Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN) has been campaigning for the removal of the U.S. Army’s sponsorship of a NASCAR entrant in the Sprint Cup Series, a project that costs the Pentagon about $7 million dollars per year.
While McCollum has fielded irate calls from those who are angry about her proposal, the threat, delivered via fax, was the first of its kind.
For years, the Army has sponsored a NASCAR team as a means of getting the message out about the armed forces, and the career prospects it has to offer. At first glance, it seems like a perfect fit – with NASCAR’s supporters leaning heavily Republican, and supportive of the kind of values that often draws people to the armed forces.
Bill Harper, McCollum’s chief of staff, noted the irony of NASCAR fans, who he assumes to be Republican, and their complaints, when Republican supporters are calling for budget cuts to preserve America’s financial integrity. “We’ve heard innumerable times that the Republicans were elected to send a message from the people that we should stop spending money,” said Harper. “And yet the people who sent that message want us to spend $7 million for a sticker on a NASCAR.”
[Source: Talking Points Memo]