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Group that campaigned against beach alcohol ban fined

A group that worked to oppose San Diego’s beach alcohol ban agreed to pay $14,000 in fines for failing to properly disclose its efforts, it was announced Friday.

Neighborhood Market Association failed to file campaign statements disclosing that it was the sponsor of two committees — Our City Our Responsibility and You Empower Our Community — that were formed to oppose the 2008 ban on alcohol at the city’s beaches, according to Stacey Fulhorst, executive director of the San Diego Ethics Commission.

The committees improperly filed their campaign statements with the state and county, instead of with the city clerk, according to Fulhorst. As a result, information about the committees’ funding and expenditures was not readily available to voters in San Diego, where the beach alcohol ban was on the ballot.

Our City Our Responsibility was formed to qualify a measure for the June 2008 ballot to overturn a temporary beach alcohol ban adopted by the City Council. Ultimately, it was unsuccessful in qualifying the measure for the ballot.

You Empower Our Community was formed to oppose Proposition D, which was approved by voters in November 2008, making the booze ban at San Diego beaches permanent.