Tuesday, September 6, 2011

RUNNING OUT ON THE TAB

RUNNING OUT ON THE TAB: We'd almost forgotten that Sunday was the day of the new Kaua`i "signature event"- supposedly replacing the "Grand Slam of Golf"- much less the shenanigans surrounding it, until that evening when Channel 9's own grinning idiot Keahi Tucker showed up on the screen proclaiming the Kaua`i Marathon a roaring success.

But at least it was something; other than that, there was nothing-nada-zippo off-island PR for an event supposedly designed to attract attention to the island for tourism purposes.

And of course the real news- that this was a make or break year for the problem-plagued race after Kaua`i taxpayers poured another $270,000 down the money-eating rat hole- is nowhere to be found.

Instead Tucker grinned and gushed his way through a short, on-scene, fluff report with no news of past financial improprieties while cryptically proclaiming that "you get a feeling that there’s going to be more in the years to come."

As those who followed the story of the county funding of the event last spring found out, not only has race founder Jeff Sachini said he would pull his funding of the race if it didn't turn a profit by this, the third year, but apparently race organizer Bob Craver had never filed, much less paid, excise taxes on the first two races. Craver was also apparently so busy schmoozing councilmembers for more cash, he was too busy to even apply for available Hawai`i Tourism Authority (HTA) money (councilmembers and the administration had to do it for him at the last minute in order to knock 50 grand off the county's "contribution").

But it seems no one in the media seemed to be interested this weekend in asking about any flim-flam. The only coverage other than Tucker's brief dottering, doting, dufus routine were a couple of fluffy "results" articles in the local newspaper's sports section.

Both articles however did tout how two people had split a previously unclaimed special $15,000 prize for breaking the two and a half hour mark, with neither noting that this only put accounts further in the hole.

As far as the future- where, now that the race is over, marathon organizers are poised to collect another $120,000 check from the county for the 2012 race with no guarantee it will even happen- news about the financial fate of this year's race is utterly absent from the corporate press except for a declaration from Tucker assuring his viewers it was indeed a success.

After losing $350,000 on the first two races, it sure doesn't look like Sachini will make up this year's losses again and thekauaimarathon.com is unsurprisingly quiet on the matter.

The big question is whether anyone is even interested in seeing a spread sheet for the 2011 event. There apparently aren't any accurate ones for the first two races after Craver cravenly tried to submit to the council some mish-mosh of vague "items" that didn't even add up, as the council noted at the time.

As a matter of fact, if past is prologue, losses just might be around... let's see- carry the crook, divide by the bureaucrat, subtract the political considerations... oh about $120,000 this year. Now let's see- where did we see that number? Oh yeah, that was the amount of the check for next year's improbable race that Craver is supposed to pick up as early as today from Office of Economic Development cheerleader and last-place half-marathon entrant, George Costa- who last May seemed more interested in defending Craver's apparently sloppiness, if not misdeeds, than in protecting the taxpayer's assets.

Don't expect marathon organizers to volunteer any information, especially because no one in the media seems to be interested.

And if it turns out that there's more malfeasance on Craver's part, don't expect the council to do any digging into why they just gave him $390,000 for this new "signature event" that turns out to be a forgery.

2 comments:

KimoRosen said...

it makes no sense for this event to be supported by taxpayer monies. Using that rational every tourism event on the island should be given taxpayer money since their business brings people to the Garden island.

The Marathons mantra was they bring people, people spend, so what? Smiths Luau brings people and they spend... My question is are the marathon organizers paying themselves with taxpayer monies too?

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