Oregon Members Speak Out Against Sponsoring CAP Race Car

Oregon Wing

Aggregated By AuxBeacon News Staff

Messages to CAP Board Of Governors (BOG)
Following are some comments from dozens of CAP members on the Oregon Wing mail list discussion group.


I, for one, will refuse to have my membership dues wasted to promote auto

Big Mistake some one needs to be canned over this!

I think the powers to be should listen to the majority before they make a final decision because there is more important things, like cadets, that
should be considered.

If they have money for this type of what I would call “frivolous” investing, they could very well put it into fuel for the airplanes to lower the cost of currency training…or lower the dues or????

How can we as members file a formal complaint with National to put a stop to this or at least let them know our displeasure?

Is anyone reading captalk back at National? If not we should alert them as to our feelings. I would hope that our leaders would take it upon themselves to make very definite and emphatic pressure to stop such ridiculous use of our funds.

I think we should file “freedom of information act” inquires, and get the bottom of CAP finances!

We sure could do a lot more recruiting with 60,000 flying hours available.

Note, I called national this morning (on may way into work) and complained. They took the complaint and did not say it was wrong info.

We need to start sending emails to national to show our concern.

How about we spend less and get some TV airtime and ads in Flying mags?

I hope that the members comments are being posted to National, along with our Region’s and Wing’s strong disapproval for this waste of resources.

Who get’s fired for letting this stupid idea make it this far?

Let’s get going with the “O” flight program and saturate National with “O” ride Form-7’s and use up some of that 3.6 mil. that may soon be “gone with the wind”. The “O” ride program still seems to be faltering in Oregon and not because of a lack of funding, but more like a lack of commitment to our cadets. “O” rides could very well be our best method of recruiting potential cadets and members, (not fast cars). Maybe this thing with National will make a few of our/us pilots irate enough to get on the “O” ride bandwagon and get in the air with our cadets. Yes, I’m just a guilty as anyone I point a finger at, cuz I haven’t been very aggressive with the program either. I hope to change that in the next few weeks.

So I would encourage:
–Squadrons: designate an “O” ride coord.
–“O” ride pilots get current,
–Plan “at least” one weekend out of the month
—–(Squadrons without aircraft, get with the nearest Squadron with
—–an aircraft for scheduling those other weekends)
–Get 2 to 4 cadets each day (Sat and Sun)
–Get on the WMU and get an “O” ride flight number.
—–(Don’t know how, then contact CAP member Mark Greenman)
–Get the appropriate flight releases,
–Keep all info. necessary for the form-7, especially fuel receipts.
–And submit the info. to Wing so they can submit to National for reimbursement

(Mark told me that out of all the Squadrons in Oregon Wing, only five had responded when he asked each Squadron to designate an “O” ride coordinator to learn about the new process. Which one were you)

If National has $3.6 million to fritter away, then we need to be recipients of some of that frittering!!!!

It would seem to me that the money could be better spent associating our name with the sector we serve and equipping those who serve.

If we want to complain, I think we should keep it within CAP. I don’t know about the rest of you, but the last thing I want is for outsiders to meddle in our affairs.

Perhaps spending our time talking to agencies that we support could raise funding for us. For example, we would be a tool for FEMA, why can’t we get some of their budget.

It is very true that Civil Air Patrol needs exposure, Exposure costs money, which is in short supply. Another source maybe the Red Cross with their billions of income, which they now say is too much, If we were to provide services to the Red Cross, maybe they would cut loose with some funding. Exposure should include articles, advertisements in Flying periodicals, and even TV spots by individuals that are listened to by the public, An Air Force general talking about how civilians can support this country, by joining the Air Force’s best kept secret; Civil Air Patrol.

IF we were to advertise, we should associate ourselves with CAP related organizations, audiences and missions. I liked the suggestions of getting an USAF general to do a promo; or a joint promo with Red Cross or FEMA; or how about getting some anti-drug PSA funds to advertise what a successful job CAP does in giving our youth a more productive activity to be involved in?

Better than advertising though is DOING as many pointed out already: more planes, more flight time, more radios, more cadet activities, etc. A few more resources or flight time would tremendously improve our activities. We desperately need good meeting space, who doesn’t.

My first reaction was to not pay my dues. But I will support my cadets even if it means flushing my personal money down a rat infested hole of corruption. I will also pursue any reasonable means to voice my objection and add to the effort to reverse this decision…

What’s totally amazing to me is that getting members is easy. Retaining members is what’s difficult. If we had the funds to improve our programs, increase training, purchase plenty of current and effective equipment, and eliminate dues, we would have more members than we could handle. And they would stay as members next year.

$3,600,000 for advertising. If spread around that would be $72,000 per wing. CAP’s a hard sell right up front… “We would you like to volunteer! To get started you only need to pay $69 and order $200-400 in uniforms”.

I still say our best course now is to keep our criticisms among ourselves and show unity to the public. This isn’t the first nor will it be the last time they do something that seems questionable.

The air force, and congress should fire the CAP for such a huge waste of money.

Those of you that have concerns and desire more info about the NASCAR promotion can check the National Web Site and send your correspondence to the members of the BOG. The BOG must approve and believe me it is not a done deal at this time.

The CAP members of the BOG, are Col Mike Pannone, Col Bob Bess, BGen Rick Bowling, and Colonel Dwight Wheless.


It would be great if they could take the money and flatten out the dues across America. I thought the dues for CAP were the same everywhere. Oregon is only second to California at ($75), with Oregon ($69). While you can be a member in somewhere like New Hampshire, for only $33 bucks.

I hope they get a good car and a well known driver!! My company sponsors a Busch Series car. We pay a fortune and get very little recognition. The top cars obviously get very good publicity. The Winston series sponsorship are much more expensive. Busch Series is like the minor league of NASCAR and Winston series is the Majors.

National would have to sign up 52,173 new members just to break even on the investment. Do you think we would get that kind of return? I don’t.

Sounds to me like some National staffer who is also a racing fan is trying to support a buddy with our dues dollars. Who do you suppose will get the pit passes that come with the sponsorship?

This is a very stupid idea, which, by advocating support for a risky type of activity, is inconsistent with any of the missions of CAP and the image it ought to be promoting.

Having been a Car owner and Driver “C sports racing” in SCCA I competed against a well known Chicken farmer He got a deduction for sponsoring his car as well as the enjoyment of driving it. We had smaller sponsors. We participated for the enjoyment of the sport. I can tell you racing is a big hole to throw money into.With that said here is my opinion.

This idea about CAP sponsoring a NASCAR is ridiculous. This $3.6 Million is a lot of money to throw away!

At the Oregon dues rate of $69, National would have to sign up 52,173 new members just to break even on the investment.

WHO pays any attention to the minor leagues other than a FEW fans and the players and I like it even less. And, it they don’t get a top driver/car right at the beginning, who will ever notice them anyway. I personally know very few people that watch races on TV, other than Indy 500. In most cases, The only real benefit for the sponsor is usually a tax deduction.

NASCAR perks for the “privileged” in CAP, with members and tax payers money! Then there is no hope for this organization, the priorities are all wrong. Gee National, can us “Bumpkins” here in Oregon have a radio? By the way, where did that turnip truck go?

Our new National Commander is from SE Region, and NASCAR is based in Florida. Coincidence?

We sit here without (soon) the radios to support our missions, $3.6 million is 10% of the cost to upgrade our network I’ve been told. Aircraft need radios and working DF’s, crews need flight time.

I have been in this outfit for 25 years and have never heard of such an asinine idea until now.

The first point is we had to learn of this from Av Web our leaders just didn’t clue us in until they were uncovered. It seems that they are at a loss as to how to fix our funding problems. They bought the sponsor a race car and get known con. How many of you even watch NASCAR or want to have CAP associated with it. If you do watch it, name the top three drivers and then tell me their sponsors with out looking at a picture of the CAR. Bet you can’t.

The second point is we are in a recession like it or not, The corporations are just trying to stay in business. You think the Airlines are going to see a CAP NASCAR and give us some funding – not hardly. how about the computer industry – no most of them are merging or folding. Who is going to send us money because our name is on a race car, Maybe the folks that start chain letters? I can tell you the folks that will take money from us – They are called Congress and the various States.

Ok , so we need better exposure……but is this the right target market????? and is 3.6 million and more to come justified when we are experiencing cut backs in training and equipment on the unit level. I don’t see the Red Cross putting their name on the Budweiser Blimp. Sorry but I’m not buying this one.

1) National is tight for money. (As are all wings)

2) Rather than looking at the membership for funding ideas, or maybe they got some and did not like them, they hire an expensive marketing firm. Ok, I have no definitive proof that they are expensive, but I have never met or used a cheap one.

3) NASCAR, while popular, has nothing to do with aviation… Wait.. they both have engines. (I should probably not be sarcastic, but frankly this is very upsetting.)

4) But the marketing firm convinces a desperate CAP national board they can get corporate funding. Anyone lined up yet?

5) While I will not comment on the coincidence of our new Commander being from a region where NASCAR is VERY popular, I will just assume its a HUGE coincidence. Compared to the region I am from (which by area is by far the largest) has a whopping 2 races a year!

6) National forgets that 3.6 million can buy 144 complete $25k top of the line avionics stacks including new DF equipment to replace the aging radios out there.

7) They also forgot that it will take 53,000 New memberships to break even or 26,500 new members if they can get matching funds from those super generous corporations. BTW, I probably work for one of the more generous of corporations, and I doubt this move them either way.

8) Or they could have really wasted our money and bought 11 brand new Cessna Turbo 206’s.

9) While I understand it takes money to make money, It also should be noted a fool and his money are soon parted! How about buy every wing 2 hangers for $17,000 a piece!

There is a huge difference between gambling and marketing. This is a gamble. And frankly, I do not think my representatives at the state or federal level would appreciate a gamble.

CAP is a corporation and its stockholders/membership need to voice their opinions when the board is throwing away their hard earned money.

We all work very hard, and donate a lot of time, effort and money to CAP, and to see our board throw it away just infuriates me!

1. NASCAR has nothing to do with CAP.

2. NASCAR is regional in loyal popularity, and it is no coincidence that it is centered in the region our national command staff resides in and has friends.

3. NASCAR is sponsored by tobacco companies and beer companies. Not appropriate for associating with our cadets!

4. Name one organization that uses NASCAR successfully as a “fund raiser”
or recruiting vehicle (other than Miller Brewing, Viagra, Winston, et al.)

5. The McCain report to congress identified Air Force funding at $4.5 million, and the NEC is committing to an initial “investment” of $3.6 million. Sounds like a good reason for the USAF to totally de-fund CAP (I would).

6. Even our Region commander admits this is risky. We are in no position to be risky with our membership funds, or USAF funds. That is TOTALLY counter to everything CAP stands for: Integrity, Respect, Volunteer Service, Excellence.

7. Learning about this via Avweb, and even there we were being ridiculed, is embarrassing. If this is a good idea the NEC should have proudly announced their idea, sought membership support, and then responded accordingly.

8. The $3.6 million initial cost is unbelievable for our organization and anyone who supported such a dumb, obviously corrupt idea ought to resign or be thrown out on their ear. There is no rational defense for it with regards to CAP mission, membership or image.

9. My first reaction was to not pay my dues. But I will support my cadets even if it means flushing my personal money down a rat infested hole of corruption. I will also pursue any reasonable means to voice my objection and add to the effort to reverse this decision and oust the corrupt “leaders” in our position. Even in the first cadet leadership achievement, the manual points out that ones position does not make you a leader. It could also add that neither does taking wild hair chances make one a leader. It is self-discipline, communication, respect for those you lead, inspiring others to a worthy goal, and executing to a well developed plan that is leadership.

$3.6 million to fund a second level car? And that is the initial investment? How much more and how often? When there are Wings fighting off bankruptcy and a shortage of airplanes and other equipment and what we have is wearing out, what could ORWG do with just a couple of those millions? If the promoter, and I think NHQ has been had by a high pressure promoter, even calls this a risky investment, we should not be there. $3.6 million? In the nearly five years I have been in CAP, I always thought that they were on a tight budget too. Sure seemed like it. But $3.6 million for a risk venture? ever hear of Junk Bonds? With more to follow?


ALL of the military services participate in sponsoring these cars and have found that doing so puts them in the spotlight and has a very positive effect on recruiting/public relations.

Yes, I agree that $3.6 million is a lot of money and that it could buy a great many items of interest in various areas of CAP from aircraft to communications to cadet programs to….

This money is an investment in the future of CAP. It has been determined by a professional PR firm that this could have a very positive return in $$$, public awareness of CAP and recruiting.

Many have faulted the PA shop at NHQ for their alleged lack luster performance. Well, NHQ has retained a PR firm to try and make things work better in this area.

While I am just as concerned as anyone else about the expenditure, I also am aware that we need to take some positive action to remedy our financial, membership and public awareness problems.

Our Region and Wing commanders are on board with this program and since it is going to go forward, then we should all offer our fullest support and make every effort to make this program work.


Or the other alternative is our Cadets can now learn the art of tune ups and tire changing A career path in the local garage.

$3.6 Million for a race car, is the driver any good? Can we give cadet orientation rides in it – what is the response time?

The dues increase is to pay for installation of the glider towing rig on the CAP race car…

Where do we go to get our form 5 and 91 for the race car!!!! Are flight suits and black leather boots required. Hobbs time or tack time for billing!!!

Hope that the FM radio system works better in the car than the CAP aircraft.

—–Original Message—–
From: Dave Gray [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 10:33 PM
To: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Cc: David Sanderman (E-mail); Jeff Bryant (E-mail)

Subject: Against Sponsorship of NASCAR


I assume you are receiving lots of messages on the NASCAR subject, so I will be brief. In my training, risk assessment starts with two questions. Both must receive yes answers to proceed with the analysis.

1. Is it worth it? If the result turns out to be the best it could be, is that result worth what was risked?

2. Are we drilling below the water line? If the result turns out the worst imaginable, can the organization survive?

From my admittedly limited viewpoint, on the issue of CAP sponsoring a NASCAR the answer to both of these questions is “NO”.

Question 1: Even if we received 100% Return on Investment, we received $7.2M additional donations, I don’t think it is worth risking loosing all of the people who’s opinions I have read in the past few days. I am only hearing from Oregon Wing.

Question 2: I will let the question speak for itself.

2Lt Dave Gray
Washington County Composite Squadron
Oregon Wing CAP

Home: 503 640-0122
E-mail: [email protected]

—–Original Message—–
From: Knytych Howard W [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 1:30 PM
To: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]

Subject: Re: NASCAR sponsorship

CAP sponsorship of a NASCAR race car, while promotional in intent, is a very bad idea, for the following reasons:

1) NASCAR auto racing has nothing in common with CAP missions, save for the fact that both use vehicles with engines.

2) Sponsorship of a race car sends a negative image which lends credence to charges that CAP is a frivolous, pork barrel waste of money.

3) Sponsoring a race car is a huge expenditure. I understand the “initial” cost is $3.6 million. That kind of money could be allocated to other activities that could attract new members more efficiently. Spending that kind of money runs counter to the notion that CAP is lean and strapped for cash. If we can sponsor a NASCAR racer, we’d better not go hat in hand before our legislatures or Congress seeking money.

4) It targets spectators attracted to witnessing an inherently risky activity for the sake of getting an adrenaline high, as opposed to focusing on mature individuals capable of exercising good judgement and professionalism in executing CAP missions and providing leadership to cadets.

5) The decision to sponsor a NASCAR racer was made with no apparent attempt to elicit feedback from the general membership. I recognize that CAP follows a military-type command and authority structure, and is thus not a democratic organization. Yet CAP is made up primarily of unpaid volunteers who devote their time, energy, and skill out of a sense of altruism. In matters not directly related to CAP missions, particularly where there’s an economic impact on members, the military command and authority model has less legitimacy. It is extremely unwise to commit large sums of money made up of members’ dues without
first consulting them. Specifically, you insult us with your flagrant, arrogant disregard for us in your intent to spend our money! Do not forget that taxation without representation went out with the American revolution.

When I first heard about this decision, it seemed so ridiculous that I thought it had to be an urban myth. One of our sharp-eyed members ran across the article on Avweb, and alerted us. Later I was disappointed to read an email from our regional commander supporting the decision, so I knew it was true. It was almost as if National HQ was attempting to sneak this one by us. I feel like the proverbial wife who is the last to discover what her adulterous husband does on the sly.

In response, I have decided to vote with my pocketbook: I have been a CAP member for over twelve years, but henceforth, I will not support CAP with my dues so long as National HQ sponsors a NASCAR race car. I strongly advise that you consider the potential impact your decision may have on current membership.

Howard W. Knytych, Major
Oregon Wing

—–Original Message—–
From: Tom Pine [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 9:08 AM
To: Col Michael Pannone; Col Robert Bess; Brig Gen Rick Bowling; Col Dwight Wheless; Col Larry Kauffman; Col Robert Brooks
Cc: Oregon CAPTALK; Wing Commander; Wing Director of Operations; Wing Vice Commander 1; Wing Vice Commander 2; Wing Chief of Staff

Subject: NASCAR sponsorship


A lot has been said locally about the proposal for CAP to sponsor a NASCAR Busch car and driver for the purpose of publicity for CAP nation-wide. Most of it has been negative towards the idea.

As a small businessman, struggling to make a go of it as a sole-proprietor, I have come to understand, and appreciate, the importance of advertising. For that, I can see how the exposure that such an endeavor would generate could be of value to CAP.

But as a CAP member, I am also aware of the local comments that the money could be better spent on the needs of the Wings and subordinate units, having heard all too often that there is no money locally for new radios (especially with the December 31st cut-off date approaching rapidly), higher fuel rates for the aircraft, aircraft maintenance cost, more cadet activities, etc.

I have also read the article in the Avweb listing. It did carry with it a sound of ridicule, which would be coming from the population that you would be trying to reach with your message. And I feel that it did bring out a point that I wish that you would consider before making a final decision.

CAP is an aviation based enterprise. NASCAR is attractive, is growing, has a loyal following, …. but it is not aviation based. Would we, as a whole, be better off sponsoring an aircraft and crew, for something like the Reno Nevada Air-races each year, or a sponsorship of an aerobatics plane or group for all the different airshows around the country? Is a race-car, rather than an aircraft, really the best medium for our CAP message?

I request that, prior to making a decision and commitment to any endeavor, that you would consider the feelings and inputs from the membership of the organization.

Thank you for your time.

Thomas A. Pine, 1Lt, CAP
Director, Emergency Services
Oregon Wing
[email protected]
(503) 515-4001

cc: Oregon Wing Staff Officers
Oregon CAPTALK (local Internet communications link)

—–Original Message—–
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: Friday, November 16, 2001 12:07 PM
To: [email protected]
Cc: [email protected]

Subject: Re: Fw: NASCAR

Col Pannone,


Thank you for your reply. I have been doing some more thinking about this, much prompted by new comments from ORWG members. I don’t know the condition of other Wings or Regions but from my view of ORWG, the problem is not recruiting, it is retention. It is hard to keep pilots and aircrews when we fly old airplanes with unreliable avionics and SAREX’s are cancelled due to lack of funding. It is hard to keep non aircrews when most of the little money we have is spent for aircrew training and there is very little planned for others.

I think our biggest problem with recruiting is when we tell a prospect that it will cost him/her about $70.00 dollars a year to volunteer his/her time and uniforms will cost anywhere from $200.00 to $400.00. If they want to be properly equipped, the money comes from their pockets and the most they hear from Wing is “we’re broke, we need you to raise funds so that we can operate.” Very disturbing for some one who is not already addicted to emergency service work.

As a former squadron commander, I had many, mostly new people ask that since we are part of the Air Force, why do they not fund us better? A question I have also asked and never got an answer. That does not help with either recruiting or retention.

If National really has $63 million for initial investing and who knows how much more for follow-up, why not put it where it is really needed, in the Wings and Squadrons where we lose people faster than we can recruit them. Please, don’t put that money in the pockets of promoters and race car owners, they don’t need it nearly as bad as we do. If the Wings all got an equal share of all that money, our recruiting and retention would be much better and so would our ability to perform our required missions.

Respectfully submitted,
Capt William Francke CAP
OR-001 ( XR )
cc: OR CAPtalk

Board of Governors
CAP Col Michael Pannone
CAP Col Robert Bess

National Commander
CAP Brig Gen Rick Bowling

National Vice Commander
CAP Col Dwight Wheless

National Chief of Staff
CAP Col Larry Kauffman

Executive Director
CAP Col Robert Brooks

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