NORTH BETHESDA, Md. - A political action committee is working to ensure continued access by off-highway vehicles to roads, trails and public lands.
TrailPAC was founded in 2011 by Don Amador and its treasurer, Tiffany Waddell, who previously worked with the Republican National Committee and the 2012 presidential campaign of Mitt Romney.
Amador, the land-use consultant for the Blue Ribbon Coalition and owner of Quiet Warrior Racing, said he started the PAC because land access is an issue that needs addressed, and while it might be a priority to riders and dealers, they might not know the best avenues for actions.
“Most dealers I know are burning the candle at both ends just trying to keep their businesses open,” Amador said.
The PAC donated money to candidates whose beliefs and positions support greater use of public roads and trails by off-road riders. In 2012, the PAC identified 10 U.S. Senate races and six U.S. House races as important to off-highway vehicle access, and endorsed Romney for president.
This year, they’ve already identified two important senatorial races. The PAC donated $1,000 to Montana Republican Steve Daines, who was elected to Congress in 2012 when Denny Rehberg, who previously held the seat, ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate. Rehberg was supported by the Trail PAC in his run in 2012. The PAC also supports Michigan Republican Terri Lynn Land, donating $1,000 for her U.S. Senate run for the seat being vacated by Carl Levin.
Amador said the PAC plans to target another 10 or 11 Senate races, and as many as 15 House races.
“We hope to do a lot more this cycle,” he said. “It’s important for us to support those who support us, and I think dealers need to know that.”
Amador would like to see dealers serve as a conduit for their customer bases, encouraging them to join their local and state riding organizations and to be active in the political process.
“I think we have a vast untapped resource out there,” he said. “Just to let them know this is important is a big step.”