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AMA or NO AMA?

Old 08-24-2010, 05:30 PM
  #1  
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Default AMA or NO AMA?

I kinda figure many will take this completly wrong but I had something cross my mind and wanted to see others opinions on it.

I realize the AMA is the largest association for model aircraft. I'm a member and have been for some time. I also realize it has according to them made many leaps and bonds in the R/C model world...but on a second note times have changed and many dont join the AMA anymore. There are tons of reasons but I'm not interested in why you dont. Alot of us fly alone or as you all know start un-clubs or belong to one. What I'm wonder is, is the AMA all its cracked up to be and do we need it. I sometimes think its just a way to join us at the hip so to say.

I know back in the day when I modeled with my father it was all we had and going out to the field with others was what the hobby was all about. In short there wasnt alot of opinions back then and not many models to fly. But today its much different with the internet and all the people just choosing to fly solo. I also see where many of the members to AMA have set opinions and this has caused many to stay away from joining a club. I'm just not sure it is needed as many claim it is.

Is the AMA a thing of the past just linging in our hobby or are they really doing something worth wide to perserve our hobby like they claim. Is our hobby in need or preserve? I see where they are suppose to be backing up model aircraft and getting certian things approved for pilots, but is this really happening with so many fields closing every year. I totally understand they have been here for along time and if you need assistance in obtaining a field or keeping it they can help, but is this all neccesary with people flying alone in fields, lots, and just about anywhere?

For the record I'm not in support of losing the AMA, but I do feel it is abused more then it helps. More times then once when I see a AMA saunctioned event I have to wonder the fun that will be there or the attitudes. This comes from what is written on the web and attending events myself. It just to me seems very clannish and up-rooted from the old school logic of helping others anymore in clubs ran by AMA. So I wonder what the purpose is...
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:02 PM
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I'm a member of the AMA, I joined for the insurance alone. They claim that they are our voice to the FAA / FCC, but I believe that in their absence, the manufacturers would take that place.

I need AMA to be a member of my local club. If I ever get rid of my > 4lbs airplanes I will drop the AMA as the insurance has proven (in my personal anecdotal experience) to be a joke.

Some months, the magazine is good, some months the magazine is crap.


I also have a very very bad opinion of AMA charging us for the plans service. In my not so humble opinion, AMA should give us a digital downloadable copy of all plans in the members section of the site and let us print them ourselves.

The hobby would definitely survive without AMA around. I would easily bet that the number of RC flyers that aren't members of AMA greatly outweigh those who are. The community we see here and on that other site is biased to those of us who actively seek out others in the hobby, and most of that group say AMA is a good thing, so we have a selection bias because of that.
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:06 PM
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Originally Posted by constantCrash View Post
I'm a member of the AMA, I joined for the insurance alone. They claim that they are our voice to the FAA / FCC, but I believe that in their absence, the manufacturers would take that place.

I need AMA to be a member of my local club. If I ever get rid of my > 4lbs airplanes I will drop the AMA as the insurance has proven (in my personal anecdotal experience) to be a joke.

Some months, the magazine is good, some months the magazine is crap.


I also have a very very bad opinion of AMA charging us for the plans service. In my not so humble opinion, AMA should give us a digital downloadable copy of all plans in the members section of the site and let us print them ourselves.

The hobby would definitely survive without AMA around. I would easily bet that the number of RC flyers that aren't members of AMA greatly outweigh those who are. The community we see here and on that other site is biased to those of us who actively seek out others in the hobby, and most of that group say AMA is a good thing, so we have a selection bias because of that.
Thanks for your opinion...
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Old 08-24-2010, 07:10 PM
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I do have to add that when it came to medical insurance AMA did come through for a club member who chewed up his own arms with a propeller.

After VA insurance, and then Medicare insurance, AMA insurance took up the rest of his hospital bill ~$1,000.00 I believe. AMA seems to be on the ball for the medical side of things. I just have a bad taste in my mouth because I feel they gave it to me up the backside when they refused to cover stuff that was stolen out of my garage.
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Old 08-24-2010, 08:08 PM
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Originally Posted by constantCrash View Post
I do have to add that when it came to medical insurance AMA did come through for a club member who chewed up his own arms with a propeller.

After VA insurance, and then Medicare insurance, AMA insurance took up the rest of his hospital bill ~$1,000.00 I believe. AMA seems to be on the ball for the medical side of things. I just have a bad taste in my mouth because I feel they gave it to me up the backside when they refused to cover stuff that was stolen out of my garage.
WoW I didnt know AMA covered planes being stolen...Although I dont think a stolen plane should be covered because I can see scam written all over this and many trying to work out getting money for planes not wanted anymore, so I'm kinda on there side if they dont stand up when a chap says his stuff got stolen, I believe house insurance would cover this though...but its hard to deny a prop choppin.

So many have a bad taste, then you got those who think its the best thing since sliced bread and thats all cool. I think it's alittle over rated and I ask myself daily DOES AMA read the web or even pay attention to potential new members???...it doesnt seem to as they are always the last to change stuff or be current. And when something is noticed they do it as if it's something lower then what they support. Like with the sudden increase in foam planes flown in parks...they downsized the owners of the planes...To me that spelt foamie guy says look AMA desinate a spot for us, old school AMA member leader said ok ok you can have a title...and we got parkpilot...no real thought was put into the process of new people in my opinion. Which I believe has sparked all the non members.

One thing I saw was the AMA promotion of getting the BUG...they used a Airhogs worse then anything anyone would buy to start n R/C jet...I'm still laughing at this be little stunt. Honestly how many got into R/C with such a thing...most cases you were introduced by a friend with a plane or you seen one...I just feel it was a total let down and a bad way of saying come play with us or join.

I wish that AMA would just be a solid association dedicated to grouping people...no insurance needed...you pilots take responsiblitly for your own actions. You go stand in a field with others flying I think your asking or should expect to get ran over...we are not licsensed so it makes no sense to me to provide such quality my friend cant fly care. Im sure false BS claims eats at AMA's funds big time when so many of the claims could have been prevented. This is where guidelines come into effect for the groups or clubs.

With your 55.00 membership you get a free year subscription to a mag, a sticker, and a card...thats good enuff for me. To me it makes total sense to simplify the AMA and look or direct more towards whats hot and stay away from whats not.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:33 AM
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I was labeled as "anti-AMA" and "anti-Club" for about 5 years -- the reality was far from the truth. The fact was, I was asking hard questions (like you are now), and I was publicly lynched for it. Eventually, I was strong-armed into joining the AMA.

I've been a (full - not park pilot) member for 2 years now. I had good intentions of joining a club, but I really don't see the need in my neck of the woods.

I like the thought of insurance, but I have a difficult time thinking my 16-ounce foamy can cause $2.5 million in damage. (Yes, I have seen airplanes hit cars (my own included) and people (myself included), and have NEVER seen any damage caused.)

The magazine is okay, but seems to be written by people like me (not experts or professionals) -- many times I read the article, and find myself "picking it apart" because it seems so far off base.

I really don't believe the AMA truly protects my right to fly a toy airplane -- it's just a toy, not a 25-pound potentially leathel missile from above...

As you can imagine, my statements are often taken to be "anti-AMA" -- but that is not the truth! . The reality is that my training encourages me to find weaknesses in systems so that those weaknesses can be tuned into strengths. My ultimate goal would be to make the AMA an organization that everyone would WANT to join.

$65 per year is a LOT to ask from someone who can put an entire airplane in the air for about $100 (or less)! What benefits does the guy flying the Parkzone Ember get for his $65 annual dues? It's a broken system if your answer is "to support the hobby", or "camraderie" -- these things can be had for free.

Please try to understand my mission; please don't lynch me again. :o

Last edited by Lieutenant Loughead; 08-25-2010 at 12:51 AM.
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:53 AM
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they still are mute on the PIP that I've keep for two years, if It's gone I'll prob'ly go too, bubsteve
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Old 08-25-2010, 12:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
I was labeled as "anti-AMA" and "anti-Club" for about 5 years -- the reality was far from the truth. The fact was, I was askin hard questions (like you are now), and I was publicly lynched for it. Eventually, I was strong-armed into joining the AMA.

I've been a (full - not park pilot) member for 2 years now. I had good intentions of joining a club, but I really don't see the need in my neck of the woods.

I like the thought of insurance, but I have a difficult time thinking my 16-ounce foamy can cause $2.5 million in damage. (Yes, I have seen airplanes hit cars (my own included) and people (myself included), and have NEVER seen any damage caused.)

The magazine is okay, but seems to be written by people like me (not experts or professionals) -- many times I read the article, and find myself "picking it apart" because it seems so far off base.

I really don't believe the AMA truly protects my right to fly a toy airplane -- it's just a toy, not a 25-pound potentially leathel missile from above...

As you can imagine, my statements are often taken to be "anti-AMA" -- but that is not the truth! . The reality is that my training encourages me to find weaknesses in systems so that those weaknesses can be tuned into strengths. My ultimate goal would be to make the AMA an organization that everyone would WANT to join.

Please try to understand my mission; please don't lynch me again. :o
LOL...lynching, did they ride lipo powered horses.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:14 AM
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The only reason I have ever wanted to join AMA is so I could fly at SEFF
but this story makes me a little more tempted... although I doubt a small brushless could REALLY destroy my arm. if I crashed nose first into my sister though, I would really want the insurance, because I can bet you in about 3 seconds I would be completely gnarled up!

I don't like the idea of being REQUIRED to have insurance, I like to have the option, even though in cases like cars, even if I did have the option, I would still get it, I would just feel better knowing I chose rather than being forced.

Originally Posted by constantCrash View Post
I do have to add that when it came to medical insurance AMA did come through for a club member who chewed up his own arms with a propeller.

After VA insurance, and then Medicare insurance, AMA insurance took up the rest of his hospital bill ~$1,000.00 I believe. AMA seems to be on the ball for the medical side of things.
I just have a bad taste in my mouth because I feel they gave it to me up the backside when they refused to cover stuff that was stolen out of my garage.
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:34 AM
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I have been known to accidentially hit the throttle while holding my aircraft -- each time (about 10 times total) the prop started to move, hit my arm, and bounced off before it could get "on step". In other words, the "timing" could never get caught up, and the prop never cut, bruised, or otherwise blemished my arm.

I've seen a full-throttle Parkzone Super Cub hit the windshield of my 1999 Expedition (I was not flying it). It skipped off the winshield, dragged across the rubber insulation between the glass and steel, and then dragged across the paint on the top of the roof. It left a white streak across all three surfaces, which easily came off with a paper napkin and some windshield washer fluid.

Personally, I think you have to do something VERY wrong to injure yourself (or others), or damage personal property with the types of aircraft (electric park flyers) we fly.

Still, it is nice to have $2.5 million of liability coverage "just in case".

Then again, the security guard at Vatterott college doesn't care about my AMA membership, and won't let me fly in the airspace above his parking lot (even on weekends when there are no cars there)...
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Old 08-25-2010, 03:41 AM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
I have been known to accidentially hit the throttle while holding my aircraft -- each time (about 10 times total) the prop started to move, hit my arm, and bounced off before it could get "on step". In other words, the "timing" could never get caught up, and the prop never cut, bruised, or otherwise blemished my arm.

I've seen a full-throttle Parkzone Super Cub hit the windshield of my 1999 Expedition (I was not flying it). It skipped off the winshield, dragged across the rubber insulation between the glass and steel, and then dragged across the paint on the top of the roof. It left a white streak across all three surfaces, which easily came off with a paper napkin and some windshield washer fluid.

Personally, I think you have to do something VERY wrong to injure yourself (or others), or damage personal property with the types of aircraft (electric park flyers) we fly.

Still, it is nice to have $2.5 million of liability coverage "just in case".

Then again, the security guard at Vatterott college doesn't care about my AMA membership, and won't let me fly in the airspace above his parking lot (even on weekends when there are no cars there)...

that makes me feel safer flying around the cars...

but yeah, I agree... if I was flying more NITRO planes (although currently I am not flying anything at all), I would be concerned though, they can really do some damage.

Spit.
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Old 08-25-2010, 04:40 AM
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Well, I fly a wide range of models. From my foamies to my 35% Extra. I've always joined the AMA because I'm a member of the local club, I like to go to fly-ins and competitions and I'm an IMAC member. All of these require AMA membership. I don't see it as a burden, I see it as a necessity. Sure the insurance might not be the greatest, but I like to fly and I'd like to for some time on. The AMA has been directly in talks with the FAA on many issues, and they're keeping this hobby as rule free as they can. I don't know why there's so much hate on the AMA.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:06 AM
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I see this every time the AMA debate comes up. "My little ultra-micro can't hurt a fly." But imagine this scenario:

You fly at a location that is right next to a busy freeway (we have two such sites here in Phoenix, and I know of several in CA). You're sitting there flying your UM P-51. Everything is fine and dandy, when all of a sudden you get caught in a thermal (we get lots of surprise thermals out here), it carries your plane up, and before you know it it gets dumped onto the freeway.

It comes down right in front of a minivan, the driver swerves because of this object that's suddenly appeared right in front of them, and they crash into the concrete barrier, injuring and possibly killing passengers.

This is a very real scenario. Look at what that Trex 450 did to that girl in Tampa. Accidents can and do happen. Don't get lulled into a false sense of security just because you fly a small parkflyer less than 2 lbs.

Personally I have crashed into the backyard of a neighbor of our field (thank goodness my Phase 3 F-16 doing 70mph straight down came down in his little pasture, and did not hit any of his horses or his house), and I've had parts come down in the busy street next to our field. Fortunately for me I did not cause any damage. But I for one I'm glad I have a liability policy through the AMA.

Not to mention the fact that the AMA was instrumental in helping my club secure a flying site in one of the parks here in Mesa (flying in parks is completely banned except for our one park). AMA insurance (both personal and Flying Site Owners) was the main reason they let us have it.

In the past, in order to participate in model aviation, you needed to first find a club field, then more than likely had to join the AMA in order to join the club. The advent of electrics as a mainstream part of the hobby has brought about a whole new generation of pilots who don't have to go find a club field to fly at.

If the AMA is not for you, that is fine. Nobody is twisting your arm to join if you have a place to fly that doesn't require it. But I think they are a great organization that offers a lot to this hobby, and are a champion for the rc flyer.
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Old 08-25-2010, 05:29 AM
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For the cost of a Big Mac or two a month, why not?? IMO the benefits are worth the price.

I pay the double here for it in Germany (DMFV=120€/year), and don't regret a cent of it. If not only for peace of mind.
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:00 AM
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Originally Posted by Numbthumbs View Post
For the cost of a Big Mac or two a month, why not?? IMO the benefits are worth the price.

I pay the double here for it in Germany (DMFV=120€/year), and don't regret a cent of it. If not only for peace of mind.
Wait. Do you mean to tell me that you are a member of the AMA, and you live in Germany? (I thought the AMA was a USA thing only.) If so, how does that work? Do you get the insurance, magazine, etcetera?
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Old 08-26-2010, 01:18 AM
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Thanks for the thoughts guys its interesting to see the different outlooks...Having AMA to be part of a event sure, totally agree.
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Old 08-26-2010, 02:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Lieutenant Loughead View Post
Wait. Do you mean to tell me that you are a member of the AMA, and you live in Germany? (I thought the AMA was a USA thing only.) If so, how does that work? Do you get the insurance, magazine, etcetera?
He's a member of the DMFV, the German equivalent of the AMA.

http://dmfv.aero/
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:23 AM
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Got it. Thanks. Learn something new every day!
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:54 AM
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Well, I would agree with spit and loughead if it was the mid 90s. But, it's not the mid 90s, its 2010, and electrics have really evolved in 15 years. electric can do anything gas can do, and probably more efficiently as well. And I think the AMA refuses to believe this, which is why if you fly electric, you are called a park pilot regardless how big, powerful, or heavy your plane is. And second of all, most planes that are called park flyers really are too big and fast to reasonably fly in a park. Slowflyers, smaller high wing trainers, and ultra micros are about all that you can comfortably fly in a local park. I would say if you fly gas, join the AMA. If you fly electric with some big time AMA guys, you will probably find your self in a situation such as how lipo pilot got his name lol
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Old 08-26-2010, 03:59 AM
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Originally Posted by skyman View Post
Well, I would agree with spit and loughead if it was the mid 90s. But, it's not the mid 90s, its 2010, and electrics have really evolved in 15 years. electric can do anything gas can do, and probably more efficiently as well. And I think the AMA refuses to believe this, which is why if you fly electric, you are called a park pilot regardless how big, powerful, or heavy your plane is. And second of all, most planes that are called park flyers really are too big and fast to reasonably fly in a park. Slowflyers, smaller high wing trainers, and ultra micros are about all that you can comfortably fly in a local park. I would say if you fly gas, join the AMA. If you fly electric with some big time AMA guys, you will probably find your self in a situation such as how lipo pilot got his name lol
Who said all electrics are considered "park" aircraft?

The definition of a parkflyer by the AMA is "Park Flyer models will weigh two pounds or less and be incapable of reaching speeds greater than 60 mph. They must be electric or rubber powered, or of any similar quiet means of propulsion. Models should be remotely controlled or flown with a control line, remain within the pilotís line of sight at all times, and always be flown safely by the operator."
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:04 AM
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For those who doubt whether the AMA is working for us, there is currently a NPR (Notice of Proposed Rule) in the FAA which would regulate Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Guess what, we fly UAV's. Without the AMA to represent us, the FAA would do whatever they wished, but the AMA is represented on the committee studying this proposed rulemaking.

The manufacturers would have no voice in Washington because they are just corporations. The AMA is composed of VOTERS, and quite a few of them, and that always gets the attention of the "want to make a career of Washington" crowd.

The insurance is a nice extra, but the AMA is our only voice.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:19 AM
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Well said Jim.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:23 AM
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The AMA said that, by failing to put another place for electrics. Oh, and a perfect example of refusing to believe that electrics are right up there with gas is right there in their description. They put electric and rubber bands in the same class, and call them similar. when are they going to truly except electric as part of the hobby, rather then just toys.
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Old 08-26-2010, 04:37 AM
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skyman,

Please show me where the AMA refuses to acknowledge large electrics? It's not a matter of no acceptance by the AMA. Sadly, it is some die hard clubs that refuse to allow, or look down upon, electric flyers.

I guess we're lucky out here. We have 5 clubs (2 traditional gasser clubs, 2 electric-only clubs and one heli-only club) and two electric "unclubs". The two traditional gasser clubs allow electrics of all sizes. And some guys I know there have electrics that are way bigger than most of the gasser planes. The only ones that are bigger are the big aerobatic planes (and a few of those are electric too). We don't see any gasser "snobbery" out here.

And for as many different sectors of this hobby that there are (IC, electric, control line, free flight, etc), electrics seem to get an awful lot of coverage in the AMA mag.
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Old 08-26-2010, 11:58 AM
  #25  
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Originally Posted by TDisaster View Post
He's a member of the DMFV, the German equivalent of the AMA.

http://dmfv.aero/
Exactly! Yes we get a magazine/insurance too!

I also second what Rabbitcreek said. The DMFV/AMA/whatever your country's flying organization here/ are not only there to take your money, but they are usually model RC flyers who do a lot of lobbying FOR model RC flyers. There are a lot of behind the scene negotiations, lobbying, etc. that you don't see but that you definitely benefit directly from.

It may be a good idea for the AMA to enlighten its members some more as to how much lobbying they do, how many disastrous laws they have thwarted, etc...
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