Ride spokesperson says main goal: Impeach Obama

| October 09, 2013
Ride promoter Zeeda Andrews, from her appearance on a Fox News program Tuesday, October 8

Ride promoter Zeeda Andrews, from her appearance on a Fox News program Tuesday, October 8

The trucker protest planned for this weekend, in addition to stating industry-related demands, is taking broad shots at President Obama and politicians in general.

Ride for the Constitution spokesperson Zeeda Andrews, interviewed Tuesday on Fox News’ “On the Record with Greta Van Susteren,” mentioned trucking “regulations” broadly in describing the convoy’s mission, but also pointed to the effort’s main purpose: “We want the president of the United States removed from office. He is a threat to our national security. He is a threat to our way of life.”

The organizers of the Ride of the Constitution rally have split with bobtail convoy coordinator Earl Conlon.

Andrews and co-organizer Pete Santilli, an online radio host, have distanced themselves from driver Earl Conlon, formerly the coordinator of the Ride’s bobtail convoy into Washington, D.C. Conlon told the Washington Post he lied to U.S. News reporter Steven Nelson about parts of the convoy’s intentions to maximize mainstream media attention.

The Ride for the Constitution movement was spawned from a Facebook page titled “Truckers to Shut Down America” that went viral following television commentator Glenn Beck’s mention of it on one of his broadcasts.

Poll: Will you participate in some fashion in the Ride for the Constitution demonstration?

As reported via the Land Line Media Blog, original demands on the page included “remove Obama from office for crimes of treason and misdemeanors. We want Congressional hearing on Benghazi and Seal Team 6. Louis (Lois) Learner put in jail. No amnesty, remove all Muslims in our government that do not uphold the Constitution. Remove Eric Holder from office for crimes against the people and the Constitution. Last but not least is Fuel prices.”

The focus on Obama and other federal elected officials is part of a convoy, consisting of truckers and others, planned for Friday to roll through the District of Columbia. In addition to a primary rally point at the Doswell Truck Stop in Doswell, Va., the Ride for the Constitution Facebook page is also now promoting a gathering of drivers at the Wilco location in Harrisburg, Pa., on I-81, exit 77. Driver J.B. Schaffner, a signatory to the Ride’s manifesto, says drivers will be starting there at 4 a.m.

A separate tractor-trailer convoy is planned to circle the beltway Friday and get the attention of politicians and the general public by causing a traffic jam. Andrews and other organizers are calling for supporting actions outside of D.C., including truckers shutting down and the general public refraining from spending money Friday through Sunday.

Land Line’s publisher, the Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association, issued a statement opposing the demonstration, saying its leaders have no ties with trucking and until recently lacked a trucking-related agenda.

Viewpoint — Use your head: Don’t shut down Oct. 11-13

Overdrive blogger Kevin Rutherford has posted several reasons why he opposes the initiative and plans a live call-in discussion on a special online broadcast tonight. As of midday Wednesday, 38 percent of Overdrive readers reported they would shut their businesses down in solidarity with the protest, down from 43 percent on Tuesday.

The focus on “Muslims in government” on the original Facebook page manifesto raised the ire of many. One was Overdrive blogger Wendy Parker, who wrote that while trucking problems are worthy of attention, “All the other ancillary causes need their own platform.”

Related: Wendy Parker on the ‘race to a shutdown’

The latest Ride manifesto includes five demands related to trucking issues: California’s emissions regulations, hours of service, mandatory liability insurance, truck parking safety, and crash accounting in the federal Compliance, Safety, Accountability program.

Owner-operator Jason Haggard criticized the effort on his blog, objecting to the very name of the original effort, still in force via the #T2SUA hashtag organizers are using in their promotions.

“Is the goal of any professional driver out here today to shut down America?” Haggard asked. “I know I can speak for many of them who don’t want to hurt the country even further, but they are willing to do what they must to get the attention focused to the issues that impact them every day.”

Haggard added that organizers “keep adding things that aren’t really pressing issues – fuel prices, emissions and other stuff. What about over-regulation, drivers getting paid for their time? … They’re just adding anything to keep people jumping on board with them to whip people into a frenzy to support their political agenda.”

Andrews, Haggard noted, “went from a former parking-lot singer at a truck stop to a former driver,” referring to early Ride press that called Andrews a “former trucker.”

Andrews has said she knows how to drive a truck and feels an affinity with truckers from her past touring experience and family connections to trucking. She has never hauled commercially or had a CDL, she said.

Haggard, noting the issue of trust, said he found it “odd” that co-organizer Santilli, who’s also serving as media liason for the Ride, claimed in an e-mail to U.S. News and World Report posted here that Conlon is not a trucker and requested a retraction of the story about Conlon.

“This [entire effort] has the potential to blow up in everybody’s faces,” Haggard said.

When Overdrive spoke with Conlon again the morning of Wednesday, October 9, he was on the road, in the company tractor the former owner-operator now drives for a living. He declined to name the carrier he drives for at company request, but did say he still owns a truck but is wary of being in business for himself given the state of the economy and U.S. government today. 

Santilli’s statement to reporter Nelson that Conlon “is not even a trucker” is not true, according to Conlon. “They are making me out to be the bad guy, but that’s all right,” he said. He will still throw his support behind the Ride effort.I do want peaceful, I do want lawful and I do want successful. I support this effort.” 

Owner-operator William McKelvie, who attempted to engage with Andrews and company early on in their efforts, was asked to participate last week in the conference call with organizers discussed in Overdrive‘s Tuesday report on the list of trucking-related grievances included in the Ride manifesto. He disconnected from the call early, discouraged with the effort.

“They lack focus and determination,” McKelvie said of the Ride’s planners and promoters. “Their plans of staging keep changing…. They have yet to listen to us honestly.”

Owner-operator dispatcher Michael Winton, of Cookeville, Tenn., was also a part of the same call. He said that while he agrees with widespread complaints over regulations, rates and other trucking problems, “I’m leery of attaching myself to this cause. I wish the best for all the drivers participating and hope that something changes for the better.”

Others, however, like driver Conlon, are on board with the effort. “Piggybacking on this monster is the only immediate answer” to many of drivers’ grievances, wrote independent owner-operator Rey Moreno in the discussion under Rutherford’s column. Moreno called the Ride effort “the only immediate vehicle to demonstrate our frustrations … I’m tired of being a whipping post and cash machine, and I refuse to just give up or walk away. Congress gets their way by shutting down, and eventually so shall we!”

The Ride’s latest manifesto, which you can read via Overdrive’s October 7 story on its release, begins with an intro that immediately invokes the name “Barry Soetoro, aka Barack Obama,” which relies on a theory that the Soetoro surname is President Obama’s legal name. This originates in part from a 2009 April Fool’s Day email that circulated widely.

It purported to be an Associated Press story claiming a young Obama applied for a foreign-aid scholarship to Occidental College as a foreign student, using his mother’s Indonesian surname by marriage. According to the rumor-verification website Snopes.com, the scholarship did not exist then, nor did the group cited as having claimed evidence of the application, among much other evidence of the story’s hoax status.

The Ride for the Constitution manifesto then cribs nearly word for word from this item posted to well-known online commentator Alex Jones’ Infowars.com site in July. Both that commentary and the ride’s manifesto begin with the following passage (substantive insertions to the manifesto are included in brackets):

Long before he was president, [Barry Soetoro, aka] Barack Obama, was already plotting [with others] to overturn the Constitution of the United States. In a chilling 2001 public radio interview, Obama said that the Constitution was, “a charter of negative liberties, full of constraints imposed upon us by our Founding Fathers.”

The Ride manifesto goes on to allege congressional attempts between 2003 and 2008 to “change Article 2, Section 1, Clause 5 of the Constitution on eight separate occasions, to make it possible for Barack Obama to meet the eligibility requirements for the office of president.” The manifesto’s introduction then alleges that “a legal investigation has proven that his documents provided are forgeries, which is a felony offense.”

  • Guest

    I believe that this is JB Shaffner’s ( signatory to the manifesto) tribute to his Father, who passed away one year ago 10/14/12, Coinciding with the end date of this movement.

  • Jason Haggard

    Just to clarify in an effort to uphold Todd Dills’ credibility, I’m not technically an O/O at the moment as I had to come of the road for a period of time to take care of some health issues with my 5 year old son as well as finding a new truck to replace my old unit with. It shouldn’t even be an issue but I know how media vultures are these days.

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    Again, i’ve been less vocal about this up until lately but i do agree WHOLEHEARTEDLY with the general sentiment of ”enough is enough” , it’s going to take some major big name organizers to step in and sift all of this out.

    If the truckers are going to be used as the spearhead for this movement, then trucker issues need to be at the forefront. I’ve tried to get that point across, but it’s fallen on deaf ears with Miss Andrews. She’s apparently going forward with the ” impeach Obama” stance. ugh.

    The issues that need to resolved are as follows:

    HOS need to be reverted to Pre July 1st enforcement. Drivers are driving more tired now under these new rules. They’re useless and irresponsible on the part of the FMCSA.

    Freight rates have to come up to shoulder the costs of operations across the boards all over. We can’t live or feed our families on 1.00 per mile freight. Sorry.

    The CSA safety scoring system needs dissipated. It falsely represents carriers’ and drivers’ safety records and attaches / negatively reflects on the records whether they are at fault for accidents or not. That in itself is egregious and unfair to all companies.

    The mandatory ELOG / Electronic onboard recorder mandate in the works is just throwing money at a problem that could be solved with just more training and awareness.

    The supposed ”mandatory 1 million dollar coverage” for Owner Ops to be requred to carry is a whole other issue as well.

    The available truck parking issue has been a bane of this industry for longer than the 10 years i’ve been in it. I don’t really see that getting solved any time soon although it’d be nice if it was.

    The California CARB regs are just another ”hose job” with these organizations that rail against truck drivers in my opinion. I’ll not even send a truck of mine to Cali. I don’t have anything lost there. Sorry. :)

    So in closing, i think myself that we should steer away from the whole ” impeach Obama” stance and focus solely on the truckers’ issues at the forefront of our everyday lives and affecting the way we make money.

    Anne Ferro, Anthony Foxx, the entire FMCSA, and the transportation subcommittees need to have a town hall type meeting to hear our grievances and at the VERY LEAST turn over the ”big 4 issues” i listed just now. All the other stuff can wait.

    Hours, rates, CSA crash system and ELOGs are what’s strangling the everloving life out of the trucking industry right now. We can’t take much more. We’re suffocating here. I speak for my Owner Operators and i fight for them too. But I feel like i’m fighting a losing battle as of late.

  • godfearingrebel

    Thanks for this update mr. Todd. Im in full support of a shuttdown because i think its got to that point. BUT, we need clear, pertinent issues, a focused agenda, and calm, rational leaders who know whats going on. No i dont like obama and despise pretty much everything he’s done but this needs to be either trucking or political. Not both. Inconviniencing and possibly endangering the people simply because we dont like our “elected” president will not bring public sympathy. Clogging up public highways will reinforce the ignorant majority that we are dumb monsters. Washington dc is not ignorant of the importance of trucking. If someone with a plan that would be simple enough to unite half of the american truckers-(it would have to be simple the way we disagree over everything)- the needs would probably be addressed befor the shuttdown ever happened. Any ideas, anyone?

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    Check my comment about it for my idea bud!

  • Guest

    Well, OD you can just forget me reading your magazine any more. As ‘journalists, you are supposed to be unbiased. Not every truck driver in the world is an ultra-conservative right winger and some of us support the President and his standing up to the extremists in our government.

    It’s really a shame too. I remember reading my dad’s OD’s he brought home and enjoyed them very much. You are certainly not the same magazine you were then.

  • Kevin

    These people are morons. They think because they slow down traffic, that the President will be removed from office? Get a life, dimwits. You’re making the real truckers look bad.

  • MercenaryMan

    Just like the sign up for the ACA well see how many trucks and truckers participate, its too bad they dont speak for me, I want to see a Grievances list put together and presented with a petition to Anthony Foxx, I dont want to piss off most of America over traffic jams and guys who cant spell, or let former parking lot singers screaming out Impeach Obama and thinking they represent all of us. God Bless the drivers and O/Os who need a seat at the table, we need a clear voice of representation, not a debacle of Tea Partiers and Seditionists, and god knows what….I only hope know one does anything rash or violent as that will surely tarnish ALL OF US.

    You want change you vote, you elect representatives who speak for you, you support them and you make the doors open and those that make the regulations understand, heaping more and more regulations, costs and higher fuel costs caused by Futures Traders who happen to be mostly Republicans…RICH and they gamble with our futures and profits. Nobodys really tried to put forth a candidate/representative/senator, who would get on the transportation committee and speak for the Independent, O/O and small fleet owner….

    We want less regulations, less costs, an HOS thats PRACTICAL, Drivers are being forced to pay fines for running a truck to stay warm or cool, pay fines for the lack of parking, faced with inspections, blitzes and DOT that seems predatory…FMCSA rules and points that arent applied failry or understood, DAC/PSP/CSA forms and data that drivers cant even access or dispute….lower fuel costs, stop the futures markets exemptions for crude oil buyers, make them take possession of oil they buy not just as piece of paper, thats sold days later for huge profits…to be aboe to use the family doctor, NO SLEEP APNEA FORCED TESTING, Fairness with Detention pay, Rules for Shippers/Recievers concerning getting a load in/out/loaded/unloaded in a fair amount of time, Lower taxes and fees, the right to run a paper log with out the forced EOBR…AND im sure Ive left a few off….

    All I want is truckers to get a fair shake….I dont need to cloud the issue with our personal political views, or radical right/left wing ideas that arent going to happen, NOBODYS going to go to Wasshington and arrest a Legislator, or force the impeachment of the sitting President. I dont care which way you LEAN, or who your favorite radio station hype artist is….thats all psychobabble…but the demands for fairness, representaion, and a set at the table IS NOT !!!

  • Cathy

    I think just impeachment alone would pretty much gain plenty of support. Obama has done enough to be impeached. He’s killing the economy with all the regulations and not just for truckers.

  • Cathy

    And Obama is making real presidents look bad

  • Cathy

    It’s Obama’s policies that have made all these new regulations that are killing the trucking business. So Yea it’s pretty much impeach him because it’s not only truckers he’s been hurting.

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    We need to put Anne Ferro, Anthony Foxx, and the FMCSA in the hot seat though.
    They were the ones that hatched the HOS, Carb, and Csa 2010 crap to start with.. :(

    We gotta attack it head on instead of going after Obama truthfully. Just my humble opinion. I fight for my Owner Ops daily and the 4 issues i outlined affect us on a daily basis. They have to be rooted out FIRST before going after anything else.

  • Kevin

    Obama is the best President this country has seen in decades. Even better than Bill Clinton.

  • JJH_2013

    You are a moron with that statement.

  • Cwbintennessee Michael Winton

    And also, the truckers are being used as the spearhead to drive this movement.
    The issues that affect our industry need to be front and center truthfully.
    It’s only fair.

    Obama’s impeachment or whatever can wait. The hours, rates, ELOGS, and CSA crash rating system are what need to go NOW.

  • C.L. White

    Racist losers and draft Dodgers just l,ike your zero hero’s drug addled Limbaugh
    And the a alcohoicl beck.the right wing wealthy anti democracy play you idiots like a fiddle. The real winner will be the Koch brothers and the other robber barons who will screw the working man every chance they get.

  • LL

    I am a O/O, and I’m like most of these guys what are we trying to get them to see besides a traffic jam. Do we want them to change some rules, or do she think this act is going to get him thrown out of office? This sounds like it hasn’t been thought through.

  • ROD

    I am 100% behind the strike but it need to be focus on the right people.The President didn’t force your company to rob us of miles and cpm its the corporations. Werner ,Knights Transport and several others lobbied for eobrs.These companies you think has your back but in close doors they are figuring out how to rob us. I/C and O/O are hurting because what the big boys are doing . realistic a strike with everyone will change things if we all come together but striking to impeach the President uuh! I don’t think so
    .I am being just realistic that’s not gonna happen

  • MercenaryMan

    The Issue is not YOUR political views, if you want to argue that go to the Ed Show or Hannity, The Issue is TRUCKERS and regulations/representation… I dont need to represent myself as a Democrat or Republican to say TRUCKERS need to find a way to solve issues that directly effect there industry….and when you name callin fools figure that out and find a way to be Men and Women instead of brainwashed fools well Ill gladly discuss this further…have you heard the saying A country divided is a country easily conquered….duh….

  • anthony

    you want to im peach in peach the brokers that do not want to pay fuel s charge under pay us you do not speak for me truckers be having it hard before Obama 10years a go it 95&85cent a mile to day if the same and some time less want some ting to ride for do it for under pay to trucker buy them crocked broker and company

  • Jason Haggard

    So if they don’t support using a poorly planned protest they are ultra-conservative?. It sound like you need to be able to make a distinction between bad ideas and politics. Had this been better planned by people who showed at least a little bit of sanity it would have gotten more support.

  • Bob Moore

    I am going to buy enough fuel Thursday to finish my run to get me back home Friday night. Then I will not buy anything till Monday or start my truck till Monday. I am doing this for my fellow truckers.

  • Todd Dills

    I think you are misreading this piece, Guest, or perhaps you didn’t get much farther than the headline and need to read it again. It is most certainly not intended as any kind of endorsement of this effort one way or the other or any kind of statement on all truck drivers. I can say that with the utmost certainty. Lord knows I know enough drivers to know the spectrum is as wide as the country.

  • Todd Dills

    Yes, apologies, Jason, and thank you.

  • applesauce

    What a shame. I drove over the road back in the 70’s and 80’s. There were a couple of “shut downs” done back in those days, in particular I’m thinking of the one in 1979. The gripes were rising fuel prices, lowering of the national speed limit to 55 mph, wage protests (teamsters) and a host of equally important gripes, similar to what most of you honest truck drivers have today. I was not a teamster but I did joined in. We shut the auto industry down, literally. There were radical elements back then but the main focus was on the truckers problems, not overt political agendas. Too bad this effort is lacking focus and leadership, there for a moment, I saw this effort perhaps changing the game for you truck drivers as it should be. With today’s media bias, you get one shot; in this case, the whackos on personal agendas will get the coverage, the general population will lower it’s opinion of truck drivers in general and the legitimate gripes will fall by the wayside. Like I said, what a shame.

  • john

    very well said. i’m not great at articulating what i am thinking but you must be a mind reader.

  • chazzz

    You really believe that and your one stupid moron that cannot see what is happening to this country. You must be on meds or need to be. Many people in power think he will go down in history as the worst president EVER, worse than Jimmy Carter. He has put the US in debt, more than all the other presidents COMBINED. Debt that our children and grandchildren will be paying.

  • chazzz

    I can see by yhe responses that this is a proboma thread. I will not wave any pom-poms for someone that is destroying the country I served. Better things to do than argue with a bunch of bho supporters.ES&D

  • mc661419 sunshine driven


  • Stormy

    Todd, Have you found anybody who remembers this wonan? I haven’t.. Is she a country western singer or not and is s
    he a former driver or not.

    In my opinion, she is a full fledged fruit case and she got cut off on the networks when she started the impeach Obama BS. She is just looking for her 15 minutes of fame but the truckers will pay the price and she won’t be remembered for 20 minutes unless something tragic happens then it will be as she said ”every man for himself.”

  • Der Duh

    What a bunch of hillbillies……what a logistical nightmare you dumbasses are going to have. You want to impeach Obama start a petition. Vote for once in your life. You wonder why everyone thinks most truckers are stupid…well your showing why. First of all your convoy is on the weekend-how retarded can you really be. You don’t have a leader -it’s unorganized and you can’t stick to the trucking issues… What does Obama have to do with the fmcsa???

  • http://huggyboo2u.wix.com/truckers-unite Earl Conlon

    thats the thing this movement wasn’t about trucking issues it was suppose to be about corruption in the Gov and getting it removed..

  • guest

    Yep…THAT is what the PLAN is for thousands of TRUCKERS….and the CONVOY should be interesting too…we are on Target! Oct 11-13 SHUTDOWN….many folks will express themselves with politcal positions…….The TRUCKERS will first and Foremost SHUT DOWN and CONVOY!!!

  • Dennis

    Racisim is still strong in the country.

  • joe

    this is a racist jim crow country .with the blacks and whites always feuding.the foreigners will soon take over this pathetic country.their will soon be nothing to fight over.the man above will soon give up on ,as we say god bless america.this is a self indulgent greedy power drive so called
    democracy.hateful anglo american sewage hole of a country.

  • MercenaryMan

    This movement will flop miserably and the press will have a field day with her and them…all you need to do is listen to that wacko radio show to realize this is all a right wing birther, agenda filled with the most innuendo and diatribe hate speak…its sad, because truckers deserve better then to be dragged thru the mudd buy some publicity hounds…..if you want a change in Government you VOTE, you dont go to DC saying your going to arrest congress, Im pretty sure you would wind up facing down a rifle barrel, especially with the recent shootings and things happening there, Im sure the police, Secret Service and whomever arent in much of a mood for tomfoolery. Government is never perfect, never fits everyone and always someone dislikes parts of it, but thats why we have a Congress, and DULY ELECTED President.
    You want change in Washington then form a Lobby, a PAC and get ten thousand truckers to vote that way, or 100,000 and youll find they listen allot more when its ten times that many they will listen up and call you SIR…

  • lee

    real presidents, like bush? get real,an just say he’s black

  • Dave


  • Flintstone

    I feel sorry for the inbred imbeciles who support this asinine shutdown……

  • Kevin

    Ok, you can go back to listening to Rush and Glenn now…

  • A Real Truck Driver!

    yeah the best way to destroy the united states ids from the inside and that is exactly what Obama is doing you moron!!!!!!

  • Tery

    if that’s what you think then LEAVE! ASSHOLE!!!!!

  • Cuppa

    How is doing something you dislike a “high crime or misdemeanor”? By the way, all those regulations had to be passed by the house and Senate before a president can sign them into law.

  • Kevin

    God, you teabaggers are so f-ing stupid…

  • ivan67702000@yahoo.com

    Is it not funny how Government Trolls never lose their Jobs during a Government Shut-Down?.

  • ivan67702000@yahoo.com

    I do not work for this Government(If you drive you do), So I turn my key off 6 years ago. My line in the sand was Government Bureaucrats and their FART PARTYS, I see it this way What are you going to do when this Beast, Opens fire on a group of unarmed Protesters.(Sooner or later they will test them Waters, Maybe this weekend).?

  • Paul Abruzzo

    I’d rather drink the tea than the Kool Aid. I’m surprised they let morons like you use the internet, period. You’re definitely falling short of the IQ requirement.

  • Lenny Ladner

    Well I’m shutting down but I can’t make it to Washington DC.

    Now what we really need are ordinary people running for political office, preferably the US House of Representatives.

    They don’t need to know anything. But they need to ask a simple question about any bill or proposal.

    That question is, “If this bill passes will it increase the size, cost, extend the reach or power of government?”
    If it does VOTE NO on that bill.

    As a matter of fact that question should be brought up at any and all political meetings.

    “Mr. Congressman. Why are you advocating an increase in the size, cost, reach and power of government as a solution to our problems. WE HAVE TOO MUCH GOVERNMENT N

  • Lenny Ladner


    The corruption has been here for over 100 years.

    The way to handle it is to get the politicians out and ordinary people in.

    My article on money in politics.


    Oh, how come ooida wouldn’t give me a line of type in 2008 when I ran for the US Senate??????

  • Lenny Ladner


    According to my friend Charlie Smith Teddy Roosevelt was the worst president.
    Why, he destroyed our Foreign Policy. His involvement as a “peacemaker” in the 1904 Russo Japanese war set the stage for our beloved Republic to be dragged into foreign conflicts.

    For his actions he set the stage for future US Presidents to be strutting peacocks like the European Prime Ministers.

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