The board that runs the California State University system is expected to remain on the sidelines of the costly political battle between backers of SoccerCity and a group calling itself Friends of SDSU over the city-owned property formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium. But that hasn’t kept the boss of CSU board vice-chair Adam Day from kicking in big money to the campaign war chest of the Friends, who want voters to turn the land over to SDSU for so-called mixed-use development, as opposed to SoccerCity’s rival privatization plan. City disclosure records show that the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation came up with $25,000 on December 11.
Day is Sycuan’s chief administrative officer, overseeing “efficient management and operation of more than 12 tribal government departments including police, fire, medical/dental/pharmacy, education, IT and community development,” per CSU’s website. “He reports to the elected Tribal Council and works closely with other senior executives in providing day-to-day business and policy guidance and long-term strategic counsel.”
Day was an appointee of Democratic governor Jerry Brown to the board that runs the Del Mar Fair, where he got caught up in 2012’s so-called Ticket-Gate scandal for failing to report seven free passes to a Bruno Mars concert he gave to Glenn Quiroga, executive vice president of the Sycuan Tribal Development Corp. No charges were brought after Day — son of former SDSU president Thomas Day and a top staffer for county supervisors Greg Cox and Dianne Jacob — agreed to amend his disclosure reports to identify the Sycuan executive as the recipient of the freebies.
The Sycuan tribe, proprietor of an East County casino, has made a total of $52.5 million in contributions to California campaigns since the beginning of 2000 through June of this year, according to state disclosure records. Recent donations include $8000 to the 2020 reelection campaign of Democratic state senator Toni Atkins on May 9, and $8000 to the San Diego County Republican Party May 12. In addition to its gambling operation, the tribe owns downtown’s Grant Hotel and is said to want more. Last year Sycuan development director Quiroga expressed tribal interest in developing a hotel and retail complex in National City. Both SoccerCity and Friends of SDSU’s proposal provide for hotels on the former Qualcomm Stadium site.