Orange County Fairgrounds Preservationists Seek Jerry Brown Veto of Privatization Bill

The photo of the Orange County Fair is not vintage, the Polaroid camera that shot it this year is.
The photo of the Orange County Fair is not vintage, the Polaroid camera that shot it this year is.
Photo by Trevor Gaston/OC Weekly

Remember all the holler when Arnold Schwarzenegger tried to sell the state-owned Orange County Fairgrounds to a private company? The Governator has since left Sacramento for what will surely be an Oscar-winning role in The Expendables XVII. But as the Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society reminds, the possibility of privatization remains.

Orange County Fair Board Feet to be Put to Fire Again at Morning Meeting

The group is urging those who oppose privatization to urge Gov. Jerry Brown to veto Assembly Bill 2490, which is characterized as the first step in removing public fairgrounds from state oversight in California "so they can be handed over to private corporations."

"No member of the public ever asked for this bill to be written--lobbyists for groups wanting to take our public fairgrounds away from us and turn them into private property wrote the bill," states an Orange County Fairgrounds Preservation Society email to supporters. "When our fairgrounds are handed over to a private corporation, we all lose."

Among those who will eventually lose if the legislation by Assemblyman Michael Assemblywoman Susan Talamantes Eggman (D-Googoog'joob) becomes law are 4H clubs, the Future Farmers of America, local equestrian enthusiasts and the community at large, the Orange County group claims.

Of course, the idea to specifically privatize the Orange County Fairgrounds originated not with Schwarzenegger but a previous Orange County Fair Board of Directors. Preservationists suggest foes of privatization also let their feelings be known to current OC Fair directors Ashleigh Aitken, Douglas LaBelle, Nick Berardino, Gerardo Mouet, Barbara Bagneris, Sandra Cervantes, Bao Nguyen, Robert Ruiz and the chairman, Stan Tkaczyk.

You can learn more at, which is also where one goes to donate to the cause.

Email: Twitter: @MatthewTCoker. Follow OC Weekly on Twitter @ocweekly or on Facebook!

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