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Stories by Matt Potter

Chip off the old Block

The second term of recently deposed Democratic San Diego City Council president Todd Gloria is over and done with next year, and at least one hopeful has already materialized to make a bid for the ...

Lindbergh’s big bird ride

There was at least one close call between birds and people over San Diego’s Lindbergh Field last summer, according to an August incident report filed with the government’s flight event database by the unidentified captain ...

Of meals and politics

Final numbers are in for U-T publisher Douglas Manchester’s California political giving during the 2014 election cycle, and they show that the Republican megamillionaire forked over a total of $452,440 to campaign causes around the ...

City council's secret high-rise deal

Did lobbyists and campaign cash pave way for snap purchase?

A lot of San Diego's city business is done at a snail's pace, inching slowly through city hall before reaching a city council committee and then the full council for final consideration before an often-contentious ...

Texas to furnish UCSD's racial affairs chief

Yearlong wait for hot-button racial diversity honcho at an end

After years of controversy and one false start, UCSD has gone to Texas for its new vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Becky Petitt, currently associate vice president and chief of staff to Christine ...

Papa Doug is hiring — in Texas

Austin help-wanted ad seeks VIP greeting and word processing skills

The meaning of last week's shake-up at Douglas Manchester's U-T San Diego, in which honcho Mike Hodges departed to head an internet design and marketing outfit, leaving editor Jeff Light to become president and chief ...

Sheriff joins race for body cameras

Gore solicits cost and security data from would-be video vendors

After editorial endorsements of police body cameras by Douglas Manchester's U-T San Diego, San Diego sheriff Bill Gore has joined the bandwagon of those looking to hook up the officer-mounted surveillance devices. ”All patrol officers ...

Druggy redux

Last year’s Sun God Festival at UCSD was a real killer. In the early morning hours of May 17, third-year Revelle College computer science student Ricardo “Ricky” Ambriz died following the chronically drug-and alcohol-poisoning-plagued rock ...

Musical board seats

After a lengthy wait, term limits are finally kicking in for members of the county Board of Supervisors, opening up a merry-go-round of possibilities for elected officials being termed out of other jobs. Republican state ...

Faulconer guru enmeshed in stadium food fight

Political consultant with ear of mayor hired by Delaware North for Qualcomm booze and food deal

Already brimming with backstage intrigue, speculation over the ultimate fate of the San Diego Chargers is being fueled by behind-the-scenes activities of a city hall influence peddler and political consultant with close ties to Republican ...

City contractor payments out of control, auditor says

Luna finds at least $123 million spent without oversight

Based on early returns, 2015 may be shaping up as San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer's year of discontent. Last week, former Bill Clinton aide/current Chargers lobbyist Mark Fabiani made some uncomfortable remarks about the GOP ...

Mark Fabiani's San Diego takedown

Gloria blasted as powerful lobbies collide, leaving blood on the floor

Ex–car dealer and real estate magnate Steve Cushman is a powerful member of the local Republican establishment who has left his fingerprints on everything from the Mission Valley master plan to the costly 1996 taxpayer-backed ...

Comcast to steal Centerplate’s Qualcomm deal?

Changes loom for heavily lobbied stadium food and beverage contract

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, trying to palatably package a billion-dollar-plus Chargers venue, is set to award a new food-and-beverage contract for Qualcomm Stadium, with some of his major campaign donors are already pitching hard ...

Ms. Cole’s defense

A legal-defense fund benefiting Democratic city councilwoman Myrtle Cole was in the hole $42,159 at the end of September, according to a disclosure statement filed by the committee on December 19. The account was set ...

Hirshman’s hustle

San Diego State University has lately seen its share of sexual violence on campus, but the school’s ambitious fundraising efforts, closely supervised by president Elliot Hirshman, appear to remain unaffected. Hirshman’s $400,000-plus yearly pay has ...

Another shake-up hits U-T San Diego

“Editor of the newsroom” takes new Manchester command role as debtor’s exam looms

As Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer gets set to roll out his agenda in this year's state of the city speech — including possible word about a public funding scheme for a new Chargers stadium — ...

Prison magnate among mayoral heavy-hitters

Sempra, Bridgepoint, and real estate interests also help pay Faulconer’s campaign debt

Before it closed its doors late last week, Kevin Faulconer's 2014 mayoral election committee filled its coffers with a round of post-election fundraising from a host of special interests, a disclosure report filed January 10 ...

Unions declare San Diego wage war

"Critical battles" planned here amid shipyard outsourcing to Mexico

San Diego and its national reputation for whale shows, golden sunsets, and big-money insider politics now has another distinction. At least that appears to be the message of labor-union bigwigs who staged what they called ...

Kennedy assassin to remain in San Diego

Donovan state prison inmate Sirhan Sirhan loses round in federal court

One of San Diego's most notorious inmates will remain behind the walls of the state's Donovan Correctional Facility here following a federal judge's ruling that evidence of a possible conspiracy does not absolve Sirhan Bishara ...

Del Martian bust-out

A major battle over the fate of the Del Mar Fairgrounds may be shaping up in Sacramento later this year, judging from a description of work filed by Capitol Strategic Advisors, lobbyists for the 22nd ...

Hype meets reality

Back in November, San Diego mayor and former public relations man Kevin Faulconer heralded the arrival of Maksim Pecherskiy in a glowing news release. “Maksim is a perfect fit for the role of Chief Data ...

Lights, action, politics

The County of San Diego is getting ready to shoot a series of video extravaganzas extolling the recreational amenities of the south of Interstate 8 supervisorial district represented by Republican Greg Cox. “The San Diego ...

Will Walmart hubby take Chargers away?

Land-grabbing billionaire L.A. stadium planner owns San Ysidro border mall

A lot of hand-wringing is going on over at U-T San Diego, owned by wealthy Republican real estate mogul Doug Manchester, about a Los Angeles–area stadium proposal by Stan Kroenke. "The St. Louis Rams owner ...

Juan Vargas's family funding values

Transgendered GOP candidate defeated, congressman's fundraising continues

It's time again for safely reelected House member Juan Vargas to be out shaking his big-money trees for the Democrat's annual "Torrey Pines Golf and Family Weekend." With contributions starting at $1500 for "sponsor" and ...

Kilroy's still here, promising campaign juice

New political committee set up by L.A. developer of controversial One Paseo

Whether or not San Diego is sufficiently business friendly has been a debate fostered over the past year by those who derive sizable funding from the city's so-called entrepreneurial and developer classes. “I felt like ...

Turning tale of the tuna

Trying to predict what’s next for San Diego–based Bumble Bee Tuna in the turbulent waters of international commerce is tough, as evidenced by a company history presented by Andrew F. Smith in his 2012 history ...

Tickets fixed

Admission prices for next year’s Del Mar fair are going up. “We anticipate a $1 increase in adult admission prices in this proposed budget,” says a staff report to the board of the 22nd Agricultural ...

And the best audit goes to…

Enforcers who brought down a famous San Diego–based Navy scandal recently received a “CIGIE” award, handed out in Washington by the federal Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. “You have taken risks, persevered, ...

Nuke transport chief noted for hostility

Top-secret U.S. nuclear team has anger-management issues

San Diego is a literal hot spot of high-grade military nuclear materials, from the nuke-tipped missiles on Point Loma–based submarines to the reactors powering the subs and aircraft carriers frequenting the harbor. "There are some ...

Judge Kreep sues state over pension plan

Six elected California judges say retirement reform unfair

San Diego County superior court judge Gary Kreep, already in the crosshairs of the local judicial establishment, has filed suit against the state's Judicial Council and the California Public Employees Retirement System, alleging he's gotten ...

Moores kin dead in Rancho Santa Fe Atom crash

Collision in reputedly fastest street-legal car ends life of mogul's nephew

The nephew of Texas-bred mega-millionaire John Moores has died after a crashing his rare British-made Ariel Atom into an SUV on a curvy Rancho Santa Fe road on Christmas Eve. Barry Alexander Moores, 21, the ...

Beer and Bar Mitzvah

A Jerry Brown appointee to the board that runs the Del Mar fair has decided to throw in the towel after just one four-year term. “I am writing to inform you that I will not ...

DeMaio’s vows

Word out of Washington earlier this month that defeated GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio is starting up a new super PAC has been followed by a quick rollout of the committee’s website, which suggests the ...

Wheel-greasing

Republican county supervisor Bill Horn has been getting some reflected financial love from one of the San Diego’s biggest landholders. Rancho Guejito, which is enmeshed in a struggle to develop its sprawling 22,000-acre holding in ...

The case of the Caltrans engineer's illicit remodel

Caught red-handed on personal job site, state worker let off with a warning.

The end of the year is approaching, time again for the California state auditor's report of crimes and malfeasance by state employees, some of which were attributed to a San Diego-based California Department of Transportation ...

Mutiny on the Google Glass

Price and addiction plague Navy over use of wearable gizmos

Google Glass, the wearable gadget from the search engine giant that has yet to become a roaring consumer success, could make a big splash among San Diego sailors. At least that's what an experimental Navy ...

UCSD to lose vice chancellor of rainmaking

Official lured big-dollar donor into giving $100 million for flashy stem cell center.

A high-dollar fundraiser for the so-called health sciences branch of UCSD is heading off to the City of Hope in Duarte to become chief rainmaker there. Kristin Jean Bertell, who was named associate vice chancellor ...

Copley's deadly Cuba ties

Tales of JFK assassination and CIA link haunt paper at center of San Diego journalistic spy nexus

The day after Barack Obama announced his recognition of Fidel Castro's Cuba this week, readers of U-T San Diego were greeted with another first: the paper's own rapprochement with the Communist dictator. "President Barack Obama’s ...

Big money influence

Yet another former congressman is plying his trade for a San Diego biomedical outfit. The latest big name politico is Tim Roemer, a Democrat from Indiana who graduated from UCSD back in 1979. “During his ...

Forest flack

When a tree falls in San Diego, who will be there to listen and how much will she or he cost taxpayers? Such are the questions posed by a job listing posted on the city’s ...

C-plus

The public relations department at UCSD has long touted good news about the school’s purported academic standing, omitting the not-so-good. “The campus took the No. 18 spot in U.S. News and World Report’s first-ever global ...

Horse die-offs and high roller dearth cut Del Mar take

Absence of two unidentified "VIP bettors" responsible for $8 million gambling plunge

The business of betting on California horseflesh has been on the decline, plagued by the rise of Indian casinos, a dearth of high rollers, and a rash of well-publicized equine deaths at Del Mar over ...

Manchester borrows $295 million for Texas hotel

Pope Benedict XVI featured in U-T San Diego publisher’s China funding pitch

With construction of U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester's convention hotel in Austin, Texas finally underway, some details of its unusual non-bank financing have become public. As previously reported here, the hotel project broke ground ...

Hillary’s burgeoning Bersin bump

Border czar of many trades to revisit controversial school district ties.

As the next presidential campaign season relentlessly approaches, so it appears do the Bersins, the former San Diego Unified school district honcho Alan and his wife, ex-superior court judge Lisa Foster. As first locally reported ...

Rubber chicken master assumes city hall throne

New council boss backed by many special interests who funded the old

If past campaign cash is an indication, some of San Diego's most prominent lobbyists and special interests aren't disappointed by the ascendency of Democrat Sherri Lightner to the presidency of the San Diego city council, ...

Retired lobbyist

It’s official. Chris Cate is no longer a lobbyist for the San Diego County Taxpayers Association. So says a December 2 lobbyist disclosure statement filed by the group with the city clerk’s office. This month ...

Artists not residents

The city is getting ready to spend $280,000 for “artwork design, fabrication, and installation” to decorate the soon-to-be constructed Hillcrest and Mission Hills library. “The budget is all-inclusive and must cover all costs associated with ...

Seeking juice

The Chargers and their lobbyist Mark Fabiani, ex-president Bill Clinton’s onetime “master of disaster,” have ostensibly been hard at work on getting a new billion-dollar taxpayer-subsidized stadium in San Diego. But if they build it, ...

An empty Holiday Bowl still means a fat check

Chief of city-subsidized bowl association paid $324,329

Local innkeepers and restaurateurs hoping to make a killing on this year's Holiday Bowl battle between the University of Nebraska and the University of Southern California may have to lower their expectations, judging from an ...

Bio-war's San Diego mavens

"Blue ribbon" panel likely to lobby for germ-warfare defense cash

The long-smoldering intrigue over the potential use of so-called weaponized Ebola may soon receive a boost from obscurity by a Washington think tank with a notable tie to San Diego, already a national hotbed of ...

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