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Stories by Matt Potter

Issa’s house of cards and freebies

Public relations honcho takes off on Philly junket

Up on Capitol Hill, Frederick Hill, whose official title is deputy staff director for communications and strategy of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, is best known as Darrell Issa's megaphone-in-chief. His LinkedIn profile ...

In Memphis, Faulconer hails GOP machine’s victory

Manchester money's ground game discussed at Southern soiree

He's no Johnny Cash, but San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer was off to Memphis last month to reveal the strategy of his victory to a Republican Party establishment seeking votes from an increasingly fragmented and ...

Nasty super-rich battle looms in Peters-DeMaio race

Mega-millionaire Kimmel reaps sizable profits from political hits

Connoisseurs of San Diego politics who revel in high-dollar distortions, trumped-up attacks, misleading statistics, and all manner of election-time TV commercial casuistry will be enjoying a record season come this fall. Others will need to ...

Faulconer’s wife: master of cops and conventions

Gaslamp BIO party’s security force tries to block videography

It was the culmination of a year of elaborate planning at city hall and a major source of income to Katherine Stuart, wife of mayor Kevin Faulconer. And word was out to private security forces ...

Electrifying dinners

Eating has been good for state legislators who stay on the good side of San Diego–based utility giant Sempra Energy, according to the firm’s latest lobbyist disclosure filing. At Sacramento’s Downtown & Vine, Sempra played ...

Cup of politics

GOP House majority leader Eric Cantor’s defeat at the hands of a Tea Party insurgent has stirred the political pot in Washington. Not so much in San Diego, where the only donor to his political ...

Capital news

A pair of unnamed little birds had a rough plane trip from Washington DC’s Dulles International Airport to San Diego last December, according to an official “animal incident report” recently released by the U.S. Department ...

Audit calls out sexual harassment at SDSU

Will state-owned TV station report on university’s own laxity?

Last summer, the scandal surrounding San Diego's then–mayor Bob Filner made sexual harassment a heated topic of discussion on local and national news media, including KPBS, the public broadcast operation owned and operated by San ...

Papa Doug digs Obama’s pond scum

Editorial reveals publisher’s role in federally subsidized algae-to-energy scheme

Beating up on big government spending is a full-time occupation at U-T San Diego, owned by mega-millionaire Republican real estate developer Douglas Manchester. Obamacare, minimum-wage hikes, and the Barrio Logan community plan are a few ...

Eshoo won't be eschewed by Qualcomm

Hidden money to Ripon and No Labels unmasked in latest report

2013 was a bruising political year for Qualcomm, Inc., the cell-phone chip-maker cofounded by La Jolla Democratic billionaire Irwin Jacobs. With his son Paul, then the company's chief executive, they put the firm's big-money chips ...

Cash comingling, ethics lapses at SDSU

State audit finds lack of disclosure and honesty training risks fraud

An audit of San Diego State University by state investigators has discovered big gaps in the way the hallowed institution tracks and discloses conflicts-of-interests, ethics training, and cash donations. According to the report to the ...

Crown Manor hijinks

Will letters from Coronado haunt the presidential hopes of Hillary Clinton, wife of Bill, whose own campaign for president enjoyed the big-time financial backing of the late M. Larry Lawrence, once the most powerful and ...

Jerry Sanders’s playhouse

It has to be tough being a lobbyist for the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce these days. What with taking down the Barrio Logan Community Plan, fighting the minimum wage demanded by labor unions, ...

Juice

More corporate cash to report from the grand opening last month of the new County Administration Center park on the downtown bayfront: $10,000 from AT&T, at the behest of county supervisor Greg Cox, according to ...

Obama’s Del Martian loophole lobbyist

Less-than-transparent nonprofit gets money from lobbyist client

How transparent is Organizing for Action, the big-money "issue advocacy" committee closely associated with Barack Obama's White House? Not enough, suggests the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonprofit based in Washington DC that runs OpenSecrets.org, ...

Off-base Marine sex assaults recounted

Pentagon report says more bad news is actually good

The Pentagon is out with its annual "Report on Sexual Assault in the Military," covering the 12 months between October 2012 through September of last year, and numbers have been on the rise. The Defense ...

For sale: Southeast SD’s complex of death

Cemetery and mortuaries to be bought by Texas funeral giant

A major real estate wheeler-dealer from Houston is set to take over a big chunk of Southeast San Diego real estate, and the tenants aren't in a position to make a fuss about it. Greenwood ...

Inside the buzz on Kashkari and Faulconer

Love-fest with mayor showcased on website run by GOP sugar daddy

Let San Diego's rich GOP insider political intrigue begin — or continue. After a strange, if not bizarre, Republican spring campaign season, onetime Wall Street bailout chief Neel Kashkari is safely on his way to ...

Painful and suffering lawyers

The law firm of the brother of one-term Democratic congresswoman Lynn Schenk — a close friend of governor Jerry Brown and a member of the controversial bullet train’s board of directors — is giving big ...

Millennial millions

Another staffer for Republican House government oversight and reform committee chairman Darrell Issa has hit the road, this time for a quick trip to Hot Springs, Virginia, to attend the 2014 GOP “Chiefs of Staffs ...

Pump and dump

San Diego’s economy has long been supportive of biotech, but a small portion of the industry may have just taken a big hit. It comes in the form of a warning letter sent last month ...

Pimpo and Singleton do London

But it’s former rear admiral Heinrich who’s accused of big taxpayer waste

One more notable little secret of San Diego–bred Navy brass has finally found its way into the open. A rear admiral who was a top supply officer here has been caught with his hands in ...

You name it, moneyman

County to use names of trails, pools, and playgrounds as cash lure

For San Diego's billionaires, megamillionaires, and the corporations they love, renaming public real estate has long been a hallowed tradition. Qualcomm, founded by La Jolla Democrat Irwin Jacobs, has its name on the stadium in ...

Scandal-raising questions at U-T San Diego

Editorialist's relationship and other unmentionables mark dark coverage

Days after a sweep of many key election races in his favor, San Diego real estate developer Douglas Manchester's U-T San Diego has run an unorthodox front-page pitch for subscribers. The entire page is blank, ...

Budgetary trauma, outsourced

Should San Diego open its police department “psychological services” contract to competitive bidding? No, says the department in a memo to city council. “The utilization of another counseling firm would require all employees utilizing services ...

To lobby is divine

The tortured saga of the City of San Diego’s high-priced Washington lobbyist entered yet another round of possible contention with a request last week by GOP mayor Kevin Faulconer for proposals from a fresh round ...

Parking structure, SDSU style

Trustees of the California State University system advanced a plan to spend $142.7 million to build Plaza Linda Verde at San Diego State. The so-called mixed-use facility, in the works since 2011, “will house 659 ...

Lobbyists bungle in the jungle

Hunter aide gets down with party animals in posh tropical junket

Victoria Middleton, chief of staff to San Diego Republican congressman Duncan Hunter and a longtime member of the capitol's junketing class, appears partial to jungles. Back in 2011, she jetted off to Africa on an ...

Liquor-store owners get a pass on late report

State watchdog gives repeat Fletcher funding violator a warning

Knocked out of serious politics by a relentless barrage of hit pieces dispatched by the GOP Lincoln Club, Nathan Fletcher — the onetime Republican assemblyman who became an independent and later a Democrat in his ...

Passport to terror?

Investigation turns up information mishandling by Postal Service

How secure is the personal information given to post offices by those seeking U.S. passports? Not very, according to an investigation by the U.S. Postal Service conducted after a snafu caused a San Diego woman ...

Barrio hit piece silent on maquiladora job loss

General Dynamics exports San Diego shipyard employment to Mexico

It's the dirty little secret of the military contractors’ campaign against the Barrio Logan community plan update, several San Diego industrial insiders say. General Dynamics — the defense-contracting behemoth that owns National Steel and Shipbuilding ...

Manchester wins a Navy Broadway battle

Judge swats down bid to halt massive bayfront development

U-T San Diego publisher Douglas Manchester's long battle to build a giant commercial and office complex on Navy property at the foot of Broadway downtown appears to be a legal step closer to reality with ...

To Berlin, with politics

Termed-out GOP state senator Mark Wyland long ago threw in the towel on a planned bid for the Board of Equalization, passing San Diego’s torch to ex–Chula Vista mayor and former Republican assemblywoman Shirley Horton. ...

Toxic tarpaper

Special interests lined up for sponsorship rights to this month’s unveiling of the packed new water park around the county administration building downtown. So-called behest disclosure filings required by state law show that the Viejas ...

Boarding cash

Mayor Kevin Faulconer continues to hand out city appointments to some of his biggest campaign givers. One of the more conspicuous is Guy Asaro, president of McMillin Homes, who has become a member of the ...

Florida pot-stock promoter backs Brewer for D.A.

Law-enforcement PACs also dole dollars for Dumanis challenger

Over the years, San Diego has known its share of newly rich political sugar daddies, spending their up-and-coming wealth on their chosen candidates of the hour. Disgraced banker C. Arnholt Smith, drug-money-laundering Jack-in-the-Box mega millionaire ...

Faulconer moneyman nabs planning chair

Architect paid $3000 ethics fine in 2012 for failing to reveal clients

$3000 in contributions to a 2014 mayoral campaign fund favoring him have apparently gone down well with Kevin Faulconer, who's just made their principal source, La Jolla architect Timothy Golba, chairman of the city's planning ...

Beware: one minimum-wage proposal called a “sham”

Past ghosts haunt hotel owners' silent contributions to signature drive

Because of a gaping loophole in San Diego's campaign disclosure law, it won't be until the end of July that the public learns the complete identities of the big-money donors behind a minimum-wage proposal currently ...

La Jollan who enslaved maids dies in prison

Sante Kimes and son later convicted for killing and dismembering heiress

It's a chapter of history that wealthy La Jollans — who obtain their legions of domestic servants through a variety of sources, legal and not — would most likely rather forget. In early August of ...

U-T hypes long-delayed Manchester hotel plan

Publisher/real estate magnate says Austin is “Texas’ finest city”

It will be a long, hot day at the end of Austin's typically hellish Texas summer when Douglas Manchester's “Fairmont Austin” convention hotel finally breaks ground. At least that's the latest prediction from the voluble ...

Spooky tourism

Toorcon San Diego is a convention of computer hackers that convenes every fall here to discuss the fine art of electronic breaking-and-entering. “Schools don’t teach hacking, and the Internet hides it for both profit, and ...

Pay for appointments

Two more big-money lobbyists and campaign contributors have gotten the nod from mayor Kevin Faulconer for high-profile city development positions. Donna Jones, a land-use partner at the downtown powerhouse influence-peddling law firm of Sheppard, Mullin, ...

Government gushes tax dollars at bayside bash

Consultant got fat commission for TSA pipeline party on Harbor Island

Did taxpayers get a raw deal at a high-dollar pipeline conference run by the ever-controversial U.S. Transportation and Security Administration — infamous for airport frisking gropes and other mishaps — at a bayside San Diego ...

Political sharpies behind big money hospital deal

Sharp campaign for 30-year lease flying under fact-check radar

It's a very good deal, at least according to an editorial in U-T San Diego, the media operation owned by Republican stalwart and real estate mega-developer Douglas Manchester. "East County voters have an easy decision ...

Media cabal building political machine?

Manchester, McKinnon, and Kimmel give big, GOP backs Dumanis with $130,000

Are San Diego’s big media owners working together to build a virtually impregnable political machine? It’s a question being asked more and more frequently among longtime city hall observers in the wake of political plays ...

Irwin and George

Qualcomm billionaire Irwin Jacobs, who recently hosted a Democratic fundraiser with president Barack Obama at his La Jolla mansion, has deserted the party machine in at least one race this year. According to campaign disclosure ...

Everybody loves Darrell

A top aide to Republican Congressman Darrell Issa enjoyed a TV star–filled jaunt from Washington to Las Vegas and back last month, thanks to the generosity of the National Association of Broadcasters. Veronica Wong, Issa’s ...

Hillary is coming to town — awkward!

Special-interest event promises income source for mayor's wife

The 2014 BIO International Convention, to be held at San Diego's downtown convention center June 23–26, has announced that the keynote speaker will be ex–First Lady, former Secretary of State, and presumed presidential candidate Hillary ...

UCSD undocumented

UC San Diego is looking to hire a new “undocumented student support services coordinator,” to be “responsible for the planning, development, implementation, and assessment of programs and services to engage and support undocumented undergraduate and ...

South Bay political mafia buys Horton ads

PAC with ties to Steve Peace shells out for Facebook pop-ups

Ads for a San Diego County candidate for the state Board of Equalization favored by Republican publisher and real estate mogul Douglas Manchester and retired Democratic San Diego South Bay state senator Steve Peace have ...

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