ASAP21, the pro-new-airport group, has endorsed the ballot measure calling for a new airport at Marine Corps Air Station Miramar.

The nonprofit group, formed in 2003 by several local pro-business groups including the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, Biocom and the San Diego World Trade Center.

While the group had officially been neutral on any sites before, two of its leaders – John Chalker and Dennis Burks – have actively been advocating recently for the ballot measure. They are both affiliated with the Coalition to Preserve the Economy, the pro-Miramar political action committee.

The decision came by an 8-0 vote Monday afternoon. Three groups abstained: The San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, which has taken a neutral stance on the Miramar initiative; the Downtown San Diego Partnership; and the South County Economic Development Corp.

ASAP21 once worked closely with the Gable Cook Schmid Public Relations, which has been responsible for the airport authority’s controversial $3.8 million public outreach effort during the site-selection process. The contract was amended in Nov. 2004 to prohibit coordination between the two groups.

While ASAP21 is a nonprofit, it is a 501(c)(6), which allows it to endorse ballot measures. Nonprofits with 501(c)(3) status are not allowed to do so.

ASAP21’s 2005 financial statement can be found here.


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