Back to profile

Stories by Matt Potter

Will latest U-T deal replace reporters with robots?

Artificial intelligence and "machine vision" tied to Tribune's Soon-Shiong deal

More twisting in the wind seems ahead for the besieged staff of the Union-Tribune as yet another Los Angeles billionaire joins the cast of characters on the big-money merry-go-round otherwise known as Chicago's Tribune Publishing. ...

Another day, another $750,000 for Chargers' stadium cause

NFL team's spending could top all records for special-interest ballot campaigns

How much will Chargers owner Dean Spanos end up spending to place on the ballot his proposed $1.8 billion stadium, subsidized by a tax hike on San Diego hotel rooms? Likely a number to blow ...

Friends of Eli make broad pitch to change paper owners

L.A. hedge fund pushes for Union-Tribune chain sale to Gannett

It wasn't very long ago that Fox News media mogul Rupert Murdoch was predicting that the L.A. Times and San Diego Union-Tribune would soon be in the hands of fellow billionaire Eli Broad. But Murdoch's ...

Toni and Todd’s whale grease

Seeing SeaWorld for free

SeaWorld, besieged by animal-rights proponents who have forced a radical change in course for San Diego’s venerable whale emporium, remains popular as a free ticket destination for California lawmakers and staffers. As controversy over captive ...

Suite spots

Lots of cutting-edge activity for the 2016 San Diego elections

The GOP Lincoln Club, backing Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer’s reelection bid this June, has spent $278,672 for the cause, through April 23, according to an April 27 disclosure report. Expenses include “slate mail” worth $257,147 ...

Could Chargers fan boycott cripple hotel magnates?

War of the super-rich looms in downtown stadium versus hotel subsidies

"More than a stadium" is a rallying cry of the multimillion-dollar campaign to get a proposed $1.8 billion combined Chargers and convention venue on the ballot for November. Now, note observers of San Diego's peculiar ...

FBI miscreants are their own favorite charity

Credit card miles and cash pile up for bureau’s “recreational association” officers

The location is being withheld to protect the guilty, and staffers’ names are similarly excised, but a recent audit of a certain Federal Bureau of Investigation Recreation Association pulls few other punches. Though not generally ...

Big Oil money in for Faulconer

World fracking capital’s mayor wields carbon cash clout in San Diego

With locals debating whether San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer's much-ballyhooed pre-election climate protection plan has any teeth, big carbon, in the form of the American Petroleum Institute of Washington DC, is letting its cash do ...

Big Tobacco locked and loaded for Faulconer

Cash from mother of all special interests could influence mayor's race

While locals argue about whether or not Kevin Faulconer is really a new-era Republican, big money from the nation's tobacco lobby and other well-heeled corporate interests appears ready to roll into the mayor's already cash-packed ...

Death times

Go to work or go free?

Yet another try to hurry up executions on California’s death row has drawn $12,500 from the San Diego Police Officers Association’s political action committee. In addition to hastening their demise, the measure would put death-row ...

Wells Fargo turkeys

Currying mayoral favor

A political contribution is a terrible thing to waste, judging from a recent disclosure by Kevin Faulconer revealing that giant Wells Fargo bank has deposited $5000 in the Republican mayor’s name with the United Negro ...

Working both ends

Ballot measures square off

The business of ballot measures is booming in San Diego, though some big-money donors are still waiting for their payoffs in more ways than one. A controversial measure authored by attorney Cory Briggs to raise ...

Can San Diego’s big GOP money beat the NFL?

Mission Valley special interests regroup for well-financed frontal attack

Gauntlets are being hurled, but who is footing the bill of the throwers? The question is being asked by those tracking the byzantine political money war over a new tax-funded downtown luxury venue for the ...

Reported San Diego Zika cases hit 11

City ranks second to L.A. in California’s weekly tally of traveler-borne virus

UCSD is hot off the presses with research about how the Zika virus causes babies to be born with small heads. "While promising, this research has been conducted only in human and mouse cells growing ...

Pre-nursing home billionaires ante up for UCSD naming rights

Geriatric emergency-room sponsorship yields major cash for university fundraisers

While rollout of a billion-dollar-plus fundraising campaign remains in limbo following the abrupt departure of UCSD vice chancellor of advancement Steve Gamer following a six-figure settlement, the school has been employing its public relations arm ...

Valley soccer fever

SDSU expansion depends on pro sports

Who will actually determine the fate of a much-talked-about plan to expand San Diego State University onto the Mission Valley land currently occupied by Qualcomm Stadium? Judging from last month’s minutes of the school’s Campanile ...

Leisure class Issa

Staffer stops included a private tour of UK parliament

A staffer for North County Republican congressman Darrell Issa has again ventured away from Washington and “met with European leaders in London and Brussels concerning policy issues affecting commerce and innovation in the U.S,” according ...

Mr. Deputy’s wild ride

Buckle up. Or use a van.

A prisoner hurt in a crash involving a speeding sheriff’s vehicle has filed a complaint with the county’s Citizens’ Law Enforcement Review Board alleging that two deputies failed to fasten his seatbelt before taking off ...

Union-Tribune owner’s war of escalating insults

Yet another spin-off rumored if Gannett prevails

If today's economically besieged newspapers are cutting back their press runs, the same can't be said of the voluminous verbiage piling up in the war for control of Chicago-based Tribune publishing, owner of the San ...

Chargers' political tab already approaching $900,000

Eight-figure campaign for lucrative public subsidy includes fundraising House members

Let the big-spending political game begin. So says Dean Spanos and his wealthy extended family from Stockton, as related by the first financial filing with the city clerk's office of a campaign committee calling itself ...

Strictly Strickland

Come up with $2000 or “raise $8000”

Wealthy Democratic money bundler Christine Forester of La Jolla is throwing a May 4 fundraiser for Ted Strickland, an ex–Ohio governor running for U.S. Senate this year. To be a cohost of the party, donors ...

Sand quality study

Sixteen sampling events proposed

Those controversial La Jolla seals can look forward to more disturbances. “The City of San Diego plans to conduct a sand quality study at the Children’s Pool Beach in La Jolla,” says an April 4 ...

Greenhouse politics

Mega-million-dollar super PAC in action

San Francisco hedge-fund mogul Tom Steyer, said to be considering a run for California governor two years hence, is investing some of his big money in a new effort to register voters in San Diego ...

Gannett wants a crack at the Union-Tribune

As Chargers hype mounts, will NFL-linked publisher from Chicago go quietly?

Will the sixth turnover finally turn out to be a charm? That's the question of the hour as yet another would-be master of the San Diego Union-Tribune surfaces in the form of Gannett Co., owner ...

Sheriff Bill Gore's Disinformation 101

Online espionage showcases "techniques on how to legally access some private content"

With San Diego cops anteing up $18,000 for a so-called open-source intelligence tool to tap into the whereabouts and activities of social-media users, can county sheriff Bill Gore be far behind in local law enforcement's ...

The Jacobs-Faulconer dance

Qualcomm execs donate to the mayor's reelection campaign

When Republican Kevin Faulconer first ran for mayor in the fall of 2013, Qualcomm then-CEO Paul Jacobs, the son of company founder and Hillary Clinton-backer Irwin Jacobs, backed Republican-turned-Democrat Nathan Fletcher for the job. After ...

Gamer’s costly rise and fall

UCSD was in as much of a hurry to get rid of Steve Gamer as it had been to hire him

In January 2014, University of California regents thought they had a hustler in Steve Gamer, so much so that they hastily agreed to pay him the princely annual salary of $455,792 to become UCSD’s new ...

Junketing for Hillary

High-dollar lobbyist hosts 2016 strategy talks in Virginia

Judging by the fierce electoral contests currently being waged around the country, the nebulous political “center" isn't the most popular place to be. But that's where Michelle Dorothy, chief of staff to La Jolla House ...

San Diego cops a deal for online espionage

$18K contract yields "Raw intelligence...captured from social media"

San Diego cops aren't just checking their Twitter feeds anymore, they are now tapping into a vast font of personal information generated by online social network users, with the public none the wiser. That's the ...

Food without the TSA hassle

Eating and drinking on the Pacific Highway

Those who crave the taste of airport food without the bother of navigating Transportation Security Administration checkpoints may soon have a new option, according to a request for qualifications issued March 24 by the San ...

Money for helmets, not for books

Say goodbye to Lexis-Nexis

Money for college sports at tax-funded San Diego State University has been growing at a rapid clip. Not so, the school’s library funding, according to a dire State of the Library report presented April 5 ...

Is not paying taxes tantamount to terror?

San Diego sheriff seeks to ramp up battle against Sovereign Citizens

Mysterious FBI and Homeland Security aircraft are already buzzing San Diego County, trolling for "terrorists, spies, and serious criminals,” according to FBI deputy director Mark Giuliano. Now comes Sheriff Bill Gore, a former FBI Special ...

Peters fundraiser sponsors have checkered past

Bevy of big-time real-estate special interests to chow down at DC lunch

When political action committees for the real-estate business team up with resort developers, a lucrative fundraiser may be bound to ensue. But next week's event for congressman Scott Peters at the Congressional Mews condo complex ...

Physical therapy business has become a thorny issue

Therapeutic conflict

The Republican mayor of Encinitas, currently challenging incumbent Democratic county supervisor Dave Roberts, runs a physical therapy business on the side. What to do when a lawyer for DCM Properties, a real estate developer suing ...

Sleep doctor no more

Implicated as a user of prescription and recreational drugs

A drug-plagued La Jolla psychiatrist specializing in sleep disorders has agreed to permanently surrender his license to practice medicine in California, according to a stipulation with the state’s medical board. On November 5, 2014, the ...

Are funny numbers bad news for Union-Tribune?

"It's worrisome as to how extensive the lack of controls were.”

Just how serious are the accounting problems that have surfaced at Chicago-based Tribune Publishing, owner of the San Diego Union-Tribune? Worse than ever, suggests a write-up by Crain's Chicago Business of the financial crisis besetting ...

GOP-TV not priceless: Faulconer forks over $50K to KUSI

Karl Rove tie surfaces in dirt-digging against mayoral foe

Let the big-money mayoral TV advertising war begin. Such is the word from San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer's reelection team, which has so far purchased 280 spots on the Republicans' favorite local station, KUSI, ...

SDG&E and the behesting tales of two Roberts

County supervisors with same last name also share penchant for special-interest speech money

Last month, county supervisor Ron Roberts gave the annual state of the county address, in which the Republican vigorously sang the praises of San Diego Gas & Electric. "No one is a better partner in ...

Old homes week

Property added to personal portfolios

Far from receiving a decent burial, the La Jolla bones of San Diego’s old Copley newspaper empire have become touchstones for two wealthy San Diego powerbrokers, who have laid out big money to add them ...

Beer, money, influence, and Accela

True local brewers, take note

A downtown influence-peddling shop dear to the heart of San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer has picked up yet another controversial big-money client. Multinational beer giant Anheuser-Busch has retained Presidio Public Affairs Group to lobby for ...

Red light revenue

There’s a “material decrease” in money coming in, notes county auditor

Cash from San Diego traffic-ticket fines is seriously down, says the county auditor’s office. Over the past five years, according to a March 4 report, “collections from penalty assessments fell from $13,749,562 to $7,910,885 (42 ...

$35 tab for Moores dog-and-pony SDSU stadium show

Scandal-beset university benefactor may try again for "public-private" real estate deal

Taxpayers eager for information on the behind-the-scenes machinations regarding a downtown Chargers stadium and expanding San Diego State University to Mission Valley will have to fork over at least $35 for the privilege. That's the ...

Fox tip-toes out of Bridgepoint's hen house

Ex-UCSD chancellor departs investigation-beset private college company

An ex–University of California chancellor and UCSD chemistry professor who made a gross annual state salary of $212,711 in 2014 has surrendered another lucrative corporate board seat in the world of private education. "On March ...

Copley doles it out

Former executives who gave away the money were paid big

While he lived, one-time Union-Tribune owner David Copley wasn’t shy about dipping into the funds of the nonprofit foundation created by his adopted father Jim Copley, distributing big money to an array of his favorite ...

Minimum wage, maximum campaign

San Diego decides in June

A political committee belonging to ex–Assembly Speaker Toni Atkins, running for the state senate seat now occupied by fellow Democrat Marty Block (who recently left the race), has come up with $25,000 for the minimum-wage ...

Tribune editorials speak as one: monopoly rules

Obama lawyers go after Chicago newspaper chain’s jugular

Editorialists employed by Chicago's Tribune Publishing, otherwise known in media circles as the newspaper chain from hell, have wasted no time condemning the U.S. Justice Department for killing Tribune's putative deal to seize control of ...

Chargers charity continues skid

Perryman provides window dressing for taxpayer stadium ballot run-up

While anticipation mounts regarding the Chargers plan to build a new downtown stadium with a big assist from San Diego city taxpayers, the latest filing of the team's nonprofit foundation shows yet another decline in ...

Pandora's box of Issa staffer's freebies

Embattled streaming music service from Oakland stages Manhattan junket

One of the earliest players in the streaming music business is facing an uncertain future and locked in a money war with recording artists. What to do? Hire a Wall Street banker to shop the ...

Cowboy John

Gobbling up real estate

Ex–Padres owner John Moores, who is helping the initiative drive of lawyer Cory Briggs to raise hotel taxes that could aid siting of a new Chargers stadium near Moores’s property downtown, is also busy building ...

Gambling conventions

Mini horse-betting parlor springs up

There was bad news for the San Diego Police Department vice squad when it asked the office of city attorney Jan Goldsmith whether there was a chance of passing city laws to regulate so-called mini-satellite ...

Win a $25 Gift Card to
The Broken Yolk Cafe

Join our newsletter list

Each newsletter subscription means another chance to win!

Close