Update (2:05 p.m. May 20): On Wednesday, our sister paper the Riverfront Times reported that bad blood between Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder could lead to the demise of the Tour of Missouri cycling race.
Tour of Missouri chair Mike Weiss told the RFT that the governor and the Division of Tourism had ignored his repeated requests to meet and discuss a $1 million appropriate that the race is losing and the future of the event.
A spokesman for Nixon's office claimed he was unaware of the requests. The Missouri Bicycle and Pedestrian Federation called bullshit and released documents showing a request on May 13 to meet with the governor and tourism officials.
The Tour's vice chair, Brent Hugh, asks in the article if
Nixon's spokesman is "lying, misleading, confused, or just incompetent?"
officials are still pushing for a meeting with the governor, noting
that Kinder resigned as chair of the Tour of Missouri, handing off the
race's operations to the Missouri Bicycle Racing Association.
a statement issued today, Weiss says:
"Maybe Governor Nixon just hasn't gotten the memo. He
seems to be fighting against something, when all we want is to do is
with him -- to make a great event for the state that can be
part of his
Original story (2:56 p.m. May 19): A pissing match between
Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon and Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder may
spell the end of the Tour of Missouri bike race, according to our sister
paper the Riverfront
The RFT reports that the Tour is losing a
$1 million contribution from the state Division of Tourism and
10-member Tourism Commission, which had to take away its sponsorship
after getting its budget slashed from about $20 million to $13.5
million. But that's not what's killing the race.
The RFT reports that animosity between Nixon, a Democrat, and Kinder, a Republican, could be keeping the governor from fighting to save the race. An unnamed race official told the RFT: "Nixon and Kinder can't stand each
other, and so if Kinder wants the race, that means it won't happen. The
appropriation could have been a dollar, and still Nixon wouldn't have
gone for it."
Nixon and Kinder are poised
to face off in the 2012 gubernatorial race. Nixon's office denied that
the governor's rivalry with Kinder had anything to do with the way the Tourism
Commission spends the state tourism budget.
"The discretion on how to spend the state tourism budget was made by
the Tourism Commission, and the governor supports that decision,"Nixon's deputy press secretary, Sam Murphey, told the RFT.
Armstrong was among the cyclists expected expected to come to
the Show-Me State for the five-day, 500-mile race that was slated to
begin August 31.
the full story here.
Image via Hase.