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Metropolitan Digest / LOS ANGELES COUNTY NEWS IN BRIEF

IRWINDALE : Miller Gives $11,000 to PAC Fighting Use of Reclaimed Water

November 04, 1994

Miller Brewing Co., which is fighting to keep treated sewage out of the ground water that supplies its Irwindale plant, has contributed $11,000 to a political action committee that spent that exact sum the next day to help two candidates who oppose the sewage project.

Miller, which has a plant in Irwindale, is fighting the Upper San Gabriel Valley Water District's $25-million proposal to replenish the valley's ground water supply with treated sewage water. The water could be used as drinking water for the El Monte-based district's 1 million customers and as the brewery's water supply.

On Monday, Miller gave $11,000 to Diamond Bar-based Consumers for Clean Water, a political action committee for private water companies that also opposes the sewage water project, according to committee treasurer Clayton Miller.

On Tuesday, the committee spent $11,000 on postage for two campaign mailers for water district board candidates Linn E. Magoffin and John T. Walker, according to a campaign report on last-minute contributions.

The two candidates oppose the use of reclaimed water for drinking, while board incumbents Marvin C. Cichy and Tony Fellow support the project.

"It's a coincidence," said Michael W. Lewis, a consultant for the political action committee. "Miller's contribution is less than 7% of the money this PAC has gathered since it formed." The PAC has given a total of more than $15,000 each to Magoffin and Walker, according to campaign reports.

Victor N. Franco, public relations manager for Miller, said: "We did make a contribution to the water PAC and they decided which candidates to support."

Walker, an engineer in the water industry, maintained that there were no strings attached to the political action committee's contribution.

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