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. lifeatford

    I have for a long time thought that this was a very big misuse of our money! I applaud this congress woman for taking this step towards getting the cost of the military in a respectable position. The money should be used to see that troops are getting the care they need and the best weapons available to support our freedom. Thanks to all the troops before and after today for letting me rest in peace at night, and enjoy the freedom each day. I also think the real cost is much more than reported. With the flyovers and all it must add up to more than that.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  2. howard

    As a former recruiter of over 7 years I think the nascar money isa waste. One has. To appeal to the prospect and his future dreams and aspirations. During vietnam we had a monthly quota of about 8 enlistees. Currently the quota is 1 or 2 per month. They got it made!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  3. Sean

    Gayna,

    Michelle Obama was not the first to suggest better food. That has been an ongoing issue since before the Obama's were in politics (which admittedly isn't very long.) Actually the person responsible for the current push for better food is LTG Hertling.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
  4. Protector

    Same logic why any govt service i.e. Post Office needs to advertise.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:00 am | Report abuse |
    • Rachel M

      That would be a good point... if the U.S. Postal Service was a gov't funded service.

      February 16, 2011 at 10:42 am | Report abuse |
  5. EdNv

    End all military propaganda, er, advertising.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  6. Mike

    Dear Rep. Betty McCollum,

    If the military is going to stop sponsoring NASCAR, will they stop spending other recruiting dollars too? Or don't you understand that the NASCAR demographic is a BIG part of our military? Would you like them to stop doing air shows and making commercials? Maybe you would like to make military service mandatory, that would save some advertising $$$.

    MLC
    St Pete, FL

    February 16, 2011 at 10:03 am | Report abuse |
  7. army nurse

    45 posts in 45 min. Not bad mhendi.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:04 am | Report abuse |
  8. NODAT1

    Retired with 23 years and I don't ever think I heard of anyone joining the service because of "GO ARMY" on the side of a car!!! but I haven't meet every recruit. Being that we are in a "belt tightening" economy I think this would be good way to save on a future budget, they should at least look into it, especially if the program is listed as and No Value Added. but I also think the congresswoman had a bad experience at a NASCAR event in the past, maybe kissed by a relative with tobacco l still in their mouth and now has a dislike to the sporting event.......

    February 16, 2011 at 10:05 am | Report abuse |
    • TexanPatriot

      Treehuggers HATE NASCAR.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:45 am | Report abuse |
  9. Sherri W.W.#1~ILLinois

    And No~ALL NASCAR FANS ARE NOT AS ONE IDIOT ON HERE PORTRAYS THEM AT ALL.THATS NONSENSE.MAYBE HE IS LIKE THAT.I DONT DRINK.DONT BEAT ANYBODY.SUPPORT MYSELF QUITE WELL AND LOVE NASCAR.AND NO MEMBER OF MY FAMILY HAS EVER BEEN ARRESTED FOR ANYTHING.IN FACT WE HAVE 2 POLICE OFFICERS AND A FIREFIGHTER IN OUR FAMILY.ALL NASCAR FANS THANK YOU!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:06 am | Report abuse |
  10. Andrew

    I'm not a NASCAR fan, and I have fought in both wars. I think Randy Poston should think before he speaks.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:07 am | Report abuse |
  11. army nurse

    Heh heh.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  12. GozieBoy

    I agree 100% but just as long as the government also stops sponsoring NPR, PBS and other non-essential government activities. The public sector does this just fine, and WE CANNOT AFFORD THIS ANY LONGER!

    February 16, 2011 at 10:09 am | Report abuse |
  13. Old School Disco Skater

    NASCAR is a waste of time. So is war.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:10 am | Report abuse |
    • blaze42

      So is disco skating.

      February 16, 2011 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • TexanPatriot

      So is the National Basketball Association - or the National Hockey League.....so why don't we attack Hockey, the National Sports of Canada and Minnesota. I'm sure the Congresswoman would have some choice words for you if you interfered with her Hockey viewing.

      February 17, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  14. Nick

    Why don't we start cutting budgets in politicians salaries? Everyone else in this economy has taken pay cuts. Why not them? And why are we talking about cutting some sponsorships for recruiting, when that's a drop in the bucket to how much money is spent supporting illegal immigrants?

    February 16, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
    • Sabre

      They won't because apparently "illegals' are people, and "rednecks' aren't. My time spent in the USAF wasn't because of a racecar. I make 150k a year, live in New York, and drink wine, not beer. Not every NASCAR fan lives in a trailer park, has autos in the front yard, 8 kids, and is on welfare. There are plenty of folks in NY on welfare driving Escalades, eating steak and lobster, getting free healtcare, free college, free housing, and such. Maybe we could start working on welfare fraud?? Just a thought...

      February 16, 2011 at 10:56 am | Report abuse |
  15. Bob in Pa

    You people don't get it. Not even a clue. Do you know how many NASCAR fans have family in the military ? It's advertizing and giving something back at the same time. Look at Bull Riding, why does the ARMY sponser that ? It's because that type of person is more patriotic and have a bigger sense of honor in their little finger than you do in your entire body.

    February 16, 2011 at 10:11 am | Report abuse |
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