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— While Union-Tribune editorial writers and the United States Marines gear up for a nasty electoral fight this fall over a Miramar airport, Leon Campbell has another idea. The La Jolla lawyer has long been peddling a "mystery site" for a new airport that would avoid all the negative traffic and noise impacts associated with the Miramar site. But Campbell and his "Airport Trust" want big money for their trouble. "The compensation sought by the trust is an annual royalty of $10 million or 5 percent of annual airport revenues, whichever is greater," wrote Campbell in a letter to Port of San Diego president and CEO Bruce Hollingsworth on June 23. "The term of the royalty would be the same as the term of the copyright, 95 years." To put that in perspective, Campbell adds, "The annual royalty is about two-thirds the annual salary of one of the players for the San Diego Padres. The top four executives of Qualcomm earn an average annual salary of $29 million. None of these persons generate over $4 billion annually for the region which the new airport will add to the region's economy." Port commissioners were interested enough in the proposition that they invited Campbell to a June 20 retreat, according to a memo from Hollingsworth to the board, but wouldn't agree to keep the location confidential, as demanded by Campbell in return for letting them in on the secret. That rebuff, according to Campbell, was repeating a mistake of a past encounter Campbell had had with the Port. "When I met with Dennis Bouey and general counsel David Chapman seven years ago, Mr. Chapman recommended against a confidential disclosure agreement, which recommendation was followed," recalled Campbell. "This was a fateful decision. It is likely the Port District would still be operating the airport today and would be the operator of the new airport. I hope in this instance history will not repeat itself."

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