Admission prices for next year’s Del Mar fair are going up. “We anticipate a $1 increase in adult admission prices in this proposed budget,” says a staff report to the board of the 22nd Agricultural District. “Prices last increased in 2013 by $1 for all categories. Admission for adults will be $15, up from $14. Admission for Children ages six and older and seniors will remain at $8. Children age five and under are admitted free.” The payoff should be big, the report notes. “With an increase in attendance, an additional half-day, and a price increase, we anticipate an increase in Fair admissions revenues of $673,560.”
Meanwhile the fair board has found a way to spend some of its cash by hiring a Sacramento lobbyist with an interesting history. Capitol Strategic Advisors will be paid $90,000 during the first half of next year for “Legislative Consultation Regarding Governmental Decisions and Policies,” according to the board’s December agenda. James Jack, once chief of staff to GOP ex–state senator Bruce McPherson, runs the firm. In 2004, he and partner Shaun Flanigan, then former chief of staff for ex-assemblyman George Plescia, “each accepted more than $600 in gifts, including $200 in Kings tickets from [British Petroleum] and $122 each for a reception hosted by the California Chamber of Commerce at the Central Park Boathouse in New York during the Republican National Convention,” according to a November 2004 report by the Los Angeles Times.
“Information is an important thing,” said Jack of his partying with lobbyists. “The increased access or increased time together provides more information, but it doesn’t automatically make you more favorably disposed.”