While Golding likes travel, county supervisors seem to prefer enjoying their free pleasures closer to home. Take first district county supervisor Greg Cox. He reported getting a ticket to last year's "Super Bowl Celebration" worth $75 from the Association of General Contractors. The San Diego Unified Port District gave him two tickets worth $125 to the grand opening gala for Lindbergh Field's controversial new terminal. The port also sprang for two dinner tickets worth $50 and a ticket to a lunch worth $15.
The Deputy Sheriffs' Association gave Cox two tickets valued at $90 to an installation dinner. UCSD's San Diego Dialogue gave him a $50 lunch ticket, and Enova, the big local utility, gave him two dinner tickets worth $220 and two reception tickets worth $40, along with a box of cookies valued at $25.
La Jollan Jackie Littlefield, who owns downtown's Spreckels Theatre, gave Cox four tickets to a play worth $205. McMillan Co., a local developer, gave him two tickets to an "education dinner" worth $85. Pacific Gateway Group, the consulting outfit that was recently the focus of a grand-jury report criticizing the San Diego City Council for using favoritism in the awarding of a low-flush toilet contract to the firm, gave Cox two dinner tickets worth $57.38. An outfit called Pacific Waste, apparently unrelated to Pacific Gateway, chipped in a $75 ticket to a golf tournament.
Edco Disposal, a big county trash hauler, gave Cox two tickets to a charity gala for "Camp Able" valued at $120. The Del Mar Fair, run by the state, gave him four free tickets to the fair, along with dinner and a concert, worth $112. He got two dinner tickets worth $70 and two tickets to the North County Chamber of Commerce installation worth $60 from Pacific Bell.
Western Water Co., which is trying to make money by buying up private water rights and reselling them to counties and cities, gave Cox two tickets to a Padres game valued at $70. He got two luncheon tickets from the Viejas Casino worth $70. The San Diego Taxpayers Association, criticized by some for being too cozy with big business, contributed a lunch ticket worth $27.99. The Industrial Environmental Association, which lobbies on behalf of business against overly stringent environmental-protection laws, gave him two lunches, one worth $40 and the other valued at $21.55.
Padres owners Becky and John Moores gave Cox a bottle of "Padres commemorative wine," worth $50, at a "Padres game viewing party," worth $25. At the Hard Rock Cafe's grand opening, he bagged a free leather jacket worth $215. An outfit called Maximus gave him a ticket to a "taxpayer lunch" worth $50 and a dinner worth $45.
It was much the same story for second district Supervisor Dianne Jacob. Courtesy of Moores and Lucchino, she got into the Padres home opener for free, on a ticket worth just $18, and also received the commemorative $50 bottle of wine. Nelson Communications Group, which lobbies for a host of special interests, gave her a ticket worth $85 to an event called "98 Team San Diego." The Alpine Community Center gave her a ticket worth $110 to its "celebration gala," and the Center for Children Foundation gave her an admission to its annual dinner worth $90. She also got tickets to four dinners valued at a total of $250 from the Boys and Girls Clubs of East County.
The law firm of Gray, Cary let Jacob into its "Silver Tongue Competition" on a free dinner ticket valued at $90. A campaign committee called "Taxpayers for the Convention Center," which last year convinced voters to approve a San Diego city taxpayer-subsidized convention center expansion, picked up a $27.90 lunch tab. The Barona Band of Mission Indians, who own a big casino in Jacob's district, gave her a $65 "greeter sculpture." Bill Geppert, the peripatetic manager of Cox Communications who's always eager to expand his company's information empire and who's courting the county for a computer contract, gave her two tickets worth $80 to the San Diego Symphony's Summer Pops concerts. Another concert and food for four was given to her by the Del Mar Fair. Wal-Mart, which has been expanding in the county, gave her a floral bouquet worth $100. And two tickets to the "Super Bowl Kick-off Gala," worth $150, came her way from Children's Hospital.
Over in the third district, Supervisor Pam Slater apparently preferred the cultural to the political side of life. She went to a fundraiser at Quail Botanical Gardens on tickets worth $70 given her by that group. The San Diego Dance Theatre gave her two tickets worth $50. The Mainly Mozart festival gave her an annual dinner ticket worth $100, and the San Diego Rep, a theatre group, gave her six tickets worth $156. Slater also attended the Starlight Musical Theatre on four tickets worth $112 and got two tickets from the San Diego Performing Arts League worth $60.
Slater was also popular at the San Diego Museum of Art, where she got two tickets for a dinner and tour worth $45 and another two dinner tickets and four entry tickets worth a total of $190. Wealthy winemakers John and Sally Thornton gave her two tickets to a concert at their Temecula winery worth $70. The Thorntons also provided entry to a reception and lunch worth $55. Cox Communications gave Slater four tickets to a "musical performance" worth $160, and the Old Globe gave her two tickets to a "performance" worth $70. Pacific Bell also foot the bill for Slater's attendance at an unnamed "performance" worth $87, and the California Ballet gave her three tickets worth $210 to a "dinner and performance."
Sports were another of Slater's interests, to judge by the freebies she accepted last year. She got four $28 tickets to the Toshiba Tennis Tournament, two Padres opening-day tickets and a book from John Moores worth a total of $95, two more Padres tickets from Moores worth $100, yet another two Padres tickets worth $70 from Western Water Co., two tickets to a stadium tailgate party, and two tickets to the Holiday Bowl worth a total of $142 from bowl sponsor Culligan.