MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Congresswoman Betty McCollum received a threatening fax after proposing to cut advertising between the military and NASCAR.
“It was threatening,” said Bill Palmer, McCollum’s Chief of Staff. “It was very racist. It depicted acts of violence against President Obama. It was sexually very crude and vulgar.”
McCollum is proposing a bill that would remove advertising between the military and NASCAR. She argued that more than $100 million has been spent on sponsorships over the last decade and it’s been a waste of money. The bill is one of hundreds proposed in the house.
“The Marine Corps, Navy, and Coast Guard all dropped their NASCAR sponsorships because they couldn’t track their effectiveness in recruiting,” said Palmer.
But some disagreed, saying NASCAR is an obvious choice for recruiting.
The bill wouldn’t stop the military from recruiting at NASCAR races. It would simply remove all advertising.
Palmer says $7 million gets a sticker on the car and some driver appearances.
“That’s a big price tag and we feel that would be something that if the private sector wanted to donate a department of defense sponsorship we would welcome that. But it shouldn’t be taxpayer dollars,” said Palmer, adding it all comes down to choices. “The congress is talking about cutting emergency heating assistance to seniors. They’re talking about cutting support programs to homeless veterans. They’re talking about eliminating more than a billion dollars for community health centers. If they want to spend money on race cars they have to make a choice. This is really about priorities.”
After receiving the threatening fax, Capitol Police were alerted. Palmer says the McCollum is satisfied with their response.
He said the fax is more about, “a disturbed individual than anything else.”
Palmer says the McCollum will continue to pursue the proposal that will be voted on the House floor later Friday.
WCCO’s John Williams Interviews Bill Palmer