|AOPA Legislative Affairs staffers Bill Deere and John Williams defended GA at the GOP convention.|
Vowing to "use these great times for great goals," George W. Bush last night accepted the Republican Party's nomination for President and closed the 2000 Republican National Convention in Philadelphia, Pa. AOPA Legislative Affairs staff, the only general aviation association participating in convention activities, also concluded a hectic week of briefings, fundraisers, receptions, and occasional protest dodging. Working to counter the formidable presence of the major airlines, which hosted numerous convention-related events, AOPA staff met with key congressional members, staff, and campaign officials including Chairman of the House Transportation & Infrastructure Committee Bud Shuster (R-Pa.), Chairman of the Senate Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee Richard Shelby (R-Ala.), AOPA members such as Sen. Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) and Rep. Robin Hayes (R-N.C.), and staffers for House Speaker Dennis Hastert and Majority Leader Trent Lott. AOPA also met with officials of the Republican Congressional and Senatorial Campaign committees.
Assessing the week's activities, Bill Deere, AOPA's vice president for legislative affairs concluded, "It was important to be here and remind Republican leaders that while general aviation pilots may not have millions of dollars in soft money to finance events at the convention like the airlines, thanks to our PAC supporters, AOPA will make a difference in the key House and Senate races that will decide control of Congress. We reminded party leaders of the hundreds of thousands of AOPA members who will vote in the Presidential election battleground states. And we'll carry that same message to Los Angeles in two weeks at the 2000 Democrat National Convention."
August 4, 2000