O.C. Fair ticket scandal continues unabated

“Members of the Orange County Fair Board have agreed to reconsider taking hundreds of thousands of dollars in concert tickets, catered dinners and fair admissions, but are holding onto hundreds of seats to this summer’s shows by Chris Isaak and other attractions — just in case,” according to the O.C. Register.

Apparently the general manager of the O.C. Fair has indicated that the Fair Board is going to reform its policy towards ripping us off by the time the next Fair starts in July. But the Board is STILL hanging on to 234 tickets per show! These people are SHAMELESS!

Upcoming concerts feature Chris Isaak, B.B. King, Alan Jackson, Seal, Matchbox Twenty and Pat Benatar.

The Board CAN decide to stop ripping us off and put their tickets up for sale to the general public. But I doubt they will.

If you think none of this matters, consider that this Board has ripped us off to the tune of $988,000 in free concert tickets, meals and fair admissions to themselves, family, friends, business associates, political allies and others over the last few years according to the Register.

State auditors say the board freebies, along with community promotions offering complimentary fair admissions, are excessive and could be viewed as an illegal gift of public funds.

The Register also discovered that the Fair Board got more than two dozen tickets EACH for every show, while the public was PROHIBITED by Ticketmaster from “buying more than six tickets per household for each show.”

And the Board members each was given “10 passes each night for dinner in the Memorial Gardens, 350 fair admissions and 68 pins that allow four people to enter the fair for free.”

This is ALL ILLEGAL. The O.C. Fair Board has “repeatedly surpassed the limit on giveaways set by the state Department of Food and Agriculture, which oversees the fairgrounds.”

And here is the kicker, “one former board member, Democratic Party leader Frank Barbaro, co-owns a ticket agency.” Apparently there is no proof that he resold the tickets he got for free, but this man clearly knew the value of the tickets he was hoarding and giving to his greedy Democratic friends.

“Besides the shows and food, board members handed out more than $25,000 a year in free fair admissions and more than $6,000 a year in special pins that allow fair entrance for up to four people.”

This story is really unbelievable! I knew that O.C. politicians, both red and blue, were mostly awful, but now we know how they really feel about us. We are just here to serve their whims. No wonder the other blogs in town are staying away from this story. In fact the blue blog in town took down our RSS feed not long after we started commenting on this story. Once we listed the names of those who took the free tickets, it became clear we were not going to join in the red and blue cover-up of this scandal.

The O.C. Fair Board members SHOULD RESIGN. And every politician who took free tickets should be listing them on their financial report forms. And they ought to pay back the taxpayers for this outrageous fraud. But they won’t. I hope the state shuts the fair down and pursues indictments of the Fair Board members.

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"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.