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SAN DIEGO (AP) — A California judge has ordered Rep. Darrell Issa to pay his opponent in last year's election more than $45,000 for legal expenses incurred during a defamation lawsuit.

Issa, a San Diego County Republican, sued Democrat Doug Applegate in November over attack ads the congressman said hurt his reputation.

The judge in March said Issa didn't prove his case — and also sided with Applegate, who argued that he was exercising free speech rights with the television commercials.

Now the judge has ordered Issa to reimburse Applegate, his campaign, and campaign manager Robert Dempsey for money they spent protecting themselves against the suit.

Issa's attorney, Chuck Bell, told the Union-Tribune newspaper Tuesday that they are appealing the decision, and they disagree with some of the judge's assessments.

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