Congresswoman wants to end military's NASCAR sponsorships
The National Guard logo is displayed all over popular NASCAR driver Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s car, cap and fire suit.
February 16th, 2011
08:24 AM ET

Congresswoman wants to end military's NASCAR sponsorships

A member of Congress wants to end the military's sponsorship of NASCAR race teams, saying it's a waste of taxpayers' money.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minnesota, is offering an amendment to the 2011 House budget bill to ban the sponsorships, which her office said has cost the military $100 million over the past 10 years, according to the Minneapolis Star-Tribune.

The National Guard sponsors Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team, the Army sponsors Ryan Newman, and the Air Force sponsors AJ Allmendinger, according to HamptonRoads.com.

"I would challenge the Pentagon to give me one example of someone today in Iraq or Afghanistan who saw the Go Army car going around the racetrack and that's why they joined the Army," Bill Harper, McCollum's chief of staff, told HamptonRoads.com. "It may be the reason why they go to Home Depot but not necessarily Afghanistan."

McCollum is in her sixth term and serves on the House Appropriations and Budget committees.

"NASCAR fans are the kind of people who fight America's wars, which would put into question the wisdom of banning the military's ability to reach out to them," NASCAR spokesman Randy Poston said in the HamptonRoads report.

More than 400 amendments to the budget bill have been offered. To become part of the law, they must survive subcommittee and committee votes as well as passage by the full House and Senate, followed by the president's signature.

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Filed under: Auto racing • Politics • Sports
soundoff (703 Responses)
  1. Lou

    The sponsorship of nascar DOES NOT come from the taxpayers budget, but rather the funds come from non appropriated funds. For those "ELECTED" official members of congress that oversees the annual budget if you are unaware of the differences between appropriated and NON-appropriated funds. SCARRY!!!!!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
  2. victim of democrat hypocrisy

    Of course a democrat wants to stop the military from sponsoring NASCAR. Most of the military and NASCAR fans vote republican.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      If we are supposed to wrap our minds around limiting funding for such important things as the USDA, FDA, and completely elminiate the Department of Education – yes, we should consider cutting funding to non-essential programs such as this first. It should be a no-brainer.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:50 pm | Report abuse |
    • John C

      Most Nascar fans share your ignorance and hatered for the majority of Americans but the military contributed 3 times more to the Democrat President than they did to the Mcinsane and his lunatic harpy. Turn off FOx news and stop hating on America.

      February 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Don G.

    The military has an advertising budget. Like other advertisers, they want to get the most bang for their buck. Seeing that a majority of the military are from the south and midwest, NASCAR is a great advertising "vehicle." They are not using extra taxpayer money for this, the money is (and has been) allotted for them to use to recruit Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, and Marines. If any of you can find a better way to appeal to young men and women (at a cheaper price) go ahead. This is also used for morale, welfare, and recreation purposes. Our young (and some old) military members get to see "their" car race and win. There are many more government "programs" this congresswoman should go after. A lot of these other programs (and their participants) do nothing to contribute to our society. Let our military keep their cars!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Paul Revere 1960

    I think they should be eliminated simply because we can't afford them. My guess is some on the left may have found a way to exploit the country's economic trouble by using it as an excuse to sway support away from US military (which they despise and abhore) and a piece of Americana that many on the right enjoy.

    Shameful; but the cuts are needed nonetheless

    February 16, 2011 at 12:21 pm | Report abuse |
  5. palintwit

    People that like nascar also think that ' Cannonball Run ' starring Burt Reynolds is a classic film.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm | Report abuse |
  6. danny

    Another doemcrat trying to kill anything that might help a business that might hire someone.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      Danny – If you are so concerned about job losses, perhaps you should look at the list of proposed cuts that the GOP has set forth that will literally create job losses in almost every sector of our government. Do you have kids? Did they get a public education – well, you can kiss funding for those schools goodbye (and teachers salaries) if the GOP gets their way. NASCAR is doing just fine without federal funding..

      February 16, 2011 at 12:58 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Bubba Gump

    Not surprised at all to see a Democrat sponsoring this bill. They can vote to give billions of dollars to prop up banks and private industry but God forbid they help the military out with a community reaching endeavor.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:25 pm | Report abuse |
    • A. Goodwin

      Republicans love to support our troops so well by seeking to defund veterans programs and to abandon them once home. Republicans support sending the troops to war, they support undermining them with thousands of civilian contractors often acting independently, and they support wasteful Pentagon spending. What they don't support are the men and women coming home. They are only pro-troop when it suits them, and helps an agenda. Democrats support the troops. Republicans support the war... and its opportunities for profiteering.

      February 16, 2011 at 1:08 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Liberty

    So many people in this thread are not focused on the core issue of this topic and taking the opportunity to lash out at each and other groups. It's indicative of the intolerance and hate that is being bred in our society. The fact is that NASCAR is sponsored because it is a recruiting strategy. A simple analysis of ROI on the investment as it relates to recruiting would be a more objective approach. My opinion is that I see a lot of poor, rural and white kids (not saying other groups dont, i'm black so chill out) signing up and going to the military, serving and dying for America. They are targeted by the armed forces recruiting strategy and NASCAR is just one method. I have nothing but respect for those who serve, poor or rich, black or white, male or female.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Can'tWaitForDaytona

    As a white collar manager and tax payer, I fully support the use of this funding! It is a great way to put the armed forces in front of the largest audience for any US sport. Nascar fans are the kind of people that serve this company and love the Red White and Blue. This is minimal compared to some of the useless pork barrel's that get put into other bills.

    For those who keep referring to Nascar as not a real sport and equating it to a childs toy,... I ask you: have you ever seen a race in person? And witnessed the impressive driving skills @ 200mph only inches from other cars? Or heard and felt the roar of their engines? My guess is no... go experience it and you'll have a different respect for the sport.

    Can’t wait for Dale Earnhardt Jr. and the National Guard Team to start on the pole this Sunday! Go Junior!

    February 16, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom McCormick

      Sorry, CWFD, but I disagree (respectfully). We want government to show the same discipline as families and businesses when it comes to their budgets. If you want the federal debt reduced, you have to see this as wasteful spending. This is an easy item to cut.

      We just kept in place the largest tax cut in U.S. history for corporations and individuals. There have to be companies who would put for the $100 million in extra deductible dollars to sponsor cars in NASCAR, IndyCar, and the NHRA.

      I also recommend you see an Indy Car race if you want to see skill when it comes to driving. Bumping means your life in Indy Car. NASCAR is 50 MPH slower and 50 times easier to drive and 50 times more boring than IndyCar, too.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Prior enlisted guy

    I don't understand why NASCAR as patriotic as they seem to want to be can't just volunteer to display some type of service logo on all of the vehicles rather that just a few vehicles being entirely dedicated to the individual services. Unfortunately, I guess if this occurred the logos would be reduced to the size of an apple and nobody would be able to read them.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sheogre

      I think that would be a wonderful idea! I understand that funding needs to be cut somewhere, and in an above comment mentioned cutting tv rather than NASCAR and sporting events, because I see those as a more potential recruitment, but in all honesty, I like your idea better! It really should be that way, because it's giving back to those who have gave so much. They ultimate thank you, not just one day, but for everyday....
      Maybe if the fans get behind it enough, it will happen. It would take alot, but NASCAR has a history of listening to it's fans, even if it takes a couple years.

      February 16, 2011 at 3:17 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Tom McCormick

    I am a racing fan and I consider myself a first class patriot. I also know that we have a debt that we need to attack at the federal level. That includes cutting the military/defense budget in a drastic manner. This is a no-brainer: cut this $100 million out of the military budget.

    As a matter of fact, the military/defense budget comprises 51% of all federal spending. Cut that to 40% of the federal budget and we don't miss a beat from a security standpoint. We also eliminate the federal debt within 3 years.

    While they are at it, they can eliminate flyovers for sporting events. It costs A LOT of money to send one of those very expensive birds up there and if they do, I want to make it count. Not make me feel patriotic.

    Rep. McCollum is dead on correct. I only hope the Republicans in the House will catch on that we don't need 20% of the military spending we do. The Republicans (my party, by the way) are renewing billions of dollars in defense contractor spending for systems deemed obsolete by the military itself. No, this is a no-brainer and good start. Rep. McCollum should be commended.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Malcom X the Third

    I always chuckle when I see how many weak brain, panty waste read and comment on CNN. LOL

    February 16, 2011 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • Prior enlisted guy

      Kind of like what you have just done....guess you're real smrat (and yes I spelled it incorrectly just so you could read it).

      February 16, 2011 at 2:13 pm | Report abuse |
  13. John Q.

    This is stupid. If she wants to cut money from overall military recruiting budget, that's one thing, but to focus on one particular method makes no sense. Let the military recruit, and stay out of their business of how. Talk about micro-managing... she must hate racing and has too much time on her hands.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom McCormick

      Bottom line is that you have to cut spending and you have to cut the fat. This is fat.

      Sorry it affects a sport you like, but my tax dollars shouldn't be used this way. It is a waste of money and you have to sacrifice as much as the family who will be taken off of food stamps will have to sacrifice. You can't pick and choose where sacrifice will take place if you really believe there is a debt crisis. We all have to sacrifice. It is the patriotic thing to do.

      Flyovers at sporting events and NASCAR sponsorships are a waste of money. Bottom line.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. rpb

    You are all spot on, why spend that money in this country when we could send it to a corrupt foreign regime that hates us and jacks the price of oil up as we try to kiss their A$$ with tax dollars.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:34 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Former Marine

    Linton Dawson-
    I hope you find yourself in need of help, a time where you are weeping and are stranded, Perhaps you would need someone to carry you to get the help you need. Then I hope a man in uniform, comes by, and he does infact bring you to help, you know the type the brainless, morons, who like "shiny things". I hope he shows you that we are not morons. And when you step outside the hospital, with any luck I will be there and I can knock you right out. Because I may have fought for your right of speech, but damnit I am sick of hearing it.

    February 16, 2011 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom McCormick

      I fought, as well. But our contribution as Marines weighs in no more or no less than those who didn't. Be humble: you are a Marine.

      This is a waste of money. Good on Rep. McCollum for going after this wasteful spending.

      February 16, 2011 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
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