The Examiner: Was governor serious about cut to bicycle race?

By The Examiner's Editorial Board

Was that hit-and-run politics – at the speed of bike – that we just saw for a couple of days this week?

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon has been cutting spending almost from the day he took office in January. State revenues are still down, and he’s asked state departments to identify further potential cuts.

One that worked its way up through the process was dropping the state’s $1.5 million for the Tour of Missouri, the statewide bicycle race that kicks off in two months. Seems a little late in the game, doesn’t it?

For about a day, there were concerns that if the state dropped out, the race would be scratched. On Friday, the Missouri Tourism Commission reaffirmed its support of the race, which will bring media attention and tourism spending to many parts of the state. (Kansas City gets the last leg of the race this year, but Eastern Jackson County is still waiting for its turn.)

The commission questioned whether the governor had the power to set aside this kind of spending, and officials said vendors lined up to do their part of the race might haul the state to court for breach of contract. That stands to reason, and even when word of this came out there was a “they can’t be serious” quality to the idea.

And there’s this. Who has been the most visible champion of the Tour of Missouri? It’s Republican Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder. Who has Democratic Gov. Nixon left out of the loop on any number of issues? Peter Kinder. It is enough to raise a few eyebrows.

The governor is doing his job in making needed cuts, but thumbs down to this idea that never seemed to have a chance, given the lateness of the hour. It just caused some needless heartburn for the people who have in three short years done a pretty good job putting Missouri on the big-time bicycle racing map.

No comments:

Post a Comment