The last time Congresswoman Betty McCollum attempted to ban federal funds to NASCAR, she started getting death threats via fax. So why on earth would the Minnesota Democrat want to try to revive that failed bill?
Maybe because if the federal government is going to cut aid to the poor under the guise of budget duress, they should come up with some frivolous funding to cut, too.
Via The Hill, Rep. McCollum stated, “The House recently ‘voted to eliminate funding for homeless veterans, slash community health centers serving low-income families and pass a fiscal year 2011 budget that would force 800,000 Americans to lose their jobs. Yet taxpayer-funded sponsorship of NASCAR racing teams was protected. I find this absurd.”
But as much as constituents seemed to get unreasonable riled up about the idea of not funding racing, the military is fighting the ban on sponsoring the events just as hard. Spokespeople from the various branches and the guard called the sponsorships “bargain” rate advertising for recruitment in their target markets for much less than the cost of actual commercials at the various races, tournaments and venues. But one particular “bargain” event, which cost the Air National Guard about $645,000, brought back a total of 439 recruiting leads, according to the Hill, of which most were either non-valid or disqualified. The net result? Six “qualified” leads, priced at over $100,000 each.
Should McCollum’s new proposal pass, all contracts for sporting events worth more than $250,000 would have to be reviewed by Congress prior to approval. Last year, the Army alone spent over $12 million just on sponsorships of racing events.
Photo credit: wikimedia commons
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