V-Twin Forum banner

1 - 3 of 3 Posts

8,914 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
This was forwarded to me from another forum about motorcyclists rights...

FIRST AMENDMENT NOTICE: This is a political communication to Bruce's
Rights Riders List exercising our Freedom of Speech as guaranteed by the
U.S. Constitution to convey information regarding motorcyclists'
rights and motorcycle awareness issues.

Richard Quigley, Biker Rights Advocate and Our American Biker Folk
Hero, Has Sadly Passed Away

by Madd Ray Henke

"A folk hero is type of hero, real or in mythology, who is loathed by
the rich and powerful but idolized by the common person, often stealing
from the former to make life better for the latter. The folk hero
generally starts off as a regular person, but is transformed into someone
extraordinary by their rebellion against oppression upon their own

Richard Quigley, "Quig" to his friends, is indeed an American Biker
Folk Hero, and there is no other biker in America, dead or alive, who is
more worthy of this description.

For those of you who didn't have the privilege and joy of knowing Quig
in life, his encompassing personality, his uncompromising honesty, and
his passion for freedom, I feel that I need to try to give you the
opportunity to know him now, because Quig inspired all who knew him. And
our bikers rights movement, and each of us as individual biker rights
advocates, must open our hearts now to be inspired by Quig to meet the
challenges that lay ahead of us to achieve Quig's most ardently sought
objective, that American bikers across the nation will obtain the right to
right free, hair in the wind, unshackled by government oppression.

I want you to hear Quig's voice, enjoy his wit, relish his frank
uncompromising honesty, and sense the confidence that he brought to his
constitutional fight, and so I will provide a link to an audio tape of
Quig's death bed deposition in the upcoming injunction/declaratory relief
case, a California Assistant Attorney General interrogating him at his
home in Santa Cruz. I trust you will recognize his uncompromising honesty
in responding to the Assistant Attorney General's questions, his wit,
and at the same time the maturity of his purpose. I will also provide a
link to one of Quig's regular radio broadcasts, in which he chats with
Tony Pan, good friend and national director of Bikers of Lesser
Tolerance. But first just a little about Quig, the man, and the origins of
his passion for freedom, mostly gained from my passing time with him at
his local Aptos coffee shop, smoking his medicinal peace pipe with him
on the beach, and "patrolling" Santa Cruz for police harassment of !
the homeless in his blue Suburban, emblazoned with its Freedom Fighter
star on either side, protecting the homeless being another of his
grand passions, and one that I came to admire just as much in him as I came
to admire his passion for freedom from helmet laws.

Quig's search for freedom began early in life. At six years old he ran
away from home for the first time, with his dog, and his gun, a 22
rifle, thumb out, on the highway, hitching off to make his own way in the
world. He made it three hundred miles, from his home in Morenci Arizona
to Silver City, New Mexico. He thought he had a job cleaning rooms in a
small motel, but he found he'd been misled by the motel owner when his
parents came to retrieve him the next day. He would run away again and
again before he finally broke free to a life of self determination. As
an adult he worked every kind of straight job from bartender and car
salesman to corporate marketing executive and private investigator. As
with the folk heroes described in the above definition, Quig had his
defining moment when he was harassed one day by a Santa Cruz policeman. He
was pulled over and got out and walked to the back of his van. The
policemen ordered him to get his registration and pushed him up towar!
d the door. Quig reached over his 45 Magnum and grabbed the
registration. The harassment continued and Quig realized at that moment that we
were all vulnerable to bad cops. He took a stand with the police
department, Internal Affairs did an investigation, but upon the officer's
denials, took no action. Quig brought suit in the Santa Cruz Superior Court
and won a judgment against the County, for one dollar. It was a
victory of principle.

That was the beginning, and Quig hasn't let up since. He got the Aptos
Sheriff removed from office, the conclusion of a toe to toe battle over
police harassment, and a $45,000 1st Amendment judgment against the
City after the Sheriff threatened a radio station for one of Quig's
"commentaries" about the local Sheriff on his weekly radio show.

If you want to know what Quig looks like, imagine ZZ Top. Sometimes at
the top of this page...


... as it opens up, you will see a picture of Quig, the one with the
long beard. I'm the one with the long hair sitting next to him.

Quig is perhaps best known in the biker advocacy community for
obtaining the Santa Cruz Superior Court ruling from the Honorable Judge Barton
that the California helmet law is unconstitutional as applied. But Quig
has been involved in the court struggle for biker rights for over 15
years, brain storming with Steve Bianco in the Bianco v. CHP
constitutional challenge, decided in 1994, a decision that defines the California
helmet law through this date, and should have killed it then, as the
decision renders the law legally unenforceable.

Since that case, the law has been enforced only illegally by the
California Highway Patrol, in violation of the Bianco decision, as was
recognized United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in the
Easyriders decision, and in Judge Barton's ruling. Quig obtained the latter
decision by obtaining 41 helmet tickets in total, including a dozen from
the CHP, took the tickets to Court, interrogated the officers,
introduced CHP policy memoranda, and thus demonstrated a pattern, practice,
and policy of CHP to illegally enforce the law.

In a cowardly move, also highly disrespectful of constitutional
principle, with the motive solely to preserve the CHP's ability to continue to
illegally enforce the law, the California Attorney General elected not
to appeal Judge Barton's highly reasoned constitutional decision in
Quigley v. CHP, rendering the opinion uncitable as an unpublished
Superior Court opinion. It was patent, indeed, that the Attorney General
sought only to preclude Quig from presenting to the Court of Appeals his
carefully prepared court record of the CHP's policies and practices of
illegal helmet law enforcement. It was a case that should have voided the
helmet law during Quig's lifetime, but the Quig v. CHP decision stands
as a constitutional beacon, lighting the way for others to appreciate
the validity of the constitutional principles vindicated.

By this point Quig's health was already failing and I recall by the
summer of 2006 that Quig predicted that he wouldn't live to see winter.
Quig by then clearly wasn't fighting to ride free himself. After removing
the Sheriff from office and then Judge Barton's ruling, the CHP and
Sheriffs officers wouldn't get within a hundred yards of him. His
response was to file an injunction/declaratory relief case against the CHP,
along with other BOLT members who would be capable of carrying on the
litigation after his death. The case alleges the same facts that he proved
in the evidence adduced before Judge Barton, and the record that will
be made in that action will be even stronger given the scores of
additional tickets issued to the other BOLT member plaintiffs in violation of
the Bianco and Easyriders decision. And this case the Attorney General
wouldn't be able to run from, because if Quig won it, it would shut
helmet law enforcement down, and if he lost it in the trial court, h!
e could take it up to the Court of Appeals and California Supreme
Court, where there is nothing more sacrosanct than constitutional
principle. The case is set for April, 2008, and you are all empowered to
contribute to the success of the litigation, which you may do in Quig's name,
by sending your check to a fund that ABATE of California has set up to
pay the attorneys fees and costs of this specific litigation. The
address of the fund is: Judicial Fund c/o Abate of California, 10240 Seventh
Avenue, Hesperia, CA 92345. Th case is important nationwide, in every
state, as it will spell the death of the same law that the NTSB has
recommended that all states adopt, specifically on the grounds that the
law is unconstitutionally vauge as applied.

Right up until Quig's last breath he was consulting with me mostly on
strategy, and with the others of the BOLT members also on strategy and
on the practical nuts and bolts of preparing and presenting that
litigation. He called up just a couple of weeks ago to bring to my attention
the California DMV Motorcycle Handbook, pointing out that the handbook,
which is provided to motorcyclists in California to study to prepare to
take the written motorcycle license examination, misrepresented the
helmet law again, informing bikers that they must wear "DOT approved
helmets." Quig and I decided that I should file a Freedom of Information
Act Request, to determine the basis upon which the DMV arrived at that
misinterpretation of the California helmet law, and whether CHP had any
input into the language. This is further evidence that the California
helmet law is unconstitutionally vague, obviously, because, as Quig put
it, "If the DMV can't understand the California helmet law, then th!
e state sure can't expect bikers to understand it," which is the
definition of an unconstitutionally vague law.

In the last couple of weeks, as death approached, Quig also called to
discuss a ruling that had just come down in his "fix it ticket" case.
The main thrust of Quig's strategy was to challenge the helmet law on
constitutional principle. But a part of that also was to render the helmet
law unenforceable as a practical matter. Quig urged in 5 of his cases
that the CHP had issued helmet "citations" improperly, because the
California helmet law fell within the category of equipment offenses
governed by California's "correctability statute," the "fix it ticket
statute" applicable to broken tail lights and the like. Judge Barton agreed
with Quig on that interpretation too, and ordered the CHP to fix Quig's
tickets. Quig duly showed up at the CHP office with a box filled with an
assortment of helmets, which he asked the CHP to verify complied with
the California helmet law. The CHP balked. The CHP has no clue what
helmets do and do not comply with the California helmet law. The CHP !
refused to fix the tickets. Judge Barton held the CHP in contempt. The
CHP then petitioned the Court of Appeals for a writ of mandamus on its
asserted grounds that the helmet law didn't fall within the fix it
ticket statute. The Court of Appeals issued a lengthy opinion, the first
part of which was well reasoned, siding with Quig and holding that
helmet violations did indeed come within the purview of the California
correctability statute. But then the Court of Appeals went off on a number
of very detrimental tangents which were not briefed by the parties,
including language which would have undercut some of the very important
acheivements of previous constitutional decisions, including one
prohibiting law enforcement to consider helmet fabrication. The Court of Appeals
also certified its opinion for publication, which would have, in the
latter respects, constituted a very negative setback in the
constitutional challenge. If you would like to understand these issues better,!
you may review the Amicus brief which I filed on Quig's reque!
st to at
tempt to get the Court to retract its opinion to reconsider the
constitutional dicta:


Shortly thereafter the Court of Appeals vacated its decision, prior to
publication, and took the case back under submission. A couple of weeks
ago, the Court of Appeals then reopened the case, ordered the Attorney
General to provide additional documents, and ordered rebriefing, both
by the Attorney General and Quig. In these last days Quig and I
discussed strategy, including the importance of gathering all the documents
and evidence that Quig considered important for the Court to consider on
the broader issues, and to his dying breath Quig concentrated, with
eyesight failing, to review and gather all of the documents he felt were

When the NTSB recommendations were issued, I called Quig in the middle
of the night, perhaps Thursday or Friday of last week. Quig spent the
night considering the implications, calling me at 4:30 in the morning to
urge that the NTSB recommendations made plain more clearly than ever
the national importance of the court challenges here in California,
given that the NTSB recommendations were that the states uniformly adopt
the same law that Quig has been challenging in California for the past 15
years, to wit, requiring that bikers wear helmets compliant with FMVSS
218. Quig insisted: "Ray, you've got to explain this to bikers
nationwide. This is not a setback, this is an opportunity. Bikers rights
groups have got to be told that these laws are susceptible to constitutional
challenge. They must challenge them in their courts." We discussed, as
the sun rose on another sleepless night for Quig, sleepless on his
death bed now, how constitutional court challenge may be the only pra!
ctical solution any longer to the helmet law tug of war, as the
legislative balance now will be tipped with the federal government now
weighing in with the helmet law proponent legislators, the insurance industry
and medical lobbyists.

On Quig's last instructions to me, I explained the history of the
California court challenges, and the constitutional principles upon which
they were successful:


and then over the next couple of days, on Bruce Arnold's prompting,
drafted "action points" to provide specific concrete recommendations for
challenging state helmet legislation framed as recommended by the NTSB.

Quig hasn't fought this fight for his personal right to ride free for a
long time, and didn't fight to his last dying breath to assure his
personal freedom. He was fighting for you. And by "you" I mean American
bikers nationwide. Let Quig be your inspiration. All Quig would want you
to do is just consider whether, in your state, constitutional court
challenge might be a viable strategy for overcoming your helmet law. I
think Quig would suggest to you that it is not only viable, it is the only
one with an end game.

Now, listen to Quig's voice, and be inspired by his tough wit, and
direct honesty, confident in the qualities of the legality his Ill Eagle
BOLT "baseball cap" helmet, and the illegality of the CHP's having
ticketed him for wearing it, as he responds to the Assistant Attorney
General's deposition questions, as she interrogated him confined to his bed,
at his home in Santa Cruz County, California. The audio tape is here:


And listen to Quig at a lighter time, in conversation with his good
friend Tony Pan, on one of his weekly radio broadcasts a couple years ago:


You've got to love this man.

I will miss Quig, with all my heart, as surely the many who have known
Quig for much longer than I will too. Quig was a friend to many, and as
the definition of "folk hero" implies, a big pain in the side for many
others. But I don't think that anyone would disagree that a great man
has passed away.

The world is a lesser place without him. But heaven is richer.

"Madd" Ray Henke

Member, Bikers of Lesser Tolerance, BOLT California
Co-Moderator, Bruce-n-Ray's Biker Forum
Author and Publisher, Motorcyclists-Against-Dumb-Drivers.com


RETIRE ROSENKER: NTSB Chairman Mark Rosenker Was One of Nixon's CREEPs

Heads Up, All Americans Concerned About Their Constitutional Rights:

Mark Rosenker, whose term as Chairman of the National Transportation
Safety Board we need to END IMMEDIATELY...


...was once one of Richard Nixon's CREEPs at CREEP (the Committee to
RE-Elect the President), ie., the clowns that got caught circumventing
our Constitution at Watergate. Check out the photo, and know the face of
our enemy:


Mark Rosenker apparently did not care about our rights as American
citizens in 1972. Why should we think he would care about our rights as
American motorcyclists today?


In distributing this communication, I am again calling on all American
motorcyclists to call, write and email the White House and their United
States Senators and Representatives and their staffs to petition for
and demand Mark Rosenker's termination as Chairman of the National
Transportation Safety Board.



"The battle for bikers' rights is not about patches, parties or poker
runs. We fight to protect the freedom and promote the interests of
American motorcyclists ... to defend our right to choose our own modes of
transportation, attire and lifestyle ... to deter and defy discrimination
against us ... and to vanquish those who violate our rights or
right-of-way."--Bruce Arnold



Please post your comments and replies here:


Delete Reply Forward Spam

213 Posts
Thanks for posting that. More people need to be a part of the solution, and knowing about some who are or were is a step in the right direction. He will be missed by many. Remember, rights are never given, they must be fought for.

8,914 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
fixerdj said:
Thanks for posting that. More people need to be a part of the solution, and knowing about some who are or were is a step in the right direction. He will be missed by many. Remember, rights are never given, they must be fought for.
I doubt that most have even read the entire story...those are the same folks that whine about the EPA/NTSB etc...but won't get off their a$$ to write an email...
1 - 3 of 3 Posts