From The Hill

Ultra4s Rock Johnson Valley

One Year Later, Legislative Accord Preserves OHV Recreation

The ninth annual King of the Hammers was held once again this February in California’s Johnson Valley Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) Recreational Area. More than 430 teams in four vehicle classes competed during a week-long event witnessed by at least 55,000 spectators and more than 750,000 online viewers. The event culminated in the one-day “Ultra4” race in which vehicles constructed for their speed and rock-climbing abilities raced across a 215-mile course of open desert and steep ravines.

Examining the Fresh Faces in Congress

From left: SEMA Chairman-Elect Doug Evans, U.S. Rep. Mimi Walters (R-CA), David Algire of The Enthusiast Network, and SEMA President and CEO Chris Kersting.The Future Is Now

What do a car dealer, a former Navy SEAL commander and a financial advisor have in common? They were all recently elected to serve in the U.S. Congress. As a result of the November midterm elections, a lot of new faces have arrived in the nation’s capital. Fifty-eight first-timers were elected to the House of Representatives and 13 to the U.S. Senate. Among them are the future champions of the automotive specialty-equipment industry. While sorting through all of the new names may seem daunting, here are a few to keep an eye on.

In Washington, Change Is the Only Constant

SEMA looks forward to keeping you informed on issues impacting the automotive specialty-equipment industry and will need your assistance in making sure that our voice continues to be heard in the halls of Congress. The 2014 election was one that Republicans will look back upon fondly. The party picked up more than a dozen seats in the U.S. House of Representatives and nine in the U.S. Senate. As a result, the GOP has its largest majority in the House since 1931 and has regained control of the Senate after eight years in the minority.

While November 4 was a night of celebration for Republicans, the real challenge will be governing in the weeks and months ahead. Washington’s dysfunction is both real and pervasive. The past two years have been the least productive in history.

My Old Kentucky Home

From left to right: Christian Robinson, SEMA government affairs; Jeff Major, Bed Wood & Parts founder; U.S. Rep. Ed Whitfield (R-KY); Eric Snyder, SEMA government affairs.Bed Wood & Parts Hosts U.S. Representative Ed Whitfield

Like many car guys, Jeff Major’s passion for street rods, stock cars and classic trucks was acquired as he helped his father in the garage. While working on his own ’57 Chevy pickup not long ago, Major couldn’t find the right wood for the bed of his truck, so he took a page out of his father’s playbook and took matters into his own hands. Literally. It was on that day in 2006 that Bed Wood & Parts was born.

Congressman Cools Off in the River City

Vintage Air Hosts U.S. Representative Lamar Smith

It’s said that necessity is the mother of invention. If you’ve ever been to San Antonio, Texas, in the summer, you know it’s not uncommon for the mercury to push triple digits. When it’s that hot, having a running air-conditioning system in your car is a must. Enter Jack Chisenhall. When he founded Vintage Air in 1976, no one else was producing air-conditioning systems and components for classic cars and trucks.

Sun City Shines Bright

Russell Stephens (left), president of MSD Performance, demonstrated one of his company’s products to Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) during the congressman’s visit to the company in El Paso, Texas.MSD Performance Hosts U.S. Representative Beto O’Rourke

For more than four decades, the MSD Performance brand has been synonymous with high-performance ignition parts. The company designs, develops, tests and manufactures its entire line of ignition boxes, distributors, EFI systems, coils, sparkplug wires, crank triggers and other performance parts. While known for producing engine timing accessories for auto enthusiasts and the racing circuit, MSD also has a strong commitment to its hometown of El Paso, Texas. Since 1970, MSD’s presence in the community has grown to five buildings covering 150,000 sq. ft. and more than 500 employees.

Rock Chalk, Jayhawk

Steve Matusek (left) welcomed Rep. Yoder to Aeromotive’s headquarters. Aeromotive Hosts Kansas Representative Kevin Yoder

Like many other leaders in the automotive specialty-equipment industry, Steve Matusek started small. He formed Aeromotive Inc. in 1994 in Lenexa, Kansas, with dreams of applying aerospace techniques and processes to high-performance automotive fuel systems. The company blossomed by relying on three generations of engineering and racing experience. It is now a leading designer and manufacturer of fuel-delivery systems for racing, street and marine applications.

SEMA PAC Firing on all Cylinders in Election year

Become an Industry Champion by Joining the “Winner’s Circle”

For many, “politics” is a four-letter word. People are fed up with Washington’s antics. Truth is, whether it’s banning the sale of E-15 gasoline, reforming the tax code, spurring job creation or addressing many other critical issues, there’s a lot that’s not happening in Washington, D.C., which affects your bottom line. So we simply can’t afford to sit in neutral while others determine the future of the industry.

Carolina Homecoming

Congressional District Site Visit Program Reconnects Rep. Patrick McHenry With Old Friends at Steele Rubber Products

Hosting elected officials at your business is an opportunity to establish long-term working relationships. In 2005, U.S. Representative Patrick McHenry (R-NC) visited Steele Rubber Products in Denver, North Carolina. Since that time, company officials have met with him on various occasions in his home district and Washington office during the SEMA Washington Rally. Recently, Rep. McHenry made a return visit to the manufacturing facility to catch up with some old friends.

Founded in 1958, Steele Rubber Products manufactures weatherstripping for windshields, doors, windows, hoods and trunks. The company also makes rubber parts that are hard to find, including...

West Coast Visits Produce Two New Motorsports Caucus Members

California Connections

Following the 2012 elections, SEMA identified several newly elected lawmakers who had an interest in the automotive specialty-equipment industry or a strong member presence in their districts. Among this group were California Congressmen David Valadao (R-CA) and Mark Takano (D-CA). Two SEMA-member companies were eager to host their new congressmen—Valadao at KW Automotive North America in Sanger and Takano at K&N Engineering in Riverside. As a result of the visits, both Valadao and Takano joined the SEMA-supported Congressional Automotive Performance and Motorsports Caucus, a bipartisan group of lawmakers in Washington that recognizes the significant impact of the automotive industry on the American economy.


Subscribe to From The Hill Subscribe to From The Hill