Knocking off the rust
Join Date: May 2006
Bikes: LeMond Tourmalet, Specialized Tarmac
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There is a significant political element in play here. The recently elected governor is a Democrat and the Lt. Gov. is a Republican. The ToM has long been supported by the LG - in fact, he was largely responsible for getting it off the ground in the first year and getting support for it across the state. Since it has been so successful, it hasn't really needed much selling after the first year, and the economic benefits it has brought to the state are substantial.
The way the demographics work, most of the "red" votes are across the central part of the state - along the route of the ToM. The blue votes are generally in the cities, primarily StL and KC. The governor knows where his support is - and he knows who his likely challenger is in the next gubernatorial race.
Best evidence that this is not a budget issue is that the state is supporting the All-Star game this weekend in StL. The economic benefits of that event are comparable to the ToM - but the political side is a different story.
Kind of a shame to see this happen, but I am not surprised based on the history of the governor from when he was the attorney general - everything is a political game to him.