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Local News in Brief : Countywide : Building Industry Assn. Must Tell Legal Costs

The Building Industry Assn. will soon disclose how much it spent last spring in an ill-fated court bid to keep the countywide slow-growth initiative off the June 7 ballot, a BIA attorney said Friday.

Attorney Bart Doyle said he received a letter this week from the state Fair Political Practices Commission indicating that the BIA should report the legal costs as a campaign expenditure independent of those made by Citizens for Traffic Solutions, the main group that opposed the Measure A. The initiative was defeated 56% to 44%.

BIA officials had contended that reporting of legal expenses is not required.

Doyle said the BIA Legal Defense Fund will file campaign finance reports, probably next week, showing that it paid about $148,000 in legal fees in its attempt to remove Measure A.

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Tom Rogers, the San Juan Capistrano rancher who co-founded the group that sponsored Measure A, on Friday said he is pleased with the commission ruling but that he is still concerned that Doyle’s estimate of $148,000 in legal fees is too low.

Measure A opponents outspent supporters by more than 20 to 1.

Still pending is a Superior Court ruling on a developer’s challenge to a similar slow-growth measure approved by San Clemente voters in June. That ruling could affect similar measures on the Nov. 8 ballot in Costa Mesa, Huntington Beach and San Juan Capistrano.


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