A One-Sided Afternoon

Steven Gardner writes:

On Tuesday speedway supporters got an audience of a few electeds and a handful of candidates to make their case that the speedway is a good idea. The overall tone of the meeting offered little new information, but there were a few details acknowledged in Wednesday’s Kitsap Sun. Namely, the Berk Report will be revised, the legislation could change somewhat and a couple legislators think the proposal will get a hearing this time around.

A couple supporters, I’m not naming names, wondered why opponents didn’t attend the meeting. Could have been the word that only candidates and electeds would be asking questions.

ISC’s Grant Lynch said he didn’t think the speedway should be an election issue, but union guy Virgil Hamilton said, “Anybody who is against this track will not get our endorsement.”

IMHO: In county and state races it is an election issue.

Kathy Cocus, from the Kitsap Economic Development Council, said each of nine EDC officials she interviewed could name at least one company that located near their tracks, relocations that were initiated when a company official went to a race as a fan, not as someone visiting an area looking for a place to do business.

One presentation that was completely new to me was the one by the P.O.S.K. Chamber’s Melode Sapp, who gave several examples of ISC being a good corporate citizen in its communities. She read many of the examples, which presentationwise isn’t the most effective way of doing it, I suppose. I got her sincerity, however. She was touched by the stories and demonstrated so more than once, getting emotional as she did her telling.

Stories included charities benefitting from concessions, Jeff Gordon giving a terminally ill kid a ride to school in a race car, corporate donations and one case of a kid becoming a Boy Scout because of his experience at the track. “If I lived next to the track I would put up with the noise if I could give this to the next generation,” she said.

Now, tell me what you think of this quote:

By supporting ISC’s venture to build a world-class racing facility on the Kitsap Peninsula, you’d be supporting the troops in deeds and not words.

That was offered by Roger Nance from the Bremerton/Olympic Peninsula Council of the Navy League. Let’s inject some context. Nance pointed out that the armed services sponsor cars. We did a story about the Stennis sponsorship back in February. It’s primarily a recruiting tool and secondarily a morale boost for current armed forces members.
Nance also made the case that a large number of military members are race fans, so building a track here, in a big Navy town, would be supporting the troops by giving them another recreational outlet to attend.
“From the lowest rank of seaman to the highest rank of admiral, they want the track,” Nance said.


13 thoughts on “A One-Sided Afternoon

  1. “By supporting ISC’s venture to build a world-class racing facility on the Kitsap Peninsula, you’d be supporting the troops in deeds and not words.”

    That is a load of horse manure. That is desperate, jingoistic and obscene. Our troops need a way out of Iraq and the healthcare and equipment they deserve. They need new leadership at the Pentagon, congress and the Whitehouse. Our troops need a national defense policy that is not based on lies.

    A massive corporate welfare check to ISC corp of Florida is not going to help our troops one damn bit.

  2. The union list of endorsements is growing…therefore the dems in this state will start to listen. I think Mr. Hamilton’s statement will speak volumes.

  3. Honestly I don’t see NASCAR being a factor in the 06 elections here at all. It is the Washington State Democratic Party that has been fighting for the rights to unionize for decades. If the radical right-wing were running the state it would be a “Right To Work” state and the effectiveness of most unions would be destroyed. Any smart union organizer knows that and that is why we are supported by unions year after year.

  4. Horse manure is putting it mildly!! My god, what a load! BTW, Melode, you can have your wish, unless you aren’t being sincere,if they approve the track you can buy my house and live pretty close to it. Have Boy scouts over, do what ever you want! BTW Melode you left out thwe main thing, the Rich getting richer because of Government subsidies.

  5. I didn’t see any mention in today’s article of a possible change in the proposed legislation.

    Was there any hint about the nature of possible changes?

    Lynch thinks the speedway proposal shouldn’t be an election issue?

    Why shouldn’t it be an election issue?

    He wants millions in public financing and tax breaks. The tax breaks take away one of the reasons for economic development by eliminating any boost in our local property tax base from the speedway itself — and give ISC roughly $3 million a year with which to pay part of its share of the construction cost.

    Let’s see: a little more than half the cost of construction is paid with public revenues, and another chunk is paid with money ISC wouldn’t have to pay in taxes — so the public financing is way more than half the cost of construction.

    The county’s admissions tax and the local property taxes ordinarily collected by the county, schools, library, and fire district are all canceled out by the proposal — if our legislators turn out to be so generous with local tax revenue. To the casual observer, this looks like a reason to wonder what future legislators might do — before we cast our votes in the upcoming elections.

    If this isn’t an election issue, what the dickens is?!

  6. Grant Lynch doesn’t think it should be an election issue because he knows they would lose, or, maybe he doesn’t care what we think?

  7. Bob,

    The story mentions the legislation will be revised, but until someone says how, I can’t either. Lynch did say ISC has been meeting with county officials and we reported that ISC did agree to some changes on minor points. There is no reason to suspect that the changes would be major in substance, but until we see an actual bill I can’t discount anything.

  8. I don’t know Jacob and Rich’s background with the military, but I know mine. A brother-in-law who saw 3 tours in 4 years in Iraq, a brother who is serving as a Marine security guard, a father who spent 29 years as an officer in the Navy running submarines, many of my college friends are officers from the ROTC program, and I was in NROTC until I was diagnosed with color blindness. And I’m sorry, but by and large you two are dead wrong in saying that Roger Nance’s comment was bull.

    There is a huge contingent of military personnel that are race fans. All four of the services run cars in the Nextel and Busch series and they are wonderful morale boosters and recruiting tools. Joe Nemechek, the driver of the US Army Monte Carlo, and his wife do all kinds of outreach activities with the military, especially those injured in war. Who should I trust… a Democratic operative’s opinion or the one from the guy much closer to the men and women who serve as to what motivates them? Gee, I think I’ll trust Roger.

    I hate to get off topic, but I guess Jacob went there first and I feel compelled to comment. I don’t like the current president any more than you do. As a somewhat conservative person (not a rabid right-winger), I find his deficit spending and reliance on shoddy intelligence for justifying war inexcusable. But I divorce the man from what is right for our country and military now that we are in Iraq. To try and take Roger’s comments about how the military would react to the track and turn it into a defeatist attack on their Commander in Chief, no matter how much you dislike him, is just another disgusting display of politics above all else. We can disagree about why we went to war, and we can not like the way its gone to date. But demanding the troops come home now and turn over the country to terrorists is the same as not supporting them and their mission. Everyone understands the personal is the political. Not supporting the mission of eradicting the terrorists in I!
    raq, which means marginalizing enough of them that they realize the futility of their actions, is the same as not supporting the troops. That’s how they view it, since the majority of them still support the mission. I’m not saying you’re unpatriotic, so don’t try to play that copout. I’m just trying to explain to you how those military personnel you care about really see your comments.

    One more note… I live in a heavily unionzed state. I work with union guys every day from the UAW, and I many of them are personal friends outside of work. There are many good attributes of a union, and sometimes the demands they make are ridiculous. Like many things in life, unions aren’t a black or white thing – they are nice shade of gray. And the same goes for right-to-work states. If Jacob and his buddies were really for democracy, they’d back ALL worker’s rights to find a job, and not just those that happen to back his buddies running for office and what to protect their own jobs from the natural forces of market economics within their own country. I am not talking about ofshoring, I’m talking about competing with talent here in this country. What logical reason was their for my mother have to wait for nearly 5 years to get a continuing contract in Washington? Oh, I forgot. It’s because the teacher’s union contract gave preferences to people fresh out of the st!
    ate colleges instead of valuing experience. By the way, my mother had 25 years teaching experience and a Masters in early childhood education when we moved to Washington. Now you tell me who’s more qualified to teach, and what’s truly better for the youth of Washington? Who’s watching out for you?

  9. Can we please get more insightful commentary like Linda Fischer’s? It’s a refreshing break from the bomb throwing and solganeering.

  10. Hey Zach, I have a cousin on his second tour in Iraq,Army scout helicopter pilot, A nephew who did 2 tours (infantry)in Iraq and a best buddy who is a contractor at Baghdad International airport (security). No, I don’t have the pulse of every serviceman in the country, but to say they unanimously support this NASCAR track is pure hogwash. So, to use Mr. Nances logic, because Lowe’s or Jack Daniels sponsors a car, if we build a track it’ll show our support for those companies? The military sponsors those cars for recruiting purposes. If active duty personnel get some pride from them , that’s great, but it’s a secondary benefit to the main goal. When you attend a race, there is a large presence of military recruiters there. I just find the whole “boy scout”- “support our troops” argument as really reaching? What’s next, if you oppose the track you oppose the troops?!

  11. No, you don’t oppose the troops. But Roger was just pointing out that you would be supporting a recreational activity enjoyed by many of them. Perhaps the Sun should do a poll of the troops in the Kitsap region, if they are allowed to make such a comment.

  12. Government subsidies are not necessarily a bad thing. We have lost most of our American Flagged Merchant Marine fleet for lack of them.

    Without the subsidies, most of our American Shipping companies were forced to become Foreign Flagged. I wonder how many of the American, now foreign flagged ships, will come running to our defense should we need it? That is right. Do not hold your breath.

    If we ever need our Merchant Mariners and ships as we did in WW11…?
    Subsidies are not automatically a bad thing.

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