by Thummy

February 2, 2010

The following information was taken from The Wisconsin State Journal.

Thursday, December 17, 2009…
A proposal to name Harley-Davidson as the official Wisconsin motorcycle has stalled in the state Legislature.

The sponsor of the bill asked that a vote in committee to send it to the full Assembly for debate be delayed so he can address concerns raised by opponents. Rep. Leon Young, a Democrat from Milwaukee, said following Thursday’s hearing he’s still hopeful the bill hasn’t run out of gas and will pass next month.

Opposition was raised by a group that fights noise pollution. Young says he’s also heard concerns about naming a private company as an official state motorcycle. Harley was founded in Milwaukee and remains based there.

While that idea stalled, another bill naming the bacterium that converts milk into cheese as the official Wisconsin state microbe passed easily 7-1.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009…
Harley-Davidson fans may see the Milwaukee motorcycle company as an icon. But haters are slamming the hog as “noise terrorism” and a “brand cult.”

The state Legislature on Tuesday won this month’s “Noisy Dozen” award from Noise Free America for considering a bill to designate Harley as the official state motorcycle. “The noise frightens and intimidates people,” George Atwood of Milton said.

Noise Free America says it’s dedicated to fighting noise pollution from “boom cars,” car alarms, leaf blowers and motorcycles. Its director, former Wisconsin resident Ted Rueter, said it’s not good for the state to be known for the famous “Harley roar.”

Harleys hurt people and their noise can cause hearing loss, higher medical costs, lost productivity and “loss of peace of mind,” Atwood said. And he claimed many Harley riders have altered their mufflers to intentionally make them louder.

Thursday, November 19, 2009…
Sen. Spencer Coggs, D-Milwaukee, and Rep. Leon Young D-Milwaukee, co-sponsored the Harley bill, Senate Bill 394, at the suggestion of the family of Staff Sgt. Jeremy Vrooman, a soldier who died in Iraq last year. Vrooman, 28, of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, had family in Superior, Wisconsin.

Over the years, the Wisconsin Legislature has recognized 26 state symbols from state animal (badger) and state flower (wood violet) to state dance (polka) and even an official state tartan. The proliferation of symbols has at times angered critics who say legislators are wasting time and money on such trivial matters. But sponsors say the measures cost little if any money.