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Stories by Matt Potter

Chargers owners get cash back from California Assembly speaker

South Bay war of the Democrats could set new political spending record

With rumors abounding of a possible blockbuster intramural Democratic primary in San Diego County's South Bay state-senate District 39, both candidates in the putative contest have been raising plenty of special-interest money for what could ...

Bonnie Dumanis collects for a “community crime prevention event”

Cash behind bars

As some wait for the other shoe to drop in the federal case against José Susumo Azano Matsura, the Mexican national and sometime Coronado Cays resident charged with heavy-duty campaign finance violations, one of the ...

Our pension system’s investment officer jetted off to Amsterdam

Tripping for pensions

San Diego city workers who are slowly saving up for post-retirement dream trips to Europe may now experience the same vicariously through the travels of their pension system’s investment officer Jamie Hamrick. According to an ...

Hillary’s felonious San Diego darling

State Department email shows Clinton tie to imprisoned La Jollan’s law firm

Richard M. Nixon frequently referred to San Diego as his "lucky city," so great was the power of Union and Tribune publisher Jim Copley to sway public opinion. "Dear Jim," began a November 1954 letter ...

Chargers, Airbnb, and Mark Fabiani’s vicious knife fighter

"Master of disaster" partner signs on as influencer with home rental outfit

Two colleagues from the White House of Democratic president Bill Clinton and his vice president, Al Gore, have followed twisted but prosperous paths since those halcyon years of Whitewater and Monica Lewinsky. Arguably the most ...

Free airport politico parking? Priceless.

Lobbyists’ scrum vies for new big-dollar influence-peddling deal

When it comes to favors done for members of the California legislature, those free and walkable parking spaces quietly maintained by the San Diego Regional Airport Authority for politicos are regarded as among the best ...

The state of the U-T and Tribune Publishing

Wall Street says thumbs down

Taking a cue from the late New York mayor Ed Koch, a loyal newspaper reader might ask, “How is the San Diego Union-Tribune doing?” More to the point, how is the financial condition of the ...

Chargers stadium “satisfaction survey” will cost taxpayers

But the City of San Diego will not say how much

There have been a few changes in San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s plan to run a public opinion survey before his proposed January vote on a new Chargers stadium in Mission Valley. A revised request ...

San Diego's Section 8 drug and crime wave

$3 million in fraudulent overpayments amid lax reporting and enforcement

Fraud, drug use, and other criminal activity has been going unpunished in the county's so-called Section 8 subsidized housing program, with lax enforcement by officials causing multimillion-dollar havoc. So says an August 3 report by ...

Bounty-hunters from L.A. bug UCSD music pirates

Hundreds of cease-and-desist notices charge unauthorized content distribution

Illegal file-sharing, long a problem at UCSD, is still going on, subjecting students and faculty to big-dollar jeopardy. So says an August 18 campus warning posted online by the school's director of academic computing and ...

Betsy Manchester’s divorce lawyer-lobbyists fined $1000

Repeat offenders backing Bry for city council tagged for Faulconer funding lapse

As controversy continues to swirl around its future, San Diego's ethics commission has handed one of the city's longtime law and lobbying shops a $1000 fine for failing to fully disclose its political giving. The ...

Dr. Paul Aisen and USC contersue UCSD over claims of denied access

Flack-wielding flacks

UCSD’s war with the University of Southern California over the future of a national Alzheimer’s research program is costing taxpayers plenty in legal fees. Besides lots of lawyers, the state-funded school has also deployed its ...

Juan Vargas’s July pay drop

Democratic congressman Juan Vargas, who has a safe seat, continues to pay off old debts from his days in the California state senate. An August 6 filing covering the period of last month shows his ...

Without Papa Doug, need Peters fear GOP?

National Republican Congressional Committee prepares to hit La Jolla Democrat with TV ads

Back in February, the national Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee issued a 14-member "Frontline" list of its most threatened House incumbents. La Jolla congressman Scott Peters was featured prominently. "Each one of these members knows what ...

Israeli state of mind for Issa staffer

June-July junket preceded prickly exchange on Capitol Hill

Amid the battle raging over whether to approve president Barack Obama's nuclear agreement with the government of Iran, a staffer for North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa headed off on a tour of Israel, courtesy ...

Will tax-funded poll back Faulconer’s stadium?

City wants "resident satisfaction survey" done before January Chargers stadium vote

With polls from the GOP Lincoln Club and the Chargers already vying over whether Kevin Faulconer's hurry-up stadium play has gained traction among San Diego's citizenry, the city is about to launch yet another public ...

Toni’s Native American retreat

Democratic Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins and entourage stopped by the Barona Casino for free food and drink at the Italian Cucina there this spring, the tribe’s disclosure shows. Atkins got a meal worth $29.20 on ...

Bob White strikes it rich

California Strategies and Advocacy, founded by Bob White, the nattily attired top aide to Pete Wilson during the latter’s rise from San Diego Assemblyman to mayor of the city and then on to the United ...

Kevin and Tony’s business model

Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer has picked up yet another contribution to his One San Diego non-profit corporation from a well-heeled donor with business at city hall. In a July 28 filing with the city clerk’s ...

Spanos cash goes to Issa, not mayor

Chargers-owning clan keeps political wealth from San Diego

As they ramp up to take the Chargers to Los Angeles, the days of the Spanos family’s big-money backing of San Diego politicos appear to be over. With one exception…and it’s not Republican mayor Kevin ...

The malling of UCSD’s La Jolla

Merry-go-round mount of government developers joins university

The revolving door of real estate development officialdom continues to rotate with the latest move at UCSD, troubled of late on another front by the defection of a top Alzheimer’s researcher. Jeff Graham, onetime chief ...

60 Society for Professional Journalists members felled by norovirus after awards at Bali Hai

Just ahead of Tiki Oasis 2015

If the Tiki god doesn't exactly admire the state of San Diego journalism, what does he think about a gaggle of mid-20th century nostalgia worshippers soon to emerge from over the horizon? Such is a ...

Like SDSU, like Faulconer?

Does school’s decade-long environmental impact fight portend mayor's stadium fate?

How sticky can a legal battle over an environmental impact report get? Plenty, based on an August 3 ruling by the state supreme court against San Diego State University that may be regarded as a ...

When pensions fly

That well-traveled investment officer at the San Diego city pension fund has been at it again. This time Jamie Hamrick flew off to Boston from May 20 to 21 courtesy of Long Wharf Real Estate ...

Homeless library patrons must park their gear at the door

City librarian Misty Jones had a thorny problem for city attorney Jan Goldsmith: how much gear can homeless readers take in from the cold? “Some library patrons have asked to bring all of their belongings, ...

Suit claims police raids at Cheetahs caused loss of business

Naked justice

A federal court battle over whether San Diego police illegally disrupted the lives and finances of local strippers during vice squad raids on the Cheetahs nightclub is destined to continue, a judge has held. “Plaintiff ...

Big cash for Myrtle Cole from Mission Valley

Legal defense fund reaps well-timed money before stadium vote

How important is cash on the barrelhead to members of the San Diego City Council? Plenty, judging by the latest batch of financial disclosure reports delivered over the weekend to the city clerk's office. One ...

Beutner’s U-T opinion role minimal, editorial chief says

L.A.-based publisher not exercising previously touted clout, interview asserts

Each new publisher who takes over the chronically dissipating San Diego Union-Tribune seems to have Charles Foster Kane at the back of their minds. “I will provide the people of this city with a daily ...

Opponentless mayor backed by $1.2 million

Cash flows to San Diego's Faulconer from many wealthy directions.

On the heels of a report from the University of Southern California chiding San Diego's wealthy establishment for running the town as an "exclusionary enterprise" for big money special interests, campaign reporting season has arrived, ...

Bombs away from USC against San Diego insiders

L.A. report calls San Diego establishment an “exclusionary enterprise.”

Call it the University of Southern California's revenge. The wealthy and politically powerful school to the north has lately been hitting some setbacks to its advance on San Diego. The most prominent of which, the ...

Political DIY money

As next year’s election season looms ever closer, a couple of local politicos are lining up to place substantial cash bets on themselves. San Diego Republican city councilman Mark Kersey, who didn’t have an opponent ...

It’s raining PR

With San Diego’s water rates set to rise and supply cuts ever growing, that $1.6 million, off-again, on-again public relations contract being issued by Kevin Faulconer to hype his status as the anti-drought mayor is ...

SeaWorld cash, the U-T, and Gloria's endorsement

Beutner-backed Orca park funds Democrat's Assembly bid

Running for the California Assembly from a San Diego city council seat has its advantages, including being up close and personal with the wealthy tenants of a raft of city-owned real estate. In the case ...

Fat arena subsidy good news for Qualcomm chief

Sacramento billboard law "carve-outs" to keep Kings ruled legal by judge

If Kevin Faulconer's Mission Valley stadium environmental impact report case ever gets to court, the mayor may want to consider having it heard in Sacramento. Those still following the Republican's tortured struggle with the Chargers ...

Faulconer's political guru out as stadium lobbyist

Hit by Chargers on ethics grounds, Roe delisted as influence peddler.

Kevin Faulconer's political brain has left the torrid kitchen of city hall influence peddling, but he may not have gone far, based on a July 23 filing with the city clerk's office. As first reported ...

Hillary Clinton: Irwin Jacobs's home companion

Qualcomm billionaire and Sempra board member to cohost Clinton bash

It's official. Hillary Clinton is coming to town again — more specifically to the La Jolla manse of billionaire Qualcomm founder Irwin Jacobs and his wife Joan, whose son Paul, Qualcomm's executive chairman, is fresh ...

Junior G-Persons

Being an FBI agent can involve dangerous work, but can the same be said about attending the bureau’s annual one-day Teen Academy? “Due to the vast diversity in our workforce, any student with an interest ...

Jules Verne was here

UCSD is out to change the world, the tax-funded university says on a recent job posting, but it will take more than a few more dollars to get there. “Professionals working within University Development at ...

Congressional spill

The deepening drought and increasing talk of using recycled sewage for drinking water has been very good of late for city hall lobbyists. Latest to profit is Southwest Strategies, founded by ex-Tribune reporter Alan Ziegaus, ...

Federal audit blasts DEA for informant mishandling

Seventeen confidential sources got $1 million of snitch pay in single year

The raft of San Diego drug-trade snitches used by the Drug Enforcement Agency may not be up to snuff, and that could be bad news for the public's safety and the policing of the region’s ...

Is SDSU chief really hurting for a fatter raise?

Hirshman pay nudged to $420,000 with more possible

San Diego State president Eliot Hirshman, formerly known as the $400,000 man, is likely about to get yet another bump in his annual base pay, making him the newly minted $420,000 man. According to an ...

Iran treaty trashers spending big on San Diego TV

Newly emerged dark-money group with ties to Israel lobby knock Obama's anti-nuke plan

A newly minted dark-money group opposed to the nuclear treaty with Iran worked out by president Barack Obama has opened its campaign with a national barrage of television commercials, including a hefty buy in San ...

UCSD flunks sex crime disclosure 101

California universities audited for Clery Act compliance faulted for errors and omissions

The University of California at San Diego, already beset by myriad high-profile troubles, has another black mark to deal with, although this time the taxpayer-funded school isn't alone. "Our review of six California institutions found ...

Fabiani’s Cabrera money love

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani, who has been deftly fielding the brickbats of mayor Kevin Faulconer’s stadium task force while launching more than a few of his own in the battle over keeping the team ...

$500,000 terminal art backstory

It’s a big month for art at San Diego’s Lindbergh Field, which over the years has spent millions on a controversial collection of creative adornments to distract travelers from long lines, prying TSA agents, and ...

UCSD's costly ad switch: Chargers to Trolley

$1.3 million football deal eclipsed by $27.7 million MTS contract

With the Chargers appearing on the brink of leaving town, the University of California at San Diego is casting about for a new way to spend its prodigious pile of promotional cash. As first reported ...

Sloppy money handling plagues San Diego Unified

$7.6 million in student funds could be at risk of theft, district auditors say

No names are named, but there appears to be plenty of blame to go around in the mishandling of Associated Student Body money at two dozen campuses in the San Diego Unified School District, according ...

Viviano abruptly departs UCSD in turmoil’s midst

$10 million in Las Vegas losses, body parts audit, and researcher rebellion hit university

The announced departure of Paul Viviano, who currently enjoys the lengthy title of chief executive officer for the University of California, San Diego Health System and associate vice chancellor for UC San Diego Health Sciences, ...

Dick-rated

Television station KFMB, run by wealthy La Jolla Republican Elisabeth Kimmel, has been having X-rated issues with federal regulators of late. According to a June 1 letter from the station’s Washington lawyers to the Federal ...

Doug and Kevin’s Balboa bash

Veteran political observers call it Douglas Manchester’s last laugh. Just before the voluble real estate developer from La Jolla sold what he called U-T San Diego to Tribune Publishing of Chicago in May, he gave ...

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