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Stories by Matt Potter

Media spin and legal drama merge in Briggs battle

Goldsmith's courthouse warriors score hits with SDSU's TV station

This week's bitter legal skirmish between Cory Briggs and Republican city attorney Jan Goldsmith has been long in the making. A series of reports broadcast this week by San Diego State University's public television station ...

Vanity press

The La Jolla Light, owned by mega-millionaire Douglas F. Manchester, is out with a glowing filial profile of the U-T publisher and the hotel he is building in Austin, Texas. “For Manchester, the venture is ...

Lucchino’s big crash

Larry Lucchino, famous for getting the Padres a taxpayer-subsidized downtown ballpark, is experiencing a bit of a rough patch in Boston, where he has long run the baseball team for a group of wealthy investors. ...

La Jolla’s Marco moment

Republican senator Marco Rubio isn’t giving up on his putative bid for the Republican presidential nomination, even as fellow Floridian Jeb Bush tries to clear the field for his own ambitions. While U-T San Diego ...

Hired guns to the rich and famous

Celebrities Concierge & Staffing Services, a Beverly Hills–based personal service agency with an office in San Diego, is out with a new offering: hired guns. “We know our clients don’t want to compromise on their ...

Charity begins at home for Solana Beach councilman

SDSU's old boy networking cleared by California political watchdog

The sometimes-controversial role of nonprofit influence in San Diego politics has gained a new level of prominence with word that the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission has cleared a Solana Beach councilman to vote on ...

Tale of two sleazes

As team blasts Faulconer’s integrity, Chargers' new town has own ethics issues

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani has a nose for things fishy. Citing our story about the for-profit lobbying activity of Faulconer's political guru Jason Roe, Fabiani questioned Roe's association with the mayor's stadium task force. ...

Chargers departure could hit U-T where it hurts

Paper's commercial viability threatened by team's relocation to L.A.?

Ever since the Chargers arrived here from Los Angeles in 1961, the football team has had a godfather in what used to be known as the Union-Tribune, and before that the morning Union and the ...

Stadium task force chairman had role in "Ticketgate"

Indian casino executive named in Del Mar fair freebie complaint

As Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani ups the ante on Kevin Faulconer and San Diego's clubby political and media establishment by challenging the integrity of the mayor's stadium task force, fresh attention has been drawn ...

Charged

Sempra Energy gave GOP assemblyman Brian Jones an undisclosed number of tickets to the Poinsettia Bowl on December 23 to watch Navy beat San Diego State, according to the utility’s lobbying report. The package was ...

Pavement lobby

As first reported here last month, GOP assemblyman Joel Anderson filed a December 23 declaration saying he intended to run for county supervisor in 2020 for the seat now held by fellow Republican Dianne Jacob. ...

Publicity planner

The long hunt for a new San Diego planning director may finally be nearing an end. When Bill Fulton, who had been hired by then-mayor Bob Filner, stepped away from the job last August, David ...

Fabiani grills Faulconer on conflicts of interest

Mayor's political guru, ex-U-T reporter hit for lobbying and port PR roles

As previously reported here,the lobbying firm of Jason Roe, a longtime political consultant for San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, has been quietly retained by stadium food and beverage vendor Delaware North regarding that company’s attempt ...

No ballot tricks, Fabiani tells city

Two-thirds vote needed for public funding, Chargers counsel demands

As recently reported here, the San Diego City Council is grappling with how to pay $271 million in debt service for Petco Park, approved by the citizenry in a 1998 simple-majority "advisory" vote. Sold to ...

Peters listed among the politically endangered

Will money, muscle, and new newspaper management protect La Jolla Democrat?

Only a few months ago, Democratic incumbent Scott Peters was battling with GOP ex–city councilman Carl DeMaio for Congress in the tony 52nd District. Now another big-money struggle for the seat is on the horizon, ...

Qualcomm Stadium booze prices heading skyward?

Lobbyists converge at city hall to bag food and beverage deal for venue

Meeting privately, San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer's task force to build a new Chargers stadium says it is already making progress, having chosen a chairman — the Sycuan casino–owning tribe's Adam Day — and promising ...

Taxpayers on $271 million Petco hook

With Chargers deal hanging fire, city council privately votes to battle ballpark claw-back

As mayor Kevin Faulconer's task force works on a stadium financing plan to keep the Chargers from leaving town, the San Diego City Council is fighting a court battle to hang on to $271 million ...

Unplanned million

Big military contractors and related Navy ship-building businesses spent more than $1 million to defeat the Barrio Logan community plan last year, according to a February 2 campaign disclosure statement. The No on B & ...

Violence jackpot

California state auditor Elaine Howle strongly criticized San Diego State University last June for not having a so-called confidential advocate for victims of sexual violence. “When UC Berkeley establishes its new position, all of the ...

Hawaiian holiday

Free meals on the Hawaiian island of Maui were on the post-election to-do lists of some California legislators, thanks to cell-phone giant AT&T. The firm’s lobbying report for the final quarter of 2014 reveals that ...

Ex-PR man Faulconer pitches GE

Mayor's national publicity drive hits the road again

As students of 20th-century California history will nostalgically recall, a once-struggling movie actor named Ronald Reagan rose to political prominence selling General Electric. The Democrat-turned-Republican hosted General Electric Theatre on television and toured the country ...

U-T’s suspect lobbyist picked by mayor

Campaign cash could have role in Chargers deal, paper suggests

If San Diego loses the Chargers to Los Angeles, the blame may be placed squarely on California's pay-for-play politicians, particularly Democrats. So seems to be the suggestion of a U-T San Diego exposé regarding the ...

Rick Perry's sugar papa

Texas presidential hopeful taps U-T publisher for RickPAC "advisory board"

While the fate of the San Diego Chargers and U-T San Diego hangs fire, the city's top two big-money political rivals have been out spreading some national cash. On Thursday came word that former Texas ...

Kevin Faulconer goes to Brookings

San Diegan to meet London’s mayor at big-money DC think-tank talk

With Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer facing what may become a contentious reelection bid next year, the ex–public relations man has been seizing opportunities to rub shoulders with certain Democratic representatives of the national establishment. Two ...

Last of the red hat ladies

Ex-UCSD chancellor Marye Anne Fox has resigned from the board of directors of Red Hat, Inc., an open-source software outfit based in Raleigh, North Carolina. A member of Red Hat’s compensation committee and nominating and ...

Fifteen seconds of politics

County supervisor Greg Cox, preparing for his 2016 reelection bid, has hired a familiar name to help out. Tom Shepard, one-time political wonder boy for former Republican supervisors Roger Hedgecock and Susan Golding, and later ...

Jet set ethics

Another aide to Republican House member Darrell Issa has jetted off for a quick junket to Las Vegas, thanks to special-interest money. Last year it was Veronica Wong, Issa’s deputy chief of staff in charge ...

Burnham in a rush for U-T San Diego takeover

Political plum may be up for grabs as mogul maneuvers for charity change

Might San Diego mega-millionaire developer and Republican kingpin Douglas Manchester be willing to part with his U-T San Diego mini-media empire sooner rather than later? So indicates a new post on the website of the ...

La Jolla's $1.3 million embezzlement

San Francisco government group tracks missing cash to Citibank here

$1.3 million of funds allegedly embezzled from the Association of Bay Area Governments, a governmental planning and development consortium similar to San Diego's SANDAG, somehow wound up in an account at the Citibank branch in ...

Big money political players rule Chargers task force

Faulconer funders get front row seats on stadium panel

Though the fate of the San Diego Chargers and their long quest for a new taxpayer-subsidized stadium hangs in the balance, one thing is certain: the task force set up by mayor Kevin Faulconer to ...

Bill and Hillary's California Peacock

Ex-Obama aide and friend of Bill gets $280,000 University of California spot

As the 2016 race for the presidency nears, a recent move by University of California president Janet Napolitano has the potential to inject high-stakes Clintonian politics into the already controversial university system. At its meeting ...

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 ...

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