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Nearly $200,000 spent on Measure B campaigns

The recent release of Measure B campaign filings makes one thing clear: A lot of money was spent for one little ballot measure.

In fact, Larry Barnett, who spearheaded Measure B, said he can’t recall a costlier political fight in Sonoma’s history.

His group, “Preserving Sonoma,” raised just over $60,000 during the last calendar year, and that includes a $25,000 loan (later forgiven, so essentially a donation) made by the Barnetts themselves.

On the other side, “Protect Sonoma,” a group formed to kill Measure B, raised about $135,600, according to campaign filings.

Had it won, Measure B would have limited new hotels to 25 rooms, and kept existing ones from expanding past 25 rooms, unless the city reached an annual occupancy rate of 80 percent – a highly unlikely occurrence. But in a special election held last November, following a bitter political debate, the measure lost by just 124 votes.

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