The Post-Standard has an excellent story today on the continuing adventures of New York State Fair director Dan O’Hara, probably Eliot Spitzer’s most unpopular appointee in Central New York. This one looks at how Live Nation came to be involved in bringing “big acts” (Boston! Styx! WOW!) to the State Fair Grandstand this year.
For those readers not playing the home game, O’Hara has been behind such popular measures as personally removing a photography entry to the Fair’s art competition that featured a sex doll (from the waist up) smoking a cigarette; banning smoking anywhere on the grounds; moving the Fair’s popular Wine Court to East Jesus; and generally being, in the eyes of many, an autocratic killjoy. This story looks at how his deal with Live Nation might cost taxpayers money (now the state comptroller is looking into it). Then again, Live Nation is also in the business of being a killjoy; here’s a post about how they’ve changed concertgoing at Saratoga Performing Arts Center.
I’ve got plenty of ideas on how to make the Fair better and healthier, but alienating fairgoers isn’t among them. I’d love to know more about how he got this job in the first place, and why he apparently still believes he can do anything he wants and not face scrutiny now that Spitzer is gone. (I suppose an obsession with Bruce Springsteen can cover a multitude of sins, but maybe not all of them.)