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Editorial: A winning tour

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

For three years, the Tour of Missouri bicycle race has drawn statewide, national and international attention. Each year, an international company has estimated the economic impact the race has on the state's economy. This year that impact grew to over $38 million. The race expenses are covered by corporate sponsorships and $2 million from the state's tourism budget.

Tour of Missouri is at a crossroads. Its three-year contract with Medalist Sports, which organizes the race -- and is involved in similar high-profile races in California and Georgia -- is up. Medalist wants assurances that the state will help fund next year's event. Gov. Jay Nixon, likely facing opposition from Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder of Cape Girardeau in 2012, has looked for ways to quash state funding for the race. Kinder, as chairman of the tourism commission, has been the No. 1 cheerleader for the Tour of Missouri.

There is, however, widespread bipartisan support for the tour, which does a great job of casting a positive light on Missouri at a time when business investments and jobs are so crucial. It would be a shame for petty politics to stand in the way of the Tour of Missouri. The economic impact alone is a convincing argument.

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One way the good Governor and the honorable Lt. Governor ought to debate this is issue is from the standpoint of the incredible number of Missourians who volunteered their time and effort; and the organizations that planned and dedicated their talents and expertise in pulling off an incredibly coordinated event - a successful event. Try to separate the politics from this wonderfully diverse attraction and display some leadership. Show us you are worthy to be associated with those that worked so hard to accomplish this international success story. Show us.

-- Posted by blogbudsman on Tue, Oct 13, 2009, at 6:22 AM

Are you saying Kinder will challenge Nixon in 2012? The Republicans wouldn't even allow him to run last time and he was Lt. Gov then.

-- Posted by howdydoody on Tue, Oct 13, 2009, at 7:58 AM

Hey Pedro, Show-us that corporate sponsor. Then we can talk.

-- Posted by TheCamp on Wed, Oct 14, 2009, at 12:51 PM

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