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Stories by Matt Potter

Did Irwin Jacobs just seal Kevin Faulconer's fate?

Fallout of Eli Broad deal gone bad shadows San Diego politics

Whether the Chargers eventually depart for Los Angeles or not, it's a virtual certitude that San Diego's Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer is currently viewed as a shoo-in to be re-elected mayor, a wide spectrum of ...

Spanos All-Star Classic: no news good news?

No word from team on pulling plug on high school playoff

Like the fortunes of the family's football team, the name Spanos has had its ups and downs in San Diego. Will the super-rich Stocktonians cut a deal with billionaire Walmart spouse and San Diego property ...

How to fly the friendly skies

To Jerusalem, with politics

A staffer for Democrat Bob Filner when the fallen San Diego mayor was in Congress, Humberto Peraza, has been cleared to travel to Israel for free, courtesy of the American Israel Education Foundation, an affiliate ...

Let the Chargers leave for logical reasons

The U-T fires a few shots

After decades of what many have characterized as abject supplication to the Chargers-owning Spanos family, scribes of all varieties at the Union-Tribune have taken off the gloves. Last week a sportswriter for the paper bemoaned ...

Deal gives UCSD "read only" rights to Alzheimer's data

Legal war between San Diego university and Los Angeles's USC continues

According to a newly lodged agreement in federal court here, USC will be holding on to a Bitbucket load of data it controls in the school's bitter court battle with the University of Southern California ...

UCSD's ethics conundrum continues as backstage deals loom

Alzheimer's legal settlement pending, physicist's criminal case to follow

As yet another academic scandal emerges at UCSD, court records show that the school is on the verge of cutting a deal with the University of Southern California, sued last summer by UCSD over the ...

How many visas overstayed? Bersin can't say

Trio of L.A. and San Diego politicos highlighted in H-1B data lack

One of San Diego's most notable big-money political alums is making headlines across the nation while hometown scribes remain mum about a major immigration clash between the White House and Congress. Late last month, Alan ...

Refurbished plot gets another refurbishing

Westfield advertises for an events manager

Horton Plaza, the chronically neglected half-block park on Broadway next to the floundering shopping mall — itself a product of a costly redevelopment scheme engineered by ex–San Diego mayor Pete Wilson — is about to ...

Gynecological gifts

John Moores makes waves in Britain

Ex-Padres owner John Moores, who’s been enjoying a popular revival of sorts with his six-figure financial backing of an initiative campaign to boost hotel taxes and attempts to bring a professional soccer team to town, ...

Union-Tribune: Spanos supplicant under four owners?

Twenty years’ worth of editorials advocate big taxpayer fork-overs

As Chargers owner Dean Spanos employed captive video to announce his official exit from San Diego on the first Monday of 2016, others took to Twitter to express their disdain, not for the team but ...

San Diego pension fund’s un-retiring frequent flier

Shanghai latest destination for high-flying retirement fund officer

The San Diego city employees' pension fund's most freely traveled executive has been on the plane again, taking in the sights of Shanghai, China, and Cambridge, Massachusetts, during a busy autumn on the road, thanks ...

UCSD's wild, wooly, unforgettable case of Alzheimer's

Brain cancer surgery for USC defendant’s son casts shadow over big money court battle

The first Monday of the new year is shaping up to be a confrontational one for UCSD versus the University of Southern California, the possibly precedent-setting legal battle of the universities over the future of ...

Post holiday politico gifts

New members on board of San Diego Association of Governments

Each new year heralds the distribution of extracurricular appointments to members of the San Diego City Council, for which they have the opportunity to accrue extra money from the taxpayers, in addition to their salaries. ...

Immigrants on ICE

Deficiencies discovered in strip search audit

Strip searches have been declining at the San Diego County–owned U.S. Immigration Service’s 1040-bed contract detention facility on Otay Mesa, run by Corrections Corporation of America. According to a federal audit covering fiscal year 2015, ...

Trash man cometh not

Conflict of interest concerning Chula Vista councilman Steve Miesen still unresolved

The yearlong legal battle over the status of Chula Vista city councilman Steve Miesen, who also happens to be a top executive with the city’s trash-pickup provider, Republic Services, shows no signs of abating soon. ...

When Ellsworth Kelly jilted San Diego

New York artist, dead at 92, trashed town’s sculpture sensibilities

Sunday's passing at 92 of Ellsworth Kelly, noted in the New York Times as "one of America’s great 20th-century abstract artists," has gone unheralded in San Diego, though he was once a household name here, ...

Movies, pot and manslaughter: Jerry Brown’s holiday pardons

San Diego car killer and marijuana miscreant star in end-of-year ritual

The star of this year's Christmas pardons by governor Jerry Brown may be Hollywood's Robert Downey, Jr., but some long-ago jailed drug offenders and a manslaughter convict of San Diego's justice system are also among ...

Cops on bikes

Top-dollar Shimanos on order: one medium, four large, one extra-large

The San Diego County Sheriff’s Department wants to join the bicycle age in high-priced style, with an order for six “high quality fully assembled police patrol bicycles with lighting systems, gear bag rack, gear bag ...

Turn on the Faucett

Prolific campaign-giver "oversees the Chamber’s day-to-day operations"

An ex–Kevin Faulconer assistant, whose most recent gig for the Republican San Diego mayor was as a member of his ill-starred Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group, has bagged a mayoral appointment to the board of the ...

GOP fat cats spreading presidential wealth

San Diego’s super rich max out to contentious primary field

San Diego's somewhat rich and famous were all over the map when it came to presidential campaign giving this year, judging from recent financial disclosure filings, though Donald Trump did not place among the favorites. ...

Turkey time with Lorena G.

High-profile legislative Democrat gets cozy with AT&T

It's time again for the holidays, when the state's giant corporate special interests ante up to cover the cost of turkeys distributed by elected officials to their impoverished constituents. As previously reported, San Diego mayor ...

Bob McNair and John Moores: a marriage made in Texas

Super rich Houstonians play king-sized roles in Chargers departure drama

Houston Texans owner Bob McNair made substantial waves in San Diego this week by blasting the mayor and city council's failure to come up with a sufficiently gold-plated stadium proposal to keep the Chargers in ...

Jamie Hamrick travels for free again

City employee gets around

An already well-traveled executive at the San Diego city employees’ retirement system has been on the road again, taking another trip to New York City courtesy of a well-heeled investment fund. The free trip is ...

The fix is in. Possibly.

Who will operate the new film commission?

Is the fix in for choosing a future operator of San Diego’s putative new taxpayer-funded film commission? So worries an unidentified respondent to the city’s October 29 “request for ideas” regarding setting up a new ...

Ace Parking gets the contract again?

They’ll probably seal the Parkade deal, too

San Diego’s controversial but well-connected Ace Parking has been around since 1950, making it one of the city’s most well-entrenched special interests. As is the case with the Evans hotel family, another influential local dynasty, ...

Like congress member, like staffer

Aide to Democrat Susan Davis heads off for Tunisia and Kiev

Five years ago this past May, congressional Democrat Susan Davis, then known for being one of the most frequent junketers in the House, took off with her husband Steve on a weeklong mission costing $21,327 ...

UCSD's $516,000 temporary executive

Interim health system shoe-filler collects retroactive six-figure cash

The intrigue surrounding the saga of UCSD Health's departed top man Paul Viviano continues, with a lengthening search underway to fill the vacancy, and approval by U.C. regents of a $516,000 interim appointment. As previously ...

Tony Young lobbies on

As of November 23, add Airbnb to the list

Ex-Democratic city councilman Tony Young continues to grow his lucrative city hall lobbying business. Already flush with a bevy of well-heeled clients, including SDG&E, shopping-mall developer Westfield Corporation, and San Francisco’s Zirx, a start-up specializing ...

Chargers’ coach nearly lynched

Do rowdy fans pose a danger in the final days?

With the departure of the Chargers for Los Angeles looking likelier than ever, according to many accounts, do rowdy fans pose a real danger to what could be the team’s last days in Mission Valley? ...

From Broad's mouth: Rupert was wrong

Deal denial unlikely to slake thirst for U-T ownership change

To buy or not to buy. That was the question still pursuing Eli Broad as he issued a denial of media mogul Rupert Murdoch's tweet that Broad wants to take over the L.A. Times, and ...

KPBS and U-T plug Jacobs airport-moving scheme

Media money talking as billionaire and Burnham team for PR push

With the fate of the Union-Tribune still very much in limbo, Malin Burnham, who once aspired to take over the newspaper, and Irwin Jacobs, his longtime political comrade in-arms, have hatched yet another scheme. The ...

Airport staff to fatten up in exclusive digs

Private dining proposed for employees as public concession cash leaps

The prices and controversial quality of food and atmosphere at San Diego's international airport, also known as Lindbergh Field, has long been a matter of contention among air travelers who eat there during flight waits. ...

Emergency memo warns of library security breaches

City auditor hits "non-existent" and outdated "policies and procedures"

Spending and security at San Diego's public library, ensconced in luxurious new digs, is out of control, endangering safety and the city treasury. So indicates San Diego city auditor Eduardo Luna in a December 2 ...

Another Juan Vargas staffer gets it free

Lodging with lobbyists

A staffer to congressman Juan Vargas has accepted a free overnight in Manhattan courtesy of a Washington think tank. This time it’s Scott Hinkle, legislative director for the border Democrat, who took off for New ...

Marty Block gets funny to get money

Be a $2500 sponsor at Chicory Coffee and Tea

State senator Marty Block, locked in a rough-and-tumble primary race with fellow Democrat Toni Atkins, termed out of her Assembly seat, is going all out to attract donors to his financially challenged campaign war chest. ...

Polling political footballs

A Kansas public opinion outfit aims to end-run San Diego “community activists”

San Diego officials have denied a link between a "public satisfaction" survey now on the streets and online here and the embattled efforts of Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer to keep the Chargers in town with ...

Faulconer's trickle-down turkey freebies

Pre-Thanksgiving block party paid for by host of special interests

Kevin Faulconer's One San Diego, the nonprofit that boosts the Republican mayor's anti-poverty agenda — in the process yielding glowing media accounts benefiting his political profile — has picked up some cash from two San ...

NFL Owners: A dysfunctional gang at best

Colts owner’s girlfriend reportedly rode the horse till she died.

Evidence collected near Wundrum’s body in the $139,500 townhouse Irsay had given her the year before included an “orange plate w/white powder, straw, razor.”

The County of San Diego leaps into print

Merits must be extolled

The County of San Diego, which already operates a high-dollar video news operation to extoll its merits, now wants to leap into print. According to an October 16 request for quotation posted online, the county’s ...

Fabiani splits with Lehane

The man San Diego fans love to hate

Chargers special counsel Mark Fabiani has finally split the business with his longtime Bill Clinton–era sidekick Chris Lehane, the similarly combative political and PR consultant whose 2013 movie Knife Fight about the rough-and-tumble business of ...

Spanos looks to maximize the Chargers

Los Angeles means wheeling and dealing with wealthy Democrats

Word that soon-to-retire Walt Disney Company chief executive Bob Iger is in line for similar duties with the Chargers if the organization is green-lighted by the NFL to head for Los Angeles marks yet another ...

San Diego’s billion-dollar BioWatch terrorism bust

Local military contractors main beneficiaries of high-tech boondoggle

While the latest bout of terrorist attacks has set off a frenzied search for government responses by panicked politicos, one costly federal program left over from post-9/11 days has turned into a big bust. So ...

Is U-T’s new downtown HQ jinxed?

Newspaper runs apparently altered photo of new home

A downtown office building built as the headquarters of fallen San Diego Republican kingpin Gordon Luce is soon to become a venue for what some media watchers anticipate will be the last stand of the ...

San Diegan’s Maui blowout takes on the Bee

Legislators and camp followers eat, imbibe, and lodge at posh Hawaiian resort

The word Maui has been a longtime stain on the reputation of the California legislature, according to critics of a San Diego–based nonprofit that gets little attention in the local paper but lots of ink ...

Flying first class? Better have a note from your doctor.

UCSD’s ailing ethics

UCSD’s ailing ethics When a purportedly sick UCSD professor and his researcher assistant fly first class with taxpayer money, auditors may later ask to see the prescription. So says a recently released University of California ...

Christina Chadwick has more than a friend at city hall

Relatively speaking

Christina Chadwick, vice president of communications at the Downtown San Diego Partnership, an outfit that lobbies for center city business and development interests, has more than a friend at city hall. Husband Scott Chadwick is ...

Friday the 13th: good luck for Eli Broad?

U-T owner roiled by talk of billionaire insider moves and private side deals

Tribune Publishing, the spun-off print stepchild of the once-mighty Chicago Tribune and Los Angeles Times media empire, is facing yet another fork in the road. Last week was filled with news about the company's 7 ...

The strings attached to SDSU's Confucius cash

Iron lady of Chinese government calls tough shots in education war

Buried in next week's agenda of the California State University’s board of trustees meeting is a $4 million item that could fuel an ongoing national controversy about the role Chinese big money is playing at ...

Juan Vargas, international hipster

Thanks to repeated free trips to Germany

Congressman Juan Vargas and his staff are getting ever more familiar with Germany, thanks to repeated free trips there provided by the German Marshall Fund of the United States and Robert Bosch Stiftung, two big ...

Sempra’s generosity

The best Italian cuisine in Brentwood, anyone?

The Constitution posits a barrier between church and state, but in California nothing can keep politicians and Sempra lobbyists apart, judging by the giant utility’s recent disclosure of its third quarter lobbying activities. On July ...

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