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The La Mesa-based Neighborhood Market Association, a group representing liquor stores and other retail alcohol outlets in San Diego and other cities in the county - and that has been fined by the city's ethics commission for prior campaign disclosure violations - is backing the San Diego mayoral candidacy of ex-GOP state Assemblyman Nathan Fletcher.

According to a campaign finance disclosure report posted online today by the office of California Secretary of State Debra Bowen, the association gave San Diegans for Nathan Fletcher--Mayor 2012 $5000 on April 27.

The disclosure, covering the period from the first of the year through May 19, shows that the group also contributed $5,000 to the Deputy Sheriffs' Association of San Diego County PAC, a campaign committee that has also cast its lot with Fletcher.

In addition to favoring Fletcher, who resigned from the Republican party during his current mayoral campaign, saying he was turning independent, the market association gave $3900 to the Assembly campaign of incumbent Long Beach Democrat Isadore Hall.

In February 2010, the association and two campaign committees it controlled reached stipulated agreements with the City of San Diego Ethics Commission in which the groups admitted they had failed to legally report the amount of money spent trying to dump a city ban on the consumption of alcohol on local beaches.

Voters eventually made the prohibition permanent by passing Proposition D in November 2008.

"The Commission’s investigation reveals that Respondent Our City Committee was established and controlled by Respondent NMA and its agents. NMA and its agents were responsible for establishing the Our City Committee, hiring consultants and vendors, fundraising, making decisions about and directing the committee’s activities, and approving the committee’s expenditures," according to one of the February 2008 stipulations.

For failing to properly disclose its true purposes, and repeated failure to make campaign disclosure filings with the city covering both its Prop D efforts and an earlier failed initiative to repeal the beach booze ban, the association agreed to pay a $14,000 fine.

UPDATE: We've updated to specify that the association's Fletcher for mayor contribution was reportedly made to the committee San Diegans for Nathan Fletcher -- Mayor 2012.

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