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Billboard battle already bringing in big bucks

Posted: August 18, 2014 1:40 p.m.
Updated: August 18, 2014 1:40 p.m.

The battle over billboards in Santa Clarita is shaping up to be a big-money affair, according to financial disclosures on file with the city.

The big fundraisers and spenders in the early going are two committees, one on each side of the issue, that have been formed to raise money ahead of the November billboard vote.

The Nov. 4 ballot will ask residents whether the city should move ahead with a deal to remove billboards in the center of town in exchange for three double-sided digital billboards on Santa Clarita Valley freeways.

The committee opposed to the deal, the “Committee to Protect Small Business & Property Rights in Santa Clarita,” is sponsored by the California State Outdoor Advertising Association and has reported $114,700 in contributions as of June 30.

The vast majority of that, around $90,000, has come from the Outdoor Advertising Association, according to financial disclosures on file with the city.

Clear Channel, an advertising company that owns billboards in the Santa Clarita Valley, has donated $17,000 to the committee, and Long Beach-based Bulletin Displays LLC, has ponied up $7,500, according to disclosure forms on file with the city.

That committee also reported close to $110,000 in spending as of June 30.

Most of that spending, around $87,000, went to Arno Political Consultants in Carlsbad for “petition circulating,” according to the disclosure forms.

On the other side of the equation is “Citizens for Billboard Reduction in Santa Clarita” — a committee that is sponsored by Allvision LLC, a consulting firm that has worked with Metro on the deal approved by the city.

As of June 30, that committee had reported $120,000 in non-monetary contributions, according to financial disclosures, and $35,082.57 in accrued expenses.

The non-monetary contributions are classified as “voter education” in financial disclosure documents. Of those contributions, $60,000 came from a Robert Horwitz in Ancramdale, N.Y.; $40,000 from Ocean Outdoor LLC; and $20,000 from Granite Assets LLC.

Granite Assets and Ocean Outdoor are listed as being at the same address in Bel Air, Md., in city filings.

On Twitter @LukeMMoney



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