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Stories by Matt Potter

Peters sets up fundraising committee with Arizona Democrat

Targeted by Koch brothers, La Jolla House freshman stages fundraiser with ex-aide to Gabby Giffords

La Jolla Democratic congressman Scott Peters and fellow House Democrat Ron Barber of Arizona, under fire by ads sponsored by the billionaire GOP Koch brothers of Wichita, Kansas, have set up a joint fundraising committee, ...

Hedgecock firm gives big to anti-Alvarez campaign

GOP Lincoln Club's committee gets major cash from ex-mayor; unions continue flood of Alvarez contributions

Fallen San Diego mayor Roger Hedgecock, who has long described himself as a "recovering politician," has suffered another relapse, judging by the $10,000 that his corporation — Worldwide Community Forum, Inc. — gave January 7 ...

More Stuck in the Rough cash for Republican Faulconer

And Unions continue giving big to Democrat Alvarez

With election day less than five weeks away, campaign cash to both sides in the battle for San Diego mayor is gushing through a sometimes confusing and byzantine network of corporations, unions, and political committees. ...

Failed pension prosecutor turns Obama judge wannabe

A big-time lawyer from San Diego who has been nominated by Barack Obama for a seat on the oft-controversial U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit has revealed his income and net worth as ...

Domestic violence done to city treasury

An audit by the office of California controller John Chiang has demanded a refund from the City of San Diego for allegedly overbilling the state for domestic-violence reports required under California law. A state mandate ...

City purchase orders: $110K spent on Chargers carpeting

Team's training center and skyboxes received new flooring

The Chargers-owning Spanos family have more than their team's current comeback to be happy for; they're also the beneficiaries of $110,000 in new carpeting at their taxpayer-provided San Diego facilities. Although it isn't widely known, ...

Gifts that keep on giving to San Diego pols

Del Mar track and Bridgepoint Education listed among top gift givers to California legislators.

A self-styled legislative watchdog group is out with a report on the array of gifts given California's elected officials that spotlights the largesse received by San Diego politicos. Entitled Gifts, Influence, and Power, A Report ...

Big money political event held quietly at Manchester resort

200 fat cats gather at Grand del Mar to hear GOP House members on Obamacare

A fundraising event for conservative Republicans quietly took place this fall at publisher and real estate magnate Douglas Manchester's well-appointed Grand del Mar resort in the northern reaches of San Diego. Details of the exclusive ...

Out-of-town interests pour money into SD mayor's race

End-of-year contributions from big labor, builders, and apartment owners PAC

Big-money special interests from both sides of San Diego's race for mayor celebrated New Year's Eve with sizable injections of out-of-town cash. Reports posted online by the California Secretary of State's office yesterday reveal that ...

False source of $37,000 to Lincoln Club and GOP revealed

Real donor is Stuck in the Rough, owner of Escondido Country Club

Touchstone Golf — an Austin, Texas-based golf course management company that according to Republican party and Lincoln Club disclosure filings has been delivering some big San Diego political money of late —has denied that it ...

Missing in the ranks

One big name in local charity salaries was missing from a list of nonprofit chief executives paid more than $200,000, compiled recently by U-T San Diego. Hugh M. Davies, CEO and the David C. Copley ...

Carl DeMaio, King of New York

GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio, running against freshman La Jolla Democrat Scott Peters, has been raising money in New York City. According to the website PoliticalPartyTime.org, Log Cabin New York threw a December 10 Manhattan ...

A cool extra million for Papa Doug's ex

U-T San Diego publisher and reputed mega-millionaire Douglas Manchester got married on the weekend before Christmas at his Manchester Grand Del Mar resort in the northern reaches of the city of San Diego, and, as ...

San Diego's lobbyist accused of arranging illegal gifts

Sloat Higgins, fired by Filner, rehired by Gloria

Before his fall into ignominy and out of a job as a result of a sexual harassment scandal, ex–San Diego Democratic mayor Bob Filner raised a ruckus among the local Republican establishment when, as one ...

Ex-SEAL cops plea in CIA-linked secrecy case

Former boatswain's mate admits downloading classified documents

Back in October 1994, when he was a member of the Navy's elite SEAL training team at Coronado, Bruce Schliemann was featured in an official Navy account of his South Pacific exploits. Three Navy SEALs ...

Vikings' owners' exec gives to Faulconer and Alvarez

Minnesota's Wilf empire spreads wealth in San Diego mayoral battle

This October, the New York Observer ran a lengthy exposé of members of New Jersey's Wilf family and its patriarch Zygmunt Wilf — Zygi for short — who made their fortune in housing complexes before ...

Double tracking it at SDSU

The administration of $400,000-a-year president Elliot Hirshman over at San Diego State University, widely known as one of America’s biggest sex, drugs, and party schools, is spending major money to obtain a more refined experience ...

Off to the freebies

Members of the board that runs the Del Mar Fair were, as usual, generous with their free ticket handouts to this year’s July 17 opening day at the track. Board president Adam Day, assistant tribal ...

Dumanis campaign guru arranging TV spots for Faulconer

Jennifer Tierney heads independent committee for GOP mayoral candidate

Led by a familiar face in county politics, a campaign fund backing Republican city councilman Kevin Faulconer for mayor is arranging to purchase TV commercials ahead of this coming February's special election in which Faulconer ...

Wall Street freebies for Vargas staffer

Multibillion-dollar host subject of naked short sales controversy

Things may be busy on Capitol Hill with the budget deal and all, but Scott Hinkle, acting legislative director for freshman Democratic congressman Juan Vargas, still managed to get away for two days in Manhattan ...

Billionaire Buffett partner's son backs Faulconer

Union foe antes up in San Diego mayor's fundraising derby

Charles Thomas Munger, Jr., son of a wealthy sideman to Omaha, Nebraska, billionaire Warren Buffett, has become the latest super-rich American to wade into the battle for San Diego mayor, cutting a $1000 check for ...

Charity and VD begin at Del Mar

It’s time to tally up the annual take of Del Mar’s so-called charity race days, representing the net proceeds required by law to be turned over for worthy causes during certain designated days of each ...

From Canada, with cash

Qualcomm, which has been lobbying hard this year for more visas for foreign workers, isn’t the only local concern that has been spending heavily in a bid to get more people from abroad into the ...

Off a cliff

Out of a job is Cliff Albert, the KOGO chieftain who ruled the airwaves and a sizable chunk of local San Diego political life in the glory days of fallen San Diego GOP mayor Roger ...

Lindbergh Field’s costly picnic table takes a bow

Artist-in-residence stages secretarial type-in and carved-table show

Back in April 2012. we first reported here about Sheryl Oring, a former newspaper writer and editor who was about to embark on a new gig as artist-in-residence at San Diego International Airport. Oring gave ...

Double-dipping SDSU pensioner gets $270,000 CSU job

Sally Roush also to rake in monthly $1000 car allowance

In June, when last we checked on Sally Roush, the scandal-plagued vice president of business and financial affairs at San Diego State University was retiring from her position after 30 years of university service. Her ...

Canadian condo king piles up cash for Faulconer

High-rise developer gives big to GOP candidate; unions double down for Alvarez

As GOP ex-mayor and San Diego chamber of commerce chief Jerry Sanders sets out to vanquish the city's so-called linkage fee on commercial building to subsidize so-called affordable housing here, a distinctly high-end residential developer ...

Qualcomm spent millions on political clout

Disclosure following lawsuit shows large payments to foreign-visa lobby

Qualcomm, the San Diego–based cell-phone technology giant founded by billionaire La Jolla Democrat Irwin Jacobs, made a total of $2,955,786 in politically related expenditures during the 12-month period ending this past September, according to a ...

Taxing dinner with Lorena and the two Brians

There are no free dinners, except for San Diego politicos. That’s the word contained in a lobbying disclosure report filed by the County of San Diego last month. According to a recently amended statement with ...

Foodie’s acquittal

Ex–San Diego city councilman and Democratic assemblyman Ben Hueso, suspected by California’s Fair Political Practices Commission of chowing down gratis at a June 20, 2010, developer event, was let off the hook when he explained ...

Legislative lounge lizard

December is the month for all kinds of partying, including political. In San Diego, the season kicked off last week with “Legislative Lounge,” at downtown’s U.S. Grant Hotel, a newly instituted function by the San ...

San Diego auditor blasts city's web services

Many barricades to citizen access; aides propose hiring new consultant

When it comes to finding and accessing city services online, San Diego has a pretty bad app for that. So says a newly released report by city auditor Eduardo Luna, entitled "Performance Audit of IT ...

L.A. NFL stadium rivals sink big cash into Brown bid

U-T San Diego ramps up push for new Chargers venue

The professional football season is nearing a wrap and the campaign for San Diego mayor is ramping up, time yet again for another push by La Jolla real estate maven, Republican money-man, and U-T San ...

Harrowing tales of Lindbergh Field air traffic

Pilots and controllers concerned with operations at gussied-up landing strip

The gleaming new terminals at San Diego's Lindbergh Field, seemingly the ultimate in 21st-century transportation technology, bely a troubled air-traffic control system prone to outages and human error that are, in the words of one ...

Liberal "dark money" group spends big for Scott Peters

DC-based League of Conservation Voters lays out $62,432 for TV ads

Scott Peters, the freshman House Democrat from La Jolla who is facing a big-money reelection battle with ex–San Diego City Council Republican Carl DeMaio, has been the beneficiary of an independent expenditure by a Washington ...

Billboard execs, Walmart continue pouring cash into mayoral race

Capitol Outdoor gives to Alvarez; retailer drops $10,000 on GOP

Retail giant Walmart, which is said to have big plans for its San Diego development portfolio, this Monday (Dec. 2) kicked in another $10,000 to the county Republican Party, according to a filing made yesterday ...

Stealing bases

The award for most political bases covered so far this unusual mayoral election season must go to Michael Gelfand of Terra Vista Management, which has the lucrative city leasehold at Campland on the Bay. The ...

Don we now our pol apparel

Once-imprisoned super lawyer Bill Lerach, now ensconced on a lavish La Jolla estate overlooking the Pacific, didn’t come out a winner in the derby to replace fallen Democratic mayor Bob Filner. The onetime Bill Clinton ...

Really smoking

Termed-out Republican state senator Mark Wyland, who has his eye on a Board of Equalization seat next year, picked up $5800 last week from tobacco giant Phillip Morris… When it comes to stealing, crime was ...

Emails show SDSU fight against KPBS unionization

Records reveal school's failed five-figure battle versus big labor

Editorial workers at the politically complicated organization that is KPBS, the public broadcasting arm of San Diego State University, now have themselves a labor union, but the organizing process wasn't without contention, according to copies ...

San Diego Zoo hires DC lobbyist for "funding opportunities"

Admission revenue and $10.5 million annual city subsidy inadequate?

The San Diego Zoo, which came in for scrutiny by the city auditor earlier this year for the way it spends its $10.5 million annual city subsidy, has hired a big-time Washington DC lobbyist to ...

Security gaps draw U.S. scrutiny of border sewage plant

Heavily redacted State Department document cites risky practices

Could spies and terrorists be casing the gates and lurking inside the electronic bowels of San Diego's South Bay International Wastewater Treatment Plant, preparing to strike at the drop of a keystroke? That's at least ...

Googling San Diego

Word that the Google barge may be setting sail for San Diego is shining a new spotlight on another tie between the city by the border and the mega-data giant of the San Francisco Bay. ...

Baseball, free food, and lobbying

Baseball stadiums were the venue of choice for San Diego-based Sempra Energy to use for its pitches to California legislators during the third quarter of this year. In addition to a free meal and a ...

More Walmart cash arrives for GOP's mayoral campaign

Big money mayor's race rages on behind the scenes

Another big dollop of Walmart money for Republican city councilman Kevin Faulconer and his bid to become San Diego mayor has just arrived in the campaign coffers of the local GOP. As previously reported, during ...

Assistant San Diego sheriff took $10,000 trip to Israel

Mossad briefing and winery visit included in second officer's $5500 junket

San Diego and Israel have at least one thing in common: border troubles. So, although the degree of the difficulties may be a bit different, assistant sheriff Patricia Duke set out earlier this year for ...

San Diego's Salton Sea plan might get expensive

Audit warns of air pollution and other problems

San Diego's deal to take water from the Imperial Valley to meet the demands of growth and development here will begin taking a dramatic and expensive toll on the environment of the Salton Sea in ...

SDSU to be audited for sexual assaults

California investigation will also cover UC Berkeley, UCLA, and Chico

A report by the Huffington Post says that San Diego State University has joined a list of California state-funded universities set to undergo an audit of sexual assault reporting and follow-up policies. According to the ...

The Kennedy assassination's last insider

Jack Ruby's La Jolla rabbi

According to his rabbi, Jack Ruby was visited in jail after the shooting of Oswald by Joe Campisi, an Italian restaurant owner.

San Diego's political scum no match for the real thing

City seeks contractor with “Scum Haul Contingency Plan”

The just-concluded primary race for San Diego mayor may have seemed dirty to some, but no apparent match for the processed sewage kicked out each year by the city's Point Loma Wastewater Treatment plant. Just ...