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Stories by Matt Potter

Cronies and fricassee in DC

Water lobbyist sponsors Mayor Faulconer's reception in nation's capital

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer had a grand time in Washington DC with the local chamber of commerce, fellow politicos, and the nation's infrastructure lobby earlier this month, based on an official itinerary of the ...

Manchester's immodest Burnham buildup

Wild claims and GOP money mark U-T publisher's peculiar path

It's almost election time, usually the season Douglas Manchester opens his checkbook wide for favored GOP causes. As if not to disappoint, the mega-millionaire developer and U-T San Diego publisher came up with $25,000 for ...

Drug-fueled Sun God chomps into UCSD budget

Task force says another committee needed for more study

How much did it cost to stage this year's Sun God, the annual drug and alcohol-plagued rock festival at the center of an ongoing internal controversy at UCSD over the May 17 drug overdose death ...

Faulconer chooses scandal-linked lobbyist

Darius Anderson — fined $500,000 in 2010 — to be new influence peddler

At first glance, stranger bedfellows couldn’t be had than ex-San Francisco mayor Willie Brown, the voluble Democratic ex-Assembly speaker, and Kevin Faulconer, the former public relations diva who is San Diego's GOP mayor. But in ...

LaRue’s big day

It’s nothing compared to the thousands of dollars of special-interest money spent by San Diego congresswoman Susan Davis on junketeering over the years, but the office of fellow Democratic House member Juan Vargas has also ...

Politically hacked

Some subscribers to U-T San Diego, the daily newspaper and website operation run by Republican kingpin and hotel developer Doug Manchester, recently received an unsettling reassurance. Customers using the so-called EasyPay service of automatic credit-card ...

Lincoln Club heaven

The San Diego Lincoln Club, locally famous for its takedown of Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher during last November’s mayoral primary, has gotten involved in a campaign with lesser stakes but greater apparent spirituality. On September 8, ...

Who will rule Mayor Faulconer?

San Diego’s politicized nonprofit journalism sector may face new disruption

Word that San Diego financier and philanthropist Malin Burnham is organizing a bid to take over U-T San Diego through a nonprofit corporation, as reported here Saturday, has local politicos and participants in the city's ...

Burnham confirms U-T takeover bid

Point Loma financier says publisher Manchester backs move to nonprofit

Downtown financier and philanthropist Malin Burnham has confirmed that he is organizing a nonprofit corporation to take over U-T San Diego, the city’s daily newspaper and website, as first reported here earlier this week by ...

Diversity guru still sought by UCSD

Search to fill controversial — and lucrative — post launched after long delay

It may have taken a bit longer than expected, but taxpayer-funded UCSD has finally launched a national search for another pricey vice chancellor of "equity, diversity, and inclusion." "The desired outcome of these efforts," according ...

Strange, odd, peculiar, weird bedfellows

Port district has deal with University of Phoenix — alleged diploma mill

The for-profit University of Phoenix has been taking its lumps of late, but not with the San Diego Unified Port District, which has a deal to promote the controversial school among its employees, according to ...

Political cheetah

The Sycuan Indian tribe, which runs an East County casino and also owns two downtown hotels, has turned up as a contributor to the GOP Lincoln Club — waging political war on behalf of downtown ...

Big loan brewer

Criminal defense attorney Bob Brewer of Del Mar, who ran a lackluster campaign against Republican District Attorney Bonnie Dumanis this spring, has finally folded his campaign committee. A disclosure statement filed with the county Registrar ...

Mother’s drunk of politics

Democratic state senator Ben Hueso, busted for drunk driving after a well-publicized bender on a capitol balcony during which he was photographed by fellow Latino Caucus legislator Lorena Gonzalez, is perhaps not a surprising magnet ...

Drunken Sun God quelled by 15 cop shops

Heavy police response said to have cut UCSD drinking and drugging

The May 17 drug-overdose death of UCSD undergraduate computer-science student Ricardo "Ricky" Ambriz continues to quietly shake the foundations of UCSD, with administrators in a behind-the-scenes struggle over the fate of the Sun God Festival, ...

A congresswoman’s wartime vacation

Susan Davis’s strife-torn globetrotting funded by Israelis and special interests

San Diego Democrat Susan Davis, traditionally the county's top junketeering member of Congress, has not disappointed this summer. In the past, the Kensington resident has been off to Vienna, Tokyo, Barcelona, Canada's Whistler Resort in ...

Del Mar’s super brew of politics

Jerry Brown appointee recuses himself from fair-board brewpub vote

“If one vice doesn't work, try another” appears to be the motto of the Del Mar fair board, the gubernatorially appointed body that runs the state's 22nd District Agricultural Association. After years of dismal financial ...

UCSD employees lack criminal checks

Audit finds omissions that could spawn theft and violence at the university

How certain is UCSD that its employees and volunteers aren't ex-convicts? Not as sure as it should be, according to a report by the school's audit and management services department critical of lapses in university ...

Will tweet for food

Twitter addicts now have their very own job description. That’s the word at UCSD’s Rady School of Management, which is looking for a social-media director. Applicants must have “experience thinking creatively to identify topics for ...

Water war

The top contributor to Republican Darrell Issa’s reelection committee this campaign cycle is internet search giant Google, Inc., with $22,145. Next is the Washington law and lobbying firm of Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr, ...

DeMaio labors on the Vineyard

An invitation posted on PoliticalPartytime.org says freshman Democratic congressman Scott Peters threw a fundraiser July 15 at the offices of one of Washington’s top lobbying shops. Admission was listed at $250 per individual — $2000 ...

San Diego Unified scores mine-resistant Army truck

"We can drive up to the building, cram 30 kids in, and get them to safety."

Tons of surplus weaponry have rained down on California from the Pentagon's excess property giveaway, otherwise known as the 1033 Program, with a sizable allotment landing in San Diego County. San Diego's police department got ...

What Faulconer didn't tell Candy Crowley

Mayor’s Washington terror talk on CNN omits city audit-found shortcomings

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, who back in May quietly left town to burnish his image at a Memphis gathering of the Republican National Committee, has been sighted on the road again. This time Faulconer ...

How Darbeau's hide was nailed

Ex-U-T reporter and Faulconer aide got big bucks from Port District

The story broke May 19 on U-T San Diego’s website: "Port CEO seeks tenant work for son," read the headline. "Darbeau asks for help from those he holds sway over." On its face, the paper ...

Did Qualcomm cash grease Peters endorsement?

Chip-maker paid U.S. Chamber of Commerce $645,000

Score a round for La Jolla billionaire Democrat Irwin Jacobs against his longtime political nemesis, Republican U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester, in their long-running campaign proxy war of the titans. On Wednesday, September 3, ...

Sun God kills, baby

Autopsy on student’s overdose death adds to UCSD drug woes

The post-mortem on a UCSD computer-science student who died hours after this year's controversial Sun God festival has finally been released, confirming widely held suspicions that an illicit drug was responsible for the fatality and ...

Romney's La Jolla teardown not priceless

Lobbying expenses for Dunemere project at least $62,000

Presumably they've got Labor Day off, but demolition and construction crews along a certain well-heeled street in La Jolla have lately been as busy as the inhabitants of the symbolic Mormon beehive. As noted last ...

LaDainian Tomlinson's brutal history

Austin reporter writes about Tomlinson Hill cotton plantation in Texas

Tomlinson is a famous name in San Diego, thanks to the family's most noted member, former Chargers running back LaDainian Tomlinson. It's the same in Texas, but these days another who bears the Tomlinson name ...

Former Filner funders flow to Faulconer

Border kingpins and Mexican sewage mogul help pay down mayor's debt

It used to be that campaign committees for San Diego politicos closed up shop within a week or two after the election, holding a victory or consolation party, paying off a few bills, and occasionally ...

Welfare cheaters

San Diego County officials have been playing fast and loose with the so-called Electronic Benefit Transfer cards used by welfare recipients to buy food and other essentials, according to a July audit. In addition to ...

Influence 101

UCSD is searching for someone expert in the gentle art of political schmoozing to promote the giant taxpayer-funded institution with federal officials in Washington. Reporting to vice chancellor for research Sandra Brown, the new hire ...

Lawyers’ feast

A campaign committee backing a drive by Democratic Qualcomm co-founder and La Jolla billionaire Irwin Jacobs and allies to counter the GOP’s effort to repeal the city’s new minimum-wage ordinance may have the longest name ...

KPBS takes fresh bite of sex story

State-owned broadcaster offers new spin on campus violence and harassment

The clock began ticking June 24 with the release of a state audit blasting San Diego State University and sister institutions for failing to deal with increased incidents of campus sexual harassment and violence. The ...

Audit notes sex incidents at downtown lockup

Metropolitan Correctional Center gets pass from prison-rape reviewer

Some San Diego County jails may be under the gun, but an auditor for the U.S. Justice Department has found that downtown's Metropolitan Correctional Center is in compliance with the Prison Rape Elimination Act, despite ...

Senator Hueso busted for DUI, paper reports

DeMaio masturbation witness arrested in south Sacramento

San Diego state senator Ben Hueso was arrested for driving under the influence of alcohol in south Sacramento on Friday, according to the Sacramento Bee. Citing the Sacramento County jail website, the paper is reporting ...

Still swinging in his 70s

Ex-Wilson chief Bob White ranks high among influence-peddlers

He's into his 70s now, but San Diego's Bob White, onetime chief aide and political intimate of Republican mayor (and later United States senator and California governor) Pete Wilson, is still near the peak of ...

Brian’s revenge

Mindy Fletcher, ex–White House press aide to president George Bush and wife of failed Republican-turned-Democratic San Diego mayoral candidate Nathan Fletcher, has gone into business with Corinne Clark, an ex-staffer for Brian Bilbray, a Republican ...

Thanks for the dough, $hamu!

SeaWorld gives $25,000 to re-elect Jerry Brown

SeaWorld's stock may be down on Wall Street, but it definitely appears to be up with Democratic Governor Jerry Brown. After repeated battering by animal-rights advocates over the issue of orca captivity, the marine-animal emporium ...

MEK Muck-up

It may seem a bit late, but ex-San Diego mayor Bob Filner, who quit office following revelations of sexual harassment last summer, has just received a warning from California’s Fair Political Practices Commission. In a ...

Steakhouse wages

The San Diego Democratic Party is facing off in the fall against the GOP Lincoln Club in what is expected to be a particularly nasty electoral clash. The main battle is between Republican downtown lobbyist ...

Manchester vs. Jacobs, round two

Battle of hit pieces may herald minimum wage campaign

The latest high-stakes confrontation between Republican newspaper publisher and mega-hotel developer Douglas Manchester and his wealthy Democratic foe, La Jolla billionaire Irwin Jacobs, over the minimum wage is likely to make national headlines and attract ...

Rove-linked dark money backs DeMaio

TV costs head for record in big-money battle over 52nd district House seat.

The 52nd district battle between freshman Democratic congressman Scott Peters and Republican ex-city councilman Carl Demaio, already one of the nation's costliest House races, has just gotten even pricier with the arrival of Crossroads Grassroots ...

Big money gambling emporium gets Brown break

Viejas casino, a major political donor, hit by gambling slowdown, governor says.

The traditionally free-spending Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians has received a financial break from Jerry Brown, to whose political friends and causes the Alpine casino and hotel owner has long contributed. In an August 13 ...

Dumanis aide sings the blues

As the U-T San Diego’s mini-tempest over Bonnie Dumanis’s endorsement letter on behalf of the son of political money-laundering defendant José Susumo Azano quickly fades to black, the GOP district attorney has continued to spend ...

Baby Doug goes Democrat

U-T publisher Douglas Manchester, the wealthy real estate and hotel mogul from La Jolla, put up at least $356,000 to help elect mayor Kevin Faulconer earlier this year. Now Manchester’s son Douglas, working for his ...

Industrial gas and political cash

San Diego–based utility behemoth Sempra Energy has turned to its loyal executives to support some of its political campaign giving. A federally registered campaign fund called the Sempra Energy Employees Political Action Committee has raised ...

Southwestern College president to be fined

Political watchdog nails two South Bay officials and San Diego lobbyist

The president of Southwestern College's governing board is set to pay a $3000 fine to California's political watchdog agency for chronically ignoring campaign disclosure laws. Teresa “Terri” Valladolid, whose day-job is as labor-relations advocate for ...

How about let’s make an Ebola bomb?

Vaccine researchers flush with cash; control of product distribution unclear

As the West's war of nerves with the Russian Federation heats up, Africa’s latest Ebola outbreak is being viewed as both an ominous foreboding and welcome opportunity by San Diego's growing military-biotech establishment. Escaping media ...

Ex-Clinton aide to lobby for nude clubs

Can he avoid fate of previous adult-entertainment influence-peddlers?

Proprietors of San Diego’s adult-entertainment establishments, prosaically known as strip joints, have been persistent about returning to the good old days of the business, when customers could reach out and feel the merchandise. That was ...

Sheriff’s dept. mismanages inmates’ cash

County audit blasts lax prisoner fund-handling at jails

Has San Diego County sheriff Bill Gore been playing fast and loose with cash held for inmates at the county's seven detention facilities, including East Mesa, Facility 8, George Bailey, Las Colinas, South Bay, Vista, ...

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