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Stories by Matt Potter

Hawaiian holiday

Free meals on the Hawaiian island of Maui were on the post-election to-do lists of some California legislators, thanks to cell-phone giant AT&T. The firm’s lobbying report for the final quarter of 2014 reveals that ...

Ex-PR man Faulconer pitches GE

Mayor's national publicity drive hits the road again

As students of 20th-century California history will nostalgically recall, a once-struggling movie actor named Ronald Reagan rose to political prominence selling General Electric. The Democrat-turned-Republican hosted General Electric Theatre on television and toured the country ...

U-T’s suspect lobbyist picked by mayor

Campaign cash could have role in Chargers deal, paper suggests

If San Diego loses the Chargers to Los Angeles, the blame may be placed squarely on California's pay-for-play politicians, particularly Democrats. So seems to be the suggestion of a U-T San Diego exposé regarding the ...

Rick Perry's sugar papa

Texas presidential hopeful taps U-T publisher for RickPAC "advisory board"

While the fate of the San Diego Chargers and U-T San Diego hangs fire, the city's top two big-money political rivals have been out spreading some national cash. On Thursday came word that former Texas ...

Kevin Faulconer goes to Brookings

San Diegan to meet London’s mayor at big-money DC think-tank talk

With Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer facing what may become a contentious reelection bid next year, the ex–public relations man has been seizing opportunities to rub shoulders with certain Democratic representatives of the national establishment. Two ...

Last of the red hat ladies

Ex-UCSD chancellor Marye Anne Fox has resigned from the board of directors of Red Hat, Inc., an open-source software outfit based in Raleigh, North Carolina. A member of Red Hat’s compensation committee and nominating and ...

Fifteen seconds of politics

County supervisor Greg Cox, preparing for his 2016 reelection bid, has hired a familiar name to help out. Tom Shepard, one-time political wonder boy for former Republican supervisors Roger Hedgecock and Susan Golding, and later ...

Jet set ethics

Another aide to Republican House member Darrell Issa has jetted off for a quick junket to Las Vegas, thanks to special-interest money. Last year it was Veronica Wong, Issa’s deputy chief of staff in charge ...

Burnham in a rush for U-T San Diego takeover

Political plum may be up for grabs as mogul maneuvers for charity change

Might San Diego mega-millionaire developer and Republican kingpin Douglas Manchester be willing to part with his U-T San Diego mini-media empire sooner rather than later? So indicates a new post on the website of the ...

La Jolla's $1.3 million embezzlement

San Francisco government group tracks missing cash to Citibank here

$1.3 million of funds allegedly embezzled from the Association of Bay Area Governments, a governmental planning and development consortium similar to San Diego's SANDAG, somehow wound up in an account at the Citibank branch in ...

Big money political players rule Chargers task force

Faulconer funders get front row seats on stadium panel

Though the fate of the San Diego Chargers and their long quest for a new taxpayer-subsidized stadium hangs in the balance, one thing is certain: the task force set up by mayor Kevin Faulconer to ...

Bill and Hillary's California Peacock

Ex-Obama aide and friend of Bill gets $280,000 University of California spot

As the 2016 race for the presidency nears, a recent move by University of California president Janet Napolitano has the potential to inject high-stakes Clintonian politics into the already controversial university system. At its meeting ...

Chip off the old Block

The second term of recently deposed Democratic San Diego City Council president Todd Gloria is over and done with next year, and at least one hopeful has already materialized to make a bid for the ...

Lindbergh’s big bird ride

There was at least one close call between birds and people over San Diego’s Lindbergh Field last summer, according to an August incident report filed with the government’s flight event database by the unidentified captain ...

Of meals and politics

Final numbers are in for U-T publisher Douglas Manchester’s California political giving during the 2014 election cycle, and they show that the Republican megamillionaire forked over a total of $452,440 to campaign causes around the ...

City council's secret high-rise deal

Did lobbyists and campaign cash pave way for snap purchase?

A lot of San Diego's city business is done at a snail's pace, inching slowly through city hall before reaching a city council committee and then the full council for final consideration before an often-contentious ...

Texas to furnish UCSD's racial affairs chief

Yearlong wait for hot-button racial diversity honcho at an end

After years of controversy and one false start, UCSD has gone to Texas for its new vice chancellor for Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. Becky Petitt, currently associate vice president and chief of staff to Christine ...

Papa Doug is hiring — in Texas

Austin help-wanted ad seeks VIP greeting and word processing skills

The meaning of last week's shake-up at Douglas Manchester's U-T San Diego, in which honcho Mike Hodges departed to head an internet design and marketing outfit, leaving editor Jeff Light to become president and chief ...

Sheriff joins race for body cameras

Gore solicits cost and security data from would-be video vendors

After editorial endorsements of police body cameras by Douglas Manchester's U-T San Diego, San Diego sheriff Bill Gore has joined the bandwagon of those looking to hook up the officer-mounted surveillance devices. ”All patrol officers ...

Druggy redux

Last year’s Sun God Festival at UCSD was a real killer. In the early morning hours of May 17, third-year Revelle College computer science student Ricardo “Ricky” Ambriz died following the chronically drug-and alcohol-poisoning-plagued rock ...

Musical board seats

After a lengthy wait, term limits are finally kicking in for members of the county Board of Supervisors, opening up a merry-go-round of possibilities for elected officials being termed out of other jobs. Republican state ...

Faulconer guru enmeshed in stadium food fight

Political consultant with ear of mayor hired by Delaware North for Qualcomm booze and food deal

Already brimming with backstage intrigue, speculation over the ultimate fate of the San Diego Chargers is being fueled by behind-the-scenes activities of a city hall influence peddler and political consultant with close ties to Republican ...

City contractor payments out of control, auditor says

Luna finds at least $123 million spent without oversight

Based on early returns, 2015 may be shaping up as San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer's year of discontent. Last week, former Bill Clinton aide/current Chargers lobbyist Mark Fabiani made some uncomfortable remarks about the GOP ...

Mark Fabiani's San Diego takedown

Gloria blasted as powerful lobbies collide, leaving blood on the floor

Ex–car dealer and real estate magnate Steve Cushman is a powerful member of the local Republican establishment who has left his fingerprints on everything from the Mission Valley master plan to the costly 1996 taxpayer-backed ...

Comcast to steal Centerplate’s Qualcomm deal?

Changes loom for heavily lobbied stadium food and beverage contract

San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer, trying to palatably package a billion-dollar-plus Chargers venue, is set to award a new food-and-beverage contract for Qualcomm Stadium, with some of his major campaign donors are already pitching hard ...

Ms. Cole’s defense

A legal-defense fund benefiting Democratic city councilwoman Myrtle Cole was in the hole $42,159 at the end of September, according to a disclosure statement filed by the committee on December 19. The account was set ...

Hirshman’s hustle

San Diego State University has lately seen its share of sexual violence on campus, but the school’s ambitious fundraising efforts, closely supervised by president Elliot Hirshman, appear to remain unaffected. Hirshman’s $400,000-plus yearly pay has ...

Another shake-up hits U-T San Diego

“Editor of the newsroom” takes new Manchester command role as debtor’s exam looms

As Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer gets set to roll out his agenda in this year's state of the city speech — including possible word about a public funding scheme for a new Chargers stadium — ...

Prison magnate among mayoral heavy-hitters

Sempra, Bridgepoint, and real estate interests also help pay Faulconer’s campaign debt

Before it closed its doors late last week, Kevin Faulconer's 2014 mayoral election committee filled its coffers with a round of post-election fundraising from a host of special interests, a disclosure report filed January 10 ...

Unions declare San Diego wage war

"Critical battles" planned here amid shipyard outsourcing to Mexico

San Diego and its national reputation for whale shows, golden sunsets, and big-money insider politics now has another distinction. At least that appears to be the message of labor-union bigwigs who staged what they called ...

Kennedy assassin to remain in San Diego

Donovan state prison inmate Sirhan Sirhan loses round in federal court

One of San Diego's most notorious inmates will remain behind the walls of the state's Donovan Correctional Facility here following a federal judge's ruling that evidence of a possible conspiracy does not absolve Sirhan Bishara ...

Del Martian bust-out

A major battle over the fate of the Del Mar Fairgrounds may be shaping up in Sacramento later this year, judging from a description of work filed by Capitol Strategic Advisors, lobbyists for the 22nd ...

Hype meets reality

Back in November, San Diego mayor and former public relations man Kevin Faulconer heralded the arrival of Maksim Pecherskiy in a glowing news release. “Maksim is a perfect fit for the role of Chief Data ...

Lights, action, politics

The County of San Diego is getting ready to shoot a series of video extravaganzas extolling the recreational amenities of the south of Interstate 8 supervisorial district represented by Republican Greg Cox. “The San Diego ...

Will Walmart hubby take Chargers away?

Land-grabbing billionaire L.A. stadium planner owns San Ysidro border mall

A lot of hand-wringing is going on over at U-T San Diego, owned by wealthy Republican real estate mogul Doug Manchester, about a Los Angeles–area stadium proposal by Stan Kroenke. "The St. Louis Rams owner ...

Juan Vargas's family funding values

Transgendered GOP candidate defeated, congressman's fundraising continues

It's time again for safely reelected House member Juan Vargas to be out shaking his big-money trees for the Democrat's annual "Torrey Pines Golf and Family Weekend." With contributions starting at $1500 for "sponsor" and ...

Kilroy's still here, promising campaign juice

New political committee set up by L.A. developer of controversial One Paseo

Whether or not San Diego is sufficiently business friendly has been a debate fostered over the past year by those who derive sizable funding from the city's so-called entrepreneurial and developer classes. “I felt like ...

Turning tale of the tuna

Trying to predict what’s next for San Diego–based Bumble Bee Tuna in the turbulent waters of international commerce is tough, as evidenced by a company history presented by Andrew F. Smith in his 2012 history ...

Tickets fixed

Admission prices for next year’s Del Mar fair are going up. “We anticipate a $1 increase in adult admission prices in this proposed budget,” says a staff report to the board of the 22nd Agricultural ...

And the best audit goes to…

Enforcers who brought down a famous San Diego–based Navy scandal recently received a “CIGIE” award, handed out in Washington by the federal Council of Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency. “You have taken risks, persevered, ...

Nuke transport chief noted for hostility

Top-secret U.S. nuclear team has anger-management issues

San Diego is a literal hot spot of high-grade military nuclear materials, from the nuke-tipped missiles on Point Loma–based submarines to the reactors powering the subs and aircraft carriers frequenting the harbor. "There are some ...

Judge Kreep sues state over pension plan

Six elected California judges say retirement reform unfair

San Diego County superior court judge Gary Kreep, already in the crosshairs of the local judicial establishment, has filed suit against the state's Judicial Council and the California Public Employees Retirement System, alleging he's gotten ...

Moores kin dead in Rancho Santa Fe Atom crash

Collision in reputedly fastest street-legal car ends life of mogul's nephew

The nephew of Texas-bred mega-millionaire John Moores has died after a crashing his rare British-made Ariel Atom into an SUV on a curvy Rancho Santa Fe road on Christmas Eve. Barry Alexander Moores, 21, the ...

Beer and Bar Mitzvah

A Jerry Brown appointee to the board that runs the Del Mar fair has decided to throw in the towel after just one four-year term. “I am writing to inform you that I will not ...

DeMaio’s vows

Word out of Washington earlier this month that defeated GOP congressional candidate Carl DeMaio is starting up a new super PAC has been followed by a quick rollout of the committee’s website, which suggests the ...

Wheel-greasing

Republican county supervisor Bill Horn has been getting some reflected financial love from one of the San Diego’s biggest landholders. Rancho Guejito, which is enmeshed in a struggle to develop its sprawling 22,000-acre holding in ...

The case of the Caltrans engineer's illicit remodel

Caught red-handed on personal job site, state worker let off with a warning.

The end of the year is approaching, time again for the California state auditor's report of crimes and malfeasance by state employees, some of which were attributed to a San Diego-based California Department of Transportation ...

Mutiny on the Google Glass

Price and addiction plague Navy over use of wearable gizmos

Google Glass, the wearable gadget from the search engine giant that has yet to become a roaring consumer success, could make a big splash among San Diego sailors. At least that's what an experimental Navy ...

UCSD to lose vice chancellor of rainmaking

Official lured big-dollar donor into giving $100 million for flashy stem cell center.

A high-dollar fundraiser for the so-called health sciences branch of UCSD is heading off to the City of Hope in Duarte to become chief rainmaker there. Kristin Jean Bertell, who was named associate vice chancellor ...

Copley's deadly Cuba ties

Tales of JFK assassination and CIA link haunt paper at center of San Diego journalistic spy nexus

The day after Barack Obama announced his recognition of Fidel Castro's Cuba this week, readers of U-T San Diego were greeted with another first: the paper's own rapprochement with the Communist dictator. "President Barack Obama’s ...

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