How much influence will AMA actually have? - RC Groups
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Oct 28, 2017, 10:20 AM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Discussion

How much influence will AMA actually have?


In it's most recent Government Affairs Update, the AMA states that:

"AMA attended Drone Advisory Committee (DAC) meetings to discuss the appropriate role of state and local governments in regulating unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into our nation’s airspace." (note 1)


However, the Washington Post in a recent article seems to indicate that the drone advisory group is dominated by commercial interests (note 2). In fact, they go so far as to say that:
"The deliberations have at times been ugly" and adding that "...industry interests were overrepresented and pointed to the role of PrecisionHawk, a DJI partner and drone-technology firm, and Amazon..."
So my question, should we expect much from AMA's involvement? My opinion here, but AMA cites their "influence" as a major reason why we should be members, but in reading the WaPo article, I'm somewhat pessimistic. Combine that with the fact that most of AMA's Government affairs time seems to be focused on playing "Whack a mole" at the local and state level ... which seems to be a losing proposition. Bottom line, what I see in AMA's government affairs posts is an awful lot of "working on..." and "attended..." with just the occasional "achieved" or "accomplished".

So, what are other's thoughts?

Note 1: http://amablog.modelaircraft.org/ama...s-update-2017/

Note 2: https://www.washingtonpost.com/local...m_source=Drone Business Center&utm_term=.03c944a738bf
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Oct 28, 2017, 10:22 AM
I miss President Reagan
KMK001's Avatar
The best, IMHO, the AMA can hope for is that they don't shut down Muncie.

As for the rest of us..........................
Oct 28, 2017, 11:16 AM
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JohnsPop's Avatar
Money has always spoken the loudest. Nothing wrong with advocacy, "lobbying" should be outlawed. When the AMA moved from "speaking for hobbyists" to "only speaking for the hobbyists who join our organization and pay our dues", they moved from advocacy to lobbyists. Even if they got rid of all their bloated salaries, their museum, their flying field and everything else they hold so dear, 180,000 members times $75 only gives them $13.5 million a year income. If they think that's going to give them enough capital to "play with the big boys" in Washington, they're delusional. I hope the AMA goes down in flames and the quicker the better. With all the uproar about Russian influence peddling in Washington, someone please tell me how allowing a Chinese owned company to influence federal policy making and federal laws is any different. DJI or any other foreign based corporation has no business on any committee influencing federal policy. If I want to be ruled by the Chinese, I'll move to China.

Edit: Sorry, I got to rambling and I guess didn't answer your original question. As pointed out by several people here who are "in the know" whether they know people who sit on these various committees or whatever, the AMA is a JOKE in Washington. They have absolutely no influence in Washington at all. They do not represent enough constituency to turn a politician's head as far as votes are concerned, nor do they represent enough cash to turn their heads. That was blatantly pointed out when they spent years and millions trying to make a difference, made absolutely NONE, and John Taylor single-handedly did more than they had on a shoe-string in the blink of an eye. The AMA is nothing but a fly buzzing around the dung heap that is Washington, D.C.
Last edited by JohnsPop; Oct 28, 2017 at 11:22 AM.
Oct 28, 2017, 01:41 PM
Gene Simmons for President
Quote:
How much influence will AMA actually have?

Absolutely none over anything I do
Oct 29, 2017, 06:12 PM
Registered User
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsPop
Money has always spoken the loudest. Nothing wrong with advocacy, "lobbying" should be outlawed. When the AMA moved from "speaking for hobbyists" to "only speaking for the hobbyists who join our organization and pay our dues", they moved from advocacy to lobbyists. Even if they got rid of all their bloated salaries, their museum, their flying field and everything else they hold so dear, 180,000 members times $75 only gives them $13.5 million a year income. If they think that's going to give them enough capital to "play with the big boys" in Washington, they're delusional. I hope the AMA goes down in flames and the quicker the better. With all the uproar about Russian influence peddling in Washington, someone please tell me how allowing a Chinese owned company to influence federal policy making and federal laws is any different. DJI or any other foreign based corporation has no business on any committee influencing federal policy. If I want to be ruled by the Chinese, I'll move to China.

Edit: Sorry, I got to rambling and I guess didn't answer your original question. As pointed out by several people here who are "in the know" whether they know people who sit on these various committees or whatever, the AMA is a JOKE in Washington. They have absolutely no influence in Washington at all. They do not represent enough constituency to turn a politician's head as far as votes are concerned, nor do they represent enough cash to turn their heads. That was blatantly pointed out when they spent years and millions trying to make a difference, made absolutely NONE, and John Taylor single-handedly did more than they had on a shoe-string in the blink of an eye. The AMA is nothing but a fly buzzing around the dung heap that is Washington, D.C.
Well said.

AMA needs to quit focusing on money and start focusing on people, or else another organization needs to be formed to fill the gap. Otherwise we'll continue with the current anarchy among newbies, which will likely end badly for everyone except Amazon.

Flite Test certainly has the right attitude, but I'm not sure if they'd be interested in becoming the new representative organization for the hobby, or just stick with their current role as educators.

Even with the higher membership of a people-oriented organization, we may not be able to compete with corporate lobbying in Washington. But at least we can improve relations between RC pilots and the general public.
Oct 29, 2017, 08:00 PM
Registered User
well put, very well put...
Nov 03, 2017, 02:48 PM
Drone offender FA377YHFNC
AMA needs to quit pretending to be kingmakers and reduce their activities to the only thing they have been good at, sanctioning model airplane events. And they need to shut down Taj Muncie to take the Nats show back on the road to give regional fliers a shot. Nobody participates at the Nats because the Nats are a joke where dollars beat skill and only the rich can afford to attend anyway if they live in the west.

AMA needs to be a sanctioning body and devote its efforts to making the events they sanction great enough that members will attend. Everything else should go.
Nov 03, 2017, 04:52 PM
LSF303-AMA Fellow
tkallev's Avatar
The only reason AMA could take the Nats "on the road" in the past was the free facilities offered by the US Military like NAS Glenview in Chicago ... I doubt they would get the same freebies from the government today ... plus the events have become so large and spread out that there are few venues large enough to hold the entire Nats at one time, even Muncie takes a month to run everything ... can't see the Navy giving modelers a month of free facilities in this day and age ...
Nov 04, 2017, 07:50 AM
Hey Guys, Watch This.......
mike2663's Avatar
"180,000 members times $75 only gives them $13.5 million a year income."

Considering 25% of that membership is FREE youth members ( last reported) you'll need to redo the math. The AMA is a very small fish in a very big nasty pond when it comes to D.C. The AMA even tried to take some credit for "saving" Sec.336 this year like they had having something to do with the temporary 6 month FAA funding ( voted thru in September) rather than the gridlock that let us dodge the bullet again as far as new regulations on the hobby.

AMA Influence? None.

Mike
Nov 05, 2017, 01:06 PM
Registered User
JohnsPop's Avatar
I was just trying to give them the maximum reach with their dollars just for the sake of the argument.
Nov 05, 2017, 01:10 PM
I miss President Reagan
KMK001's Avatar
AMA needs a reality check!
Nov 05, 2017, 04:20 PM
Hey Guys, Watch This.......
mike2663's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnsPop
I was just trying to give them the maximum reach with their dollars just for the sake of the argument.
Got it I just try and remind members just how far "off" the membership numbers ( among other things) are in todays AMA.

Mike
Nov 05, 2017, 05:37 PM
Commander, U.S. Navy (Ret.)
franklin_m's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by mike2663
Got it I just try and remind members just how far "off" the membership numbers ( among other things) are in todays AMA.

Mike


As of the other day, they donít have even 2,300 clubs, let alone the over 2,400 / 2,500 they say they have.

Additionally, go look at club revenue in most recent financial report. Note the drop from last year. Itís an even bigger drop if you adjust for same year dollars.
Nov 05, 2017, 10:34 PM
I miss President Reagan
KMK001's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by franklin_m
As of the other day, they donít have even 2,300 clubs, let alone the over 2,400 / 2,500 they say they have.

Additionally, go look at club revenue in most recent financial report. Note the drop from last year. Itís an even bigger drop if you adjust for same year dollars.
Hmmm. Guess the AMA is the only stock Trump can't get to go up.


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