Members of the board that runs the Del Mar Fair were, as usual, generous with their free ticket handouts to this year’s July 17 opening day at the track. Board president Adam Day, assistant tribal manager for the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, distributed six passes, valued at $200 each, according to a disclosure report recently posted online by the California Fair Political Practices Commission. Recipients included David and Susan Pallinger. He works for the KCM Group; a posting on the company’s website in March of this year reported that the firm had been hired to build the Sycuan Reservation Infrastructure project.
A county planning commissioner, Pallinger garnered a few headlines when he was fined $200 by the FPPC last year for failing to report his employment on a legally required financial disclosure report. “As soon as the FPPC brought it to my attention, I corrected the mistake,” he told U-T San Diego that May. Day is chairman of the commission. “There is no nexus between the planning commission and the tribe, which is a sovereign nation,” Pallinger was quoted by the U-T as saying. “And KCM has had a longstanding relationship with the tribe long before I worked there.” Fair board member Stephen Shewmaker gave away two tickets to his daughter and son-in-law Kristen and Alex Howell. Shewmaker, appointed by Gov. Jerry Brown to the fair board last year, is president of Cubic Transportation Systems and executive vice president of Cubic Corporation.
Another board member and big Democratic donor, La Jolla’s Lisa Barkett, bestowed three tickets on Byron Georgiou and his wife; he was once a top Brown aide and a failed Democratic candidate for Congress here. He also launched a run for U.S. Senate in Nevada in 2011, but withdrew from the race under pressure from Democratic senator Harry Reid. Another Barkett ticket went to La Jolla cancer entrepreneur Aladar Szalay. Camha Hoang, who works at Szalay’s company, Genelux Corporation, also got one of the free passes.