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Stories by Matt Potter

Alpine’s Islamic fashionista antes up for Clinton

Presidential contenders vie for big money in wealthy San Diego neighborhoods

Democrat Hillary Clinton bumped up her San Diego county fundraising game last month, collecting a total of $520,590 from county residents, compared to a July take of $435,595, according to a computer analysis of the ...

Will the U-T go to Gannett?

Remote controller

As closed-door talks continue over a possible takeover of Chicago-based tronc, owner of the Union-Tribune, by giant newspaper chain Gannett Co., some are hoping for yet another fresh start for the San Diego daily, hobbled ...

Politicians backed by Brady campaign

Gun fight

Some county gun owners are said to be irate about a recent local political endorsement by the Washington DC–based Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, but whether they will be loosening their campaign purse strings ...

Details scarce in death of Nobel Prize–winner

Death and an un-taxing salary

UCSD’s big-budget public relations department, charged with playing up good news at the taxpayer-financed school, doesn’t always do as well relaying the solemn aspects of university life and death. Such was the case last month ...

California's big labor backs San Diego sales-tax hike

Measure A bankrolled by out-of-town infrastructure interests and one environmental group

Don't call them building-industry special interests — they'd rather be known as "a coalition of construction professionals to repair San Diego's roads," according to campaign disclosure filings. But by any name, Yes on A forces, ...

San Diego U-T, brought to you by SDG&E

Newspaper's website makeover sells exclusive sponsorship to giant utility for undisclosed fee

San Diego's big shark in a small pond, otherwise known as Sempra Energy — long noted for having a hand in behind-the-scenes major money doings of local politicos and media outlets — is currently flexing ...

Wandering weapons

A couple here, a couple there...

San Diego cops are having trouble keeping track of their weapons stash, based on an inventory of lost or missing firearms recently released by the city after a request under the California public records act. ...

Empowering young Muslims

And endorsing Democratic candidates

A group of Muslim students from high schools around the county have set up a campaign committee to gather cash for political causes, according to an August 12 filing with the county registrar of voters. ...

Sizable chest

Alvarez serves the leftovers

San Diego City Council Democrat David Alvarez, who collected a sizable war chest to back his June bid and those of his allies to obtain spots on the party’s central committee, is deploying the leftovers ...

No homeless, please, we’re catering

Lucrative after-hours at the library

In an effort to brand the new downtown library as a high-dollar private event venue, the city is searching for a bevy of exclusive gourmet caterers. “Since its opening in September 2013, the Library has ...

Labor and capital pick their pre-election poison

Big-money battle over Measure A fuels DeMaio’s putative funding hopes

San Diego's big-money campaign money-raising merry-go-round has shifted into high gear, with cash from both big business and big labor pouring in for local political causes. Among the heaviest hitters so far is the International ...

Giving back to the GOP

The fund spent $252,214 in an unsuccessful effort to elect Ellis

Republican Ray Ellis has bowed out of his runoff race against Democrat Barbara Bry, who bested him by a sizable margin in the June primary to succeed La Jolla city councilwoman Sherri Lightner. Now a ...

Faulconer’s free Frisco

This is really a “gift” question

Mayor Kevin Faulconer has pledged not to seek higher office during his current term, but his best backers can always hope. Last October, email recovered from San Diego’s ethics commission shows, the mayor took off ...

Pence set to raise lots of cents in La Jolla

Trump vice-presidential hopeful's event backed by ex-U-T owner and Russian-born wife

With the November election swiftly approaching, the campaigns of the two major party contenders are going about the business of raising California cash, including a La Jolla appearance by Republican vice-presidential candidate Mike Pence. Set ...

Mystery lurks behind Chargers latest $1 million campaign cash

Newly created Delaware limited liability company fronts big money for downtown stadium push

While San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer continues to dally about whether he will support or oppose a new tax-subsidized stadium for the Chargers, the team is upping the ante for the politically ambitious Republican by ...

Something's fishy about dismal San Diego seafood sales

Study blames unfamiliarity with snails and globalization for dearth of locally caught ocean species eating

San Diegans could be eating more locally caught fresh fish, snails, squid, and lobsters, says a new study by academics from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and USD, but globalization and a lack of reliable ...

Have Juan, will travel

Scott Hinkle beats the heat

A top staffer to border Democratic House member Juan Vargas has escaped the muggy summer heat of Washington DC with a summer getaway to the fresh breezes of San Francisco, courtesy of the Federal Home ...

Glide control to Torrey Pines

Gliderport lease is up

The 6.74-acre Torrey Pines Gliderport, a longtime hotspot for confrontations between videographer Bob Kuczewski and gliderport leaseholder Robin Marien over what Kuczewski has alleged are unsafe practices at the city-owned facility, is up for a ...

$1 million check cut in big-money sprawl war

Lilac Hills backers vow to crush enviros; Cushman kicks in $5000 against Chargers

Urban sprawl means big money these days in San Diego's North County, the once bucolic setting of pastoral ranches and organic food farms now set for uber-urbanization if voters approve proposition B on November's countywide ...

Behold Gannett, prospective master of San Diego

Giant newspaper chain hikes Ponzi-style bid for Chicago-based tronc

Just how much does newspaper giant Gannett Co. want to own the downtrodden dailies of tronc, proprietor of the San Diego Union-Tribune? Enough to pay a minor king’s ransom, based on the latest news out ...

Dirty football

Sanders and new city council political business

San Diego’s ex-mayor Jerry Sanders is so far batting .500 in the new city council political business this year, but not because he hasn’t been laying out a lot of cash. The Greater San Diego ...

Mayor’s office not so transparent

Free information

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer proclaimed a new era in transparency when he recently rolled out a new automated way for the public to request records previously hidden away in the dark warrens of city ...

SDPD would like permission to access your cameras

False sense of security

A low-profile, high-tech plan by San Diego police to tap into the feeds of private video surveillance cameras across the city has so far managed to corral five participants, according to documents released following a ...

Big money Mexico-tied donor backs Trump

Rich Tijuana scion aids GOP hopeful in San Diego mega-money race

Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton has labored long and hard in the campaign-cash vineyards of San Diego's super-rich, chief among them Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs, one of the first off the blocks with $50,000 for ...

California watchdog limits freebies for Latinos for Israel

AIPAC to host first Hispanic Outreach Summit in Arizona

San Diego city hall lobbyist and Southwestern Community College District board member Humberto Peraza has been invited to a splashy event in Phoenix put on by the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, more commonly known ...

As thick as thieves

Ignoring the revolving door law

San Diego’s political merry-go-round of big-money influence-peddling never stops. Ex–Republican assemblyman and onetime mayor of Anaheim Curt Pringle, known as one of Orange County’s most powerful politicos in recent memory, has been making the rounds ...

The cost of voter approval

Shepard’s cow pie

How much does it cost a well-heeled San Diego developer to obtain voter approval for controversial North County real estate ventures? In the case of Accretive Investments, would-be builder of 1700-house Lilac Hills Ranch, a ...

Revolving lobbyist

Tony Young eyes supervisors seat

Ex–San Diego city councilman Tony Young, said to be interested in running for the county board of supervisors seat held by termed-out Ron Roberts, has been pulling in lots of cash as a city hall ...

tronc to San Diego: you're fired

Tweets bring bad layoff news for troubled daily newspaper

How much of San Diego can be run by robots controlled by unscrupulous industrial kingpins? That's one of the questions being posed in local media circles by word that the city's only daily newspaper, the ...

Qualcomm V.P. funds wife's House race with $2.1 million

Cozy marital political action committee draws notice from conflict watchdogs

As La Jolla billionaire Irwin Jacobs and Qualcomm cohorts continue private talks with San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer over naming rights to the billionaire's mammoth Balboa Park road and parking-garage plan, can another super-rich Qualcomm ...

To China

Have campaign cash, will travel

Republican county supervisor Ron Roberts, who will finally be departing his job in two years because of term limits, has found another way to use leftover campaign cash from his last run for the board ...

Microtrenching threatens city streets

Will Google get what it wants?

High-tech giant Google, Inc., all over the corridors of San Diego power in its quest to build a new fiber-optic communications system in the city, has been pulling out all the stops, an influence-peddling disclosure ...

Utah’s spousal San Diego freebies

Free spending was uncovered

A July 20 audit of the Utah Local Governments Trust by Utah’s state auditor tells the tale. Trustees, who oversee an insurance co-op for municipalities and other government entities, have been running amok with public ...

Private summit sealed GOP mayor's Balboa Park Jacobs deal

Well-heeled Qualcomm executives weigh in for Faulconer, letting campaign cash do the talking

On March 17, Republican San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer — in the midst of a record money-raising drive to fund his June reelection bid — slipped away from city hall to make an unheralded trip ...

Trump picks San Diego’s big-money garbage brain

Controversial American steel-maker and political trash-digger loom large among advisors

Can a controversial economics professor rooted in San Diego's garbage can-picking political culture of the 1990s teach Donald Trump the ropes of world finance? Will a super-rich University of San Diego law school grad who ...

Influence peddling

The ethics of the ethics commission

San Diego’s ethics commission, its enforcement count already falling like a rock, has come under fire by the county grand jury for being overly subject to political influence. In 2012, according to the grand jury’s ...

Chamber of politics

From city hall to big business

The revolving door between San Diego’s city hall and big business spins on under mayor Kevin Faulconer, with Republican aide Jaymie Bradford heading off to become vice president of public policy and economic research for ...

Chargers stadium destiny and Dick Cheney's daughters

Koch-tied GOP politicos revealed as key to San Diego's NFL ballot battle

What with La Jolla Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs's revived Balboa Park bulldozing project, and the battle between Republican city councilman Chris Cate and GOP ex-mayor Jerry Sanders over a hotel-tax hike to finance a Chargers ...

Big Sorrento Valley cash to be had from Zika

San Diego biotech unit gets emergency FDA permission to test virus diagnostic kits

The number of San Diego Zika virus infections continues its relentless growth, bringing the county to within one case of California Zika count leader Los Angeles, but at least one local big-money biotech outfit is ...

“No show” Fletcher shares intimate DNC moment on TV

Bloomberg-backed Qualcomm politico turns up in Philly with main squeeze

It's been a big convention for La Jolla Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs and his longtime political protégé Nathan Fletcher, the onetime Republican assemblyman–turned–independent and, finally, Democrat. Fletcher, who twice ran unsuccessfully for mayor of San ...

San Diego wants more optic fiber

Google it

Google Fiber, which is negotiating behind closed doors with San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer over the terms of possible high-speed internet system here to compete with cable operators and AT&T, has signed on the international ...

New Mission Hills library gets adornment

Clocked-out artwork

Esoteric may not be the only word to describe the city’s latest tax-financed public arts project, but it could turn out to be the kindest. Numbers recently posted by San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer’s Open ...

SDPD’s evidence integrity spiked by water leaks

Cops’ property rooms leaking, unpoliced, costly, city auditor finds

More than a year after the county grand jury called out San Diego police for critical lapses in handling the department's property and evidence storage units, major issues remain, with evidence integrity threatened by water ...

Let them eat steak, Union-Tribune's master proclaims

Black box with c-note and golden deck of cards invites Chicago's super-rich to birthday bash

The San Diego Union-Tribune's corporate owner, infamously known as tronc, may soon be sold — or not, depending on who is doing the talking — but one thing seems certain: tronc’s current honcho Michael Ferro ...

Military-Industrial complex infiltrates Comic-Con

Manchurian Candidate mind-control contractor hypes wares at fantasy fest

In what might be a page from the script of a sci-fi action-adventure flick, a super-stealthy San Diego military contractor with big funding from U.S. taxpayers has emerged from the shadows at this week's Comic-Con ...

Lori’s loan

Saldaña needs your help with campaign debts

Democrat-turned-independent Lori Saldaña, who placed third in last month’s race for San Diego mayor, is looking for more campaign cash for a low-five-figure post-election personal payback. “I will formally close my campaign account at the ...

All the mayor’s moneyed friends

North County’s Issa has been active

A high-dollar charity blow-out “honoring” San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer three days before San Diego’s June 7 mayoral election drew a bevy of the city’s wealthiest politicos and special interests, according to a behested payment ...

Should Comic-Con fans stay home?

Heavily costumed revelers could pose public safety threat, transit official says

Could this year's Comic-Con turn into a first-person shooter for real? Just how much overtime is being paid and what kind of technical wizardry is being deployed by San Diego police to keep the event ...

Amidst Jacobs family crack-ups, can charity prevail?

Facing fight over park bulldozing, San Diego's richest man endures domestic ruptures

Word that a son of La Jolla billionaire Democrat Irwin Jacobs is behind the port district's controversial plan to demolish Seaport Village has come quickly on the heels of the elder Jacobs's own backroom deal ...

Parsing Parsky’s billions

The California Hedge Clippers get to work

Longtime Rancho Santa Fe resident and Cayman Islands tax-haven figure Gerald Parsky, who in 2006 bitterly battled a new school in the wealthy enclave north of San Diego, is now in the crosshairs of a ...

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