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| Columns |

Kendrick Meek Supports NASCAR, but Speedway Owners Back Charlie Crist

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News that Rep. Kendrick Meek is sponsoring NASCAR driver Mike Wallace's car in this weekend's Daytona 500, as well as being part of Wallace's pit crew, had Banana Republican scratching his peel.

The South Florida Democrat, who is giving up his congressional seat to run for the U.S. Senate, does not exactly fall in line with the political views of typical NASCAR fans, usually identified with the number of their favorite driver affixed to a sticker on the back window of their Ford F-250 or Dodge Ram pickup.

In justifying the expensive campaign ad strategy (NASCAR sponsorships range from $25,000 to $150,000 per race), Meek campaign spokesman Adam Sharon fed Banana Republican the same lines he gave Sun-Sentinel reporter Anthony Mann. "Kendrick Meek is a part of the NASCAR nation," Sharon insisted. "He has sponsored legislation to give the speedways in Daytona and Homestead tax breaks. He's a hunter. He owns a gun. He's a family man just like any other regular NASCAR fan."

Well, Meek's support of NASCAR sure hasn't impressed the good ol' dudes who own the Daytona and Homestead-Miami speedways, where the first and last races of the NASCAR season are held. They also couldn't care less about Marco Rubio.

According to opensecrets.org, an online website that tracks political contributions, the eight white guys who sit on the board of directors for International Speedway Corp, the company that owns the two racetracks, contributed a combined $28,300 to Charlie Crist. None of them gave to Meek or Rubio.

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