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Track backers take case to the Internet

An organized group of supporters of the proposed Kitsap County NASCAR racetrack have launched a grassroots e-mail campaign designed to let legislators, media and other opinion-makers of their support for the venture.

“People are operating without the facts,” said Kitsap County Visitors and Convention Bureau president Shawn Cucciardi, one of the organizers of the effort. “We want the people making the decisions to be well-informed.”

Part of this is information stream is to inform legislators — who have yet to adress the issue — of the considerable public support for the proposal.

The campaign is sponsored by the VCB along with the Bremerton and Port Orchard Chambers of Commerce. Both chambers endorsed the idea over the past few months.

Cucciardi said the venture isn’t restricted to Kitsap County. He is encouraging supporters from throughout the state to express their opinion.

In order to participate, one must go to http://visitkitsap.com/I_Back_the_Track and disclose their name, e-mail and address. A drop-down menu allows them to select any number of pre-designated recipients.

While the text isn’t visible to the sender, the following message is then send to each selected recipient:

“I am writing today in support of the proposal by Great Western Sports/International Speedway Corp. to bring a major motorsports facility to Washington State. As a fellow constituent, I believe the facility would be a great benefit to our state and its local communities.

“Motorsports is one of the fastest growing sporting attractions in the country.

“Those who travel to visit this facility will spend money in Washington State, leading to increases in jobs, tourism, and our local and statewide economies.

“I believe this project will have a very positive impact on my community and I hope you will join my support of the proposal when it comes before you.

Thank you for your time and consideration of my request.”

“If someone is in favor of the track, they should let their legislators know,” Cucciardi said.

The first messages were sent out last week, with the campaign beginning in earnest on Tuesday. Cucciardi said approximately 100 people had participated in the first two days.

He said that a Webmail format was chosen to help in this tracking, and also to conform to anti-spam laws.

“This may be a boilerplate, but these aren’t boilerplate people,” he said.

The next local event regarding the racetrack takes place from 2 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday at the Norm Dicks Center in Bremerton.

It will include a variety of legislators and other officials and will include input from consultants Hugh Spitzer and Peter Moy.

Both were hired by the county earlier this year to help sift through the information generated by the racetrack proposal.

While it is open to the public, the controlled discussion format will not provide any opportunity for public testimony.

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