Bike industry leaders will hold Obama fundraiser — and he’ll take a bike ride

“It’s really an opportunity to talk about bikes with Barack.”
— SRAM CEO Stan Day in Bicycle Retailer magazine

BicycleRetailer.com reports that the president and CEO of component manufacturer SRAM will hold a fundraiser for Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama.

According to the story, “the event’s goal is to introduce Obama to industry leaders and to discuss cycling’s positive impact on health, energy policy, transportation issues and the environment,” and the event is limited to 100 attendees who will pay $2,300 each for the opportunity.

Obama spoke cards-1.jpg

An Obama spoke card in Portland.
(Photo © J. Maus)

Back in May, Sen. Obama wowed Portland crowds (including well over 8,000 that showed up by bike) with his call for other cities to emulate our “bicycle lanes”.

Speaking of bicycle lanes, it’s being widely reported that Sen. Obama plans to take a bike ride with his kids this weekend. Speaking to reporters following this campaign he said, “I intend to take the weekend off… I hope to go on a bike ride with my kids.”

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Elliot
Elliot
14 years ago

Oh, if I only had $2,300 lying around somewhere… sounds like a fun time.

brewcaster
14 years ago

If I were a rich man, I would do this just to high five Barack while on bikes.

Axe
Axe
14 years ago

Ha! $2300 to ride a bike with Barack Obama. If I had that kind of money laying around I wouldn\’t use it to support a millionaire, I\’d go to the dentist.

I guess it could be worse though…

boo boo
boo boo
14 years ago

It\’ll be interesting to see who coughs up the $$$. It would be great for some local, successful bike store owner(s) to go and lobby O for a national strategy on safer routes to schools. I think that might be easier than a global warming pitch to see action to plan and build better pick and ped facilities across our nation.

bahueh
bahueh
14 years ago

mmm…sounds like a lobbying effort…I dind\’t think Obama was taking money from lobbyists…

don\’t get me wrong, I\’ll vote for the man over McCain…just always funny how the political promises change from day to day..

BikeBillboards dot blogspot dot com

Hey, how \’bout a Denver Convention CM?!

Aneurin
14 years ago

Maybe SRAM Red should become SRAM Blue 🙂

Aaron
Aaron
14 years ago

Much as I love the idea of supporting bikes and educating the politicos about the advantages of cycling, this smells a lot like lobbying. I\’m reminded of the Corn Industry, the Prescription Drug Industry, etc.
What are your thoughts about that?

Dabby
Dabby
14 years ago

Sounds like Portland politics to me. Hop on a bike and on the bandwagon in the same movement.

While he sadly may be the best candidate option we have, I don\’t really wanna vote for him…Something about him screams no.

Mike
Mike
14 years ago

Dabby, isn\’t this awful-finally there is a candidate who is willing to even entertain the idea of supporting bikes. It seems like you\’ll always find something to bitch about. Nothing will ever be good enough for Dabby.

Also, no one is making you vote for him( I hope you do).

Russell
Russell
14 years ago

That\’s my big question about this: How does this type of fundraiser differ from any other done by a lobbying group? When do you cross the line of a theme based fundraiser to a special interest group lobbying a candidate? My personal opinion is that, while this would be a fantastic opportunity, Obama should NOT attend such a fundraiser and NOT take the money for fear of being called a hypocrite. Let him get into office then try and talk to him . . .

Dabby
Dabby
14 years ago

Well Mike,

You are confused as to my intentions and beliefs of course.

This is a free country, with freedom of speech and freedom of thought.

My free thought is that I do not trust him entirely (nor honestly running currently for president for that matter), and I am using my freedom of speech to type that here.

Maybe we should just all be sheep, and blindly believe that everything will be just fine. The flawless electoral college will help us to select (in \”reality\” only two) wonderful candidates, and the selected one will guide us to green pastures, free of wolves.

Or we can question the process, and the intentions of those running. By doing so we can inspire thought in others, and ourselves, and possibly create a few more informed votes.

Hell, for 2300 dollars a head, most of us would pretend to support anything.

Add the chance of being president, and most would probably support anything and everything for free, whether they agree with it or not.

Questions must be asked before it is too late. Or have you already forgotten about the Bush years? Or the Potter years? Oh, and the Vera years…

I will continue to speak my mind on politics, on bikes, on littering, well, on pretty much anything.

I would hope you would be open minded enough to respect that someone does not have the same thoughts as you.

I am.

jcsuperstar
jcsuperstar
14 years ago

Let me get this straight. Several of you seem unable to diffentiate between trying to influence politicians so that you and your company can make a bundle (often despite the public good), versus trying to help elect a candidate that shows some potential for understanding the benefits that cycling could offer society? There are by the way some technical differences between lobbying, advocating and fundraising. Google it if you\’re interested.

velo
velo
14 years ago

This is a really good thing and shows that at least some on Obama\’s people are making sure he gets exposure to cycling. As someone who\’s worked in political fundraising $230,000 is real money even to a national figure (FYI $2,300 per person per cycle is the federal campaign contribution limit). Sadly money does talk in politics. It might not buy you votes or support, but it does provide a bit of access and a chance to form relationships. I hope the bike industry people at this event help Obama understand how bikes fit into a national policy to fight global warming and dependance on foreign oil from unfriendly nations.

Now we just need Earl as Obama\’s secretary of transportation; that would be a huge victory for bikes. Start telling Obama this now! Being part of the political process earlier has a lot more impact then waiting (or sitting out).

Lisa
Lisa
14 years ago

I\’d rather see this than throwing a party for the auto industry moguls, whom I think may already have their hands in this particular cookie jar, judging by some of Obama\’s campaign promises so far. Follow the money trail..

Adams Carroll (News Intern)
14 years ago

my only concern is that i hope obama realizes these are bike industry people–not bike advocates… There\’s a difference.

It\’d be great if the top bike advocates from the 10 major u.s. Cities could be there too.

Mark Allyn
14 years ago

Your article fails to say where this is taking place?

Is it at the Benson? The Jupitor (Where bicyclist Sam Adams had his victory Party?

Even if I can\’t fork up the $$, I can ride around it in my lighted outfit (htto://www.clearplastic.com)

Luv

Mark

BikeBillboards dot blogspot dot com

If the captains of the bike \”industry\” had ANY vision, they\’d lavish their $2,300 per plate slush money on PedalPalooza.

\’Bama man don\’t NEED their money. He\’s doing really well five-n-dimin\’ the rest of us.

His ban on lobbying is apparently subject to some…..ahem…. \”flexibility.\”

Be that as it may, I\’m votin\’ \’Bama and bracing myself for a HUGE disappointment. At least he ain\’t Jimmy Carter. And, the brothaaaas won\’t be able to talk about sticking it to the Man.

peejay
peejay
14 years ago

Unbelievable cynicism on display here. The Obama campaign has had over 1.5 million individual donors, which is something like 10x the number of people who gave to any other campaign at this point. The breakdown of donors shows that the vast majority are people who gave under $100, and not lots of bigwigs who \”maxed out\” at $2300. This has truly been a campaign up from the roots, not down from the money. Look at what Obama has done now he has taken leadership of the party: he\’s got behind Howard Dean at the DNC; he\’s banned lobbying contributions to the DNC and his campaign; his fundraising events have almost always been big public rallies, not closed-door events (in fact he\’s said that EVERY fundraiser he has will have reporters present).

Not saying Obama is perfect. I have my disagreements with him. I\’m not a sheep. I\’ll challenge him when he\’s wrong. But I\’ve been more surprised by how good he\’s been on many of the issues I care about.

If you think you can run a campaign in this country in this century without any money, then you are hopelessly naive – perhaps you\’re one of the people who was responsible for the Bush years by voting for Nader in 2000.

The contrast could not be any greater on this election. We choose between two vastly different governing philosophies. This is not a lesser-of-two-evils election, and there\’s no reason to be so cynical about your choice.

OK, bikes. So now I\’m on topic.

Deb
Deb
14 years ago

Why not invite 1000 people who pay 25.00 each, or 500 @ 50.00 and eleminate the exclusion for most the \’little\’ people?

Curt Dewees
Curt Dewees
14 years ago

I\’m guessing this event will take place in Chicago, where SRAM has its headquarters. I don\’t think it\’s just a coincidence that SRAM and Obama are both from Chicago. It seems to me this event is an example of a local, successful company proudly supporting its hometown favorite son.

Imagine if someday Sam Adams ran for national office, and Chris King Components hosted a big fundraiser for him. Would that be considered \”lobbying\”, too? Or just a good company trying to support the local hero?

Tom
Tom
14 years ago

Great news for the Obama campaign and for the national cycling movement! Clout: it\’s about being engaged politically at all levels, from grassroots organizing and advocacy to high-level fundraising.

I\’d love to see a news story like this this this summer:

\”While cycling industry leaders held a Chicago fundraiser for Obama, John McCain met with donors from the gas and oil industry.\”

Zach
Zach
14 years ago

I think the people of Portland should host a fundraiser/equipment and clothing donation party – the man needs some style. And a new bike:

http://apnews.myway.com/image/20080608/Obama_2008.sff_ILAB102_20080608130146.html?date=20080608&docid=D9162UB80

BikeBillboards dot blogspot dot com

#24, Zach, Bamaman looks pretty good to me. None of that spandex-clad \’mo fashion favored by Dubya. The real issue is what\’s in da trailer?

rixtir
rixtir
14 years ago

For those who can\’t distinguish between lobbyists and donors, the event is open to \”industry leaders,\” not \”lobbyists.\”

Industry leaders are people who work in the bike industry. Locally, think people like Jay Graves. Maybe even Sacha White or Tony Pereira. They are not people who are hired by industry– i.e., lobbyists– to influence politics.

100 of these industry leaders will donate $2300– the maximum allowed for an individual contribution– to the Obama campaign, and in return will have an opportunity to meet and talk with Obama in an informal setting– a bike ride.

Lobbyists– people who are paid to influence politics with industry funding earmarked for that purpose– are not invited, and won\’t be donating. Same with PACs.

As far as the distinction made between \”industry leaders\” and \”bicycle advocates,\” remember that Col. Pope, the founder of Columbia Bicycles, was the leading force in the first bicycle advocacy efforts. Today, the bicycle industry continues to advocate, through it\’s advocacy organization Bikes Belong:

http://www.bikesbelong.org/

as well as through the individual efforts of industry leaders such as Trek and the Bicycle Gallery\’s Jay Graves….And now, apparently, through SRAM CEO Stan Day.

David Feldman
David Feldman
14 years ago

$2300-Jay, do you have anything to do with this;)?