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Recreation Industry Working Together in New Political Landscape

The elections are over and the political landscape has changed, but many issues important to the RV industry remain in play in Washington, D.C., including expanding credit opportunities for RV purchases, CAFE standards that protect the availability of tow vehicles, and protecting the second home mortgage interest deduction for RVs and the Travel Promotion Act to boost tourism.

With Democratic majorities in both the House the Senate and the new administration providing challenges as well as opportunities, RVIA and RVDA will be working with industry allies such as the American Recreation Coalition (ARC) on these and other new issues moving forward.

"While the national associations work together in Washington, it is more important than ever that you – as an individual – reach out to your elected representative and let them know what you want . . . and how their actions will impact your livelihood," said RVIA Vice President of Government Affairs Dianne Farrell.

ARC will take a lead role in these efforts. “Our challenge will be to articulate popular new programs and policies that can achieve visible results quickly,” said ARC President Derrick Crandall. "In addition to working on issues, we will be keeping an eye on the people who make up the new administration and identifying friends of outdoor recreation who can help the RV industry."

“We know many of the Obama Transition Team members, under the leadership of John Podesta, former Chief of Staff in the Clinton White House. Other big players are Cassandra Butts (Obama's Harvard Law classmate), Tom Daschle and Rahm Emanuel (former Clinton White House official and now U.S. Representative from

As far as the next Secretary of the Interior, Crandall said, names are beginning to emerge, but it is still very early in the process. Among those speculated to be considered:

• Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, is a farmer and rancher who held no elected office prior to being elected as the first Democratic Governor to serve
Montana in 20 years.

U.S. Rep. Jay Inslee (D-WA), a major player on roadless areas in national forests and active on energy policy matters and the global climate change debate.

• Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter, Jr., elected in 2006 and focused on a more sustainable national energy portfolio, business development, and building a New Energy Economy for Colorado and the nation's future.

• Wyoming Gov. Dave Freudenthal, elected in 2002 and very popular in a traditionally Republican state.

• And a wild card – U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA).

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