virginia and Kentucky.
For over 30 years my law firm has represented the interests of those who ride, from weekend warriors to one-percenters, and from motorcycle accident cases to civil rights abuses and criminal charges.
Once, when a biker client called to complain that he was refused service at a restaurant, I drafted the first-ever Equal Access (“Biker Anti-Discrimination”) bill in the country. Although it failed to pass in Ohio, several other states used it as model legislation, and eventually Minnesota became the first state to enact such a law to protect motorcyclists from discrimination in public accommodations.

For over 30 years my law firm has represented the interests of those who ride, and I drafted the first-ever “Biker Anti-Discrimination” bill in the country which was used as model legislation in other states.

I belong to and support many national, state and local motorcycle rights organizations, clubs and associations, including serving several terms as trustee for ABATE/Concerned Motorcycle Riders of Ohio; legal counsel for the Confederations of Clubs of Ohio, Kentucky and West Virginia; and member of the board of directors of ABATE of Ohio, Inc. I am also a longtime member of the American Motorcyclist Association (AMA), Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF), ABATE of West Virginia, ABATE of Pennsylvania, the Kentucky Motorcycle Association/KBA, Harley Owners Group (HOG) and the Gold Wing Road Riders Association (GWRRA), as well as the Lawmakers M/C and the United States Patriots M/C.
In addition to countless hours of pro bono legal work on behalf of bikers, for over a decade my office has produced and hosted a regional conference to educate motorcyclists about their legal rights and legislative opportunities, and to help build alliances with all of the state and national motorcycle rights groups in order to achieve our collective objectives.
Over the years I have written numerous articles and legal columns for such publications as Ridin’ On, Easyriders and Biker magazines, published a statewide legal/legislative newsletter for biker’s rights activists, and spoken at events and meetings on the importance of political activism for motorcyclists. In 2002 I was awarded the NCOM Silver Spoke Award for Legal, and have been honored by local groups like ABATE, the COC, Columbus Coalition of Motorcycle Clubs and others for my involvement for the betterment of biking.
I’m not a boastful person, and only bring these things up to illustrate my commitment to the motorcycling movement and to campaign for your vote in the MRF election so that I can continue to work on behalf of bikers as your representative on the national board of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation.
Thank you for taking the time to read this, and for your vote of confidence.

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