In the previous article, we saw that the Birmingham City Council voted not to sign a contract with the promoters of the Honda Indy Grand Prix of Alabama on purely racial grounds, an event which in 2010 brought over 79,000 tourists from 41 states to Birmingham to see IndyCar Series racing.
Al.com commentators have drawn my attention to the fact that in 2010 the Birmingham City Council voted to give $25,000 of public money to the black promoters of a scam called “Vulcan Bike Week”:
“Vulcan Bike Week, scheduled at the Birmingham Race Course the first weekend in July, was billed as a major attraction. An estimate prepared by the Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau at Gibson Sr.’s request had estimated the rally could attract 25,000 to 30,000 people and have an economic impact on the city of $17.3 million.
The City Council on June 29 voted 4-1 to give Johnny J. Gibson Sr. and Johnny J. Gibson Jr. public money to help with the event. G Entertainment was given the $25,000 check just two days later, an unusually quick turnaround on city contracts and funds.
That night, the Gibsons moved the rally to Steele in St. Clair County. Attendance was dismal.
Bell has said the process by which the money was provided was council-driven. He said funding was rushed at the request of council members, and he would not be a “patsy” for them by accepting blame for the debacle.”
The Birmingham City Council’s Budget and Finance Committee under Councilman Steven Hoyt, who doesn’t see anyone who looks like him at Barber Motorsports, bent over backwards to give $25,000 to a sketchy black motorcycle outfit called “G Entertainment” without even doing a simple background check:
“Birmingham city officials said Wednesday they’re embarrassed they gave $25,000 to the promoter of a motorcycle rally without first performing a background check that would have raised questions about his credibility. …
But Gibson returned this year and the committee, under the chairmanship of Councilman Steven Hoyt, endorsed allocating money for the event, which the council then approved June 29.”
Who needs the IndyCar Series in The Tragic City when you can give a $25,000 check to Vulcan Bike Week to come to town?