Texans irked about lawmakers spending $25M to woo F1 while teachers are dismissed

Filed under: Motorsports

circuit of the americas

Texas motorsports enthusiasts are no doubt excited about the Circuit of the Americas. Formula One racing, along with MotoGP, will have a new home in Austin, and the United States Grand Prix is sure to attract fans and fan money. Some, however, are not thrilled at the spending decisions being made by Texan lawmakers, as they apparently feel though the money being spent to bring racing to the state could otherwise be used to help teachers keep their jobs.

How much has Texas pledged to bring F1 racing to Austin? According to Bloomberg, Texas Comptroller Susan Combs has signed off to shell out $25 million per year through 2022. That’s a massive chunk of change, and some are not too thrilled at this idea as at the same time, 100,000 teachers could be losing their jobs.

That $25 million per year figure would not be enough to save 100,000 jobs. However, it could save the jobs of 500 teachers earning $48,000 per year. While CotA is bound to bring serious tourist and racing-fan money to the Austin area, should Texas be spending $25 million when teachers across the state are likely to find themselves out of work soon? Have your say in Comments.

Texans irked about lawmakers spending $25M to woo F1 while teachers are dismissed originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 12 May 2011 13:01:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Report: Army wins fight to keep spending money on NASCAR sponsorship [w/poll]

Filed under: Motorsports, Government/Legal, Marketing/Advertising

Ryan Newman Army NASCAR

Minnesota Congresswoman Betty McCollum is a Democrat looking at areas where the budget can be cut. Her current target is military spending. More specifically, she is focused on banning the military from spending money advertising in NASCAR. She introduced a measure to this effect, and it was shot down by a vote of 241-148.

The US Army spent $7 million in 2010 to sponsor a car in NASCAR and has a signed contract with Stewart-Haas racing to put its logo on a car for 2011. In contrast, the Marines, Navy and Coast Guard all ended NASCAR sponsorships back in 2006.

McCollum feels that spending money in this arena is an inappropriate use of military funds. Ramsey Poston, NASCAR’s Managing Director for Corporate Communications, sees things a little differently. According to 2009 data gathered by Experian, one in five NASCAR fans have served in the military, while one in three active service members are fans of the sport. Also, the Army states that it received 46,000 recruiting leads in 2010 thanks to the racing team.

And so, we ask you: Should the United States Army sponsor a NASCAR team?

View Poll

[Source: The Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Inside Line | Image: John Harrelson/Getty]

Report: Army wins fight to keep spending money on NASCAR sponsorship [w/poll] originally appeared on Autoblog on Fri, 18 Feb 2011 19:24:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Ralph Nader calls out Toyota on R&D spending

Filed under: Safety, Videos, Toyota, Earnings/Financials

Toyota Camry

Ralph Nader challenges Toyota’s R&D spending claim – Click above to watch commercial after the jump

Ralph Nader isn’t finished. The man whose fame has long outlasted the first car he took to task is now gnawing at Toyota over claims the company makes in its print advertising: “That’s why we’re spending a million dollars an hour on research and development.” In a letter Nader wrote to the U.S. sales chief Toyota, Jim Lentz, he states that an $8.7 billion investment in R&D is “astonishing,” and he’d like to know precisely how that amount is spent.

The larger issue, however, might be Nader coming so late to the game. After all, Toyota released a commercial in June in which the narrator says, “At Toyota, we care about your safety. That’s why we’re investing one million dollars every hour to improve our technology and your safety.” Everyone, including the New York Times, wanted to know how Toyota could be spending a million an hour on safety.

A Toyota rep responded to the NYT by saying “The $1,000,000 an hour claim represents all Toyota R&D spending globally, much of that allocated to new quality and safety technologies.” True, that doesn’t exactly answer Nader’s question since he moves the discussion from spending on safety to spending on R&D, but the claim relies on how Toyota defines R&D. Even though Nader says the term “has a specific meaning,” it’s amorphous enough that we’re sure Toyota can defend it… if that’s even necessary. Lentz says he’ll respond to Nader directly.

[Source: USA Today]

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Ralph Nader calls out Toyota on R&D spending originally appeared on Autoblog on Sun, 17 Oct 2010 14:07:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Sounds About Right: San Francisco spending $25M to determine how much parking should cost

Filed under: Government/Legal

If you reside or frequent a large metropolitan area, you’re probably all too aware of the cost to park your vehicle. In cities like New York or Chicago, you can pay upwards of $30 or more for a full day of parking. To make matters worse, even with astronomical costs many drivers can’t even find an open spot.

San Francisco is looking for a permanent solution to its parking problems by going high tech and paying big bucks to do it. Frisco is investing $25 million on a new electronic parking system that will constantly gauge demand for spots and raise or lower pricing accordingly. So why go to all this expense and trouble to set parking prices?

Parking that’s too cheap may lead to spots getting filled too quickly, which will lead to cars circling around waiting for spots, clogging streets with unnecessary congestion. The goal of the $25 million project is to make parking cheap enough for people to afford it while at the same time expensive enough to ensure spots are always available.

The electronic parking system will work as a network, setting prices between a quarter and $6 per hour depending on demand. The high-tech solution will start with 190 new meters in the Hayes Valley area of San Francisco and in two years end with 6,000 metered spaces and 12,250 spots at the city’s 15 parking garages. The system will eventually make it possible for advanced planners to go online to find where the most spots are located. Distracted driving aficionados will be able to search for spots on their smartphone, making it easier for multi-taskers to park and harder for pedestrians and other drivers to avoid getting hit.

[Source: NPR | Image: Ingrid Taylar – C.C. License 2.0]

Sounds About Right: San Francisco spending $25M to determine how much parking should cost originally appeared on Autoblog on Thu, 29 Jul 2010 18:32:00 EST. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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