Dan Sadowski

Carolina Homecoming

Congressional District Site Visit Program Reconnects Rep. Patrick McHenry With Old Friends at Steele Rubber Products

Hosting elected officials at your business is an opportunity to establish long-term working relationships. In 2005, U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) visited Steele Rubber Products in Denver, North Carolina. Since that time, company officials have met with him on various occasions in his home district and Washington office during the SEMA Washington Rally. Recently, Rep. McHenry made a return visit to the manufacturing facility to catch up with some old friends.

Founded in 1958, Steele Rubber Products manufactures weatherstripping for windshields, doors, windows, hoods and trunks. The company also makes rubber parts that are hard to find, including...

West Coast Visits Produce Two New Motorsports Caucus Members

California Connections

Following the 2012 elections, SEMA identified several newly elected lawmakers who had an interest in the automotive specialty-equipment industry or a strong member presence in their districts. Among this group were California Congressmen David Valadao (R-CA) and Mark Takano (D-CA). Two SEMA-member companies were eager to host their new congressmen—Valadao at KW Automotive North America in Sanger and Takano at K&N Engineering in Riverside. As a result of the visits, both Valadao and Takano joined the SEMA-supported Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington that recognizes the significant impact of the automotive industry on the American economy.

Hoosier State Happenings

Rep. Jackie Walorski inspected a new Truck Accessories Group product during her tour of the company’s fabrication facility in Elkhart, Indiana.  More than 90 newly elected officials came to Washington last year to serve in the United States Congress. Rep. Jackie Walorski (R-IN) arrived with a keen understanding of how important the automotive specialty-equipment industry is to her home state of Indiana. Before her election, SEMA met several times with Walorski to reinforce the connection between Indiana’s racing heritage and SEMA’s legislative priorities. Having represented a region known for its automotive and recreational vehicle manufacturing in the Indiana state legislature for five years, she was already a strong advocate for SEMA-member companies and knowledgeable about the issues facing the specialty aftermarket industry.

A New York State of Mind

SEMA Member JR Products Hosts Empire State Congressman

Members of Congress stand for re-election every two years, which often leads to quick turnover among the 435 seats in the U.S. House of Representatives. In upstate New York near Buffalo, voters recently elected a new legislator with a career in small-business growth and development. Given this background, Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY) was thrilled to visit JR Products and showed interest in learning how SEMA-member companies contribute to the local economy.

Rep. Collins was elected to the House of Representatives in 2012 to represent New York’s 27th Congressional District. From 2008–2012, Rep. Collins served as Erie County Executive, having spent the previous 34 years as a business owner and entrepreneur. A mechanical engineer by training, Collins began his professional career with Westinghouse Electric. He was subsequently the president and CEO of Nuttall Gear Corp. in Niagara Falls, New York, a company that specializes in power transmissions for heavy-duty machinery.

We’ve Come a Long Way Together

SEMA Government Affairs Successes Are Driven by Member Participation

We have expressed disappointment through this column over the years with the continued political gridlock in Washington. Partisan stalemate has created an adversarial climate on Capitol Hill for nearly every major legislative issue, from health care to entitlement reforms and everything in between. Both parties share the blame for a situation that renders it difficult for politicians to collaborate.

However, there have been a few recent signs of bipartisan cooperation in Congress. The House Ways and Means Committee, responsible for all tax legislation in Congress, has convened bipartisan working groups to begin reviewing the tax code. The groups have gathered input from lawmakers, companies, trade associations and other stakeholders to offer recommendations...

SEMA Hammers Message to Save Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area

The 2013 King of the Hammers, known as the ultimate desert race, was held at the Johnson Valley OHV Recreation Area in Southern California.Earlier this year, more than 50,000 off-highway vehicle enthusiasts gathered at the Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreation Area in California for the seventh annual King of the Hammers. The event, known as the ultimate desert race, has evolved from 12 teams racing for bragging rights to more than 150 competing teams. Johnson Valley is the largest OHV area in the United States and draws at least 200,000 visitors annually while generating at least $260 million each year for the national economy. During the King of the Hammers event, racers take advantage of the area’s unique geography to race “Ultra 4” vehicles on a dry lakebed at speeds of more than 100 miles per hour and rock crawl through challenging boulder fields. This year, Congressman Paul Cook (R-CA) attended this important event in his home district and addressed a standing-room-only crowd at the drivers’ meeting.

Rocky Mountain High

Colorado’s Bestop Shares Success of Congressional District Site Visit Program 

Summer is a great time to be outdoors in Colorado and, given the favorable conditions, it’s also a great time to be out on the trail. Therefore, it was no surprise when Bestop Inc., a leading supplier of off-road truck and Jeep accessories that provide access to the backcountry, welcomed Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO) to its headquarters last July in Broomfield, Colorado. The event included a tour of Bestop’s production and distribution facilities and a detailed briefing session. Rep. Polis also addressed and took questions from Bestop’s employees.

SEMA Political Action Committee Gears Up for Exciting 2013

New Year Offers New Opportunities to Support Pro-Industry Lawmakers

The year 2012 was an exciting and successful one for the SEMA Political Action Committee (SEMA PAC). A majority of the candidates SEMA PAC supported in the 2012 election won their contests, helping to expand SEMA’s working relationships with pro-business, pro-industry members of Congress. SEMA PAC’s support helped secure these successes. In 2013, SEMA PAC can grow stronger than ever in its 10-year history.

Election Results Demand Legislative Compromise, But Outlook for New Congress Remains Unclear

A Fresh Start in Washington?

Before last year’s election, we predicted that the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate would remain divided along party lines. The election results proved that prognosis to be correct. President Obama was reelected; Republicans continue to control the House and Democrats control the Senate. With the election behind us, we can now more fully explore the ramifications of continued divided government.

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