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Don Bauder and the Reader

Excerpts from his favorite stories

How Bauder came to write for the Reader:

My wife and I had bought Colorado land in 1999, and hired a builder who constructed our home on 36 acres. It was ready in early 2003. We kept all this quiet because I was on Herb Klein’s assassination list because of my opposition to billionaire pro team owners getting taxpayers to finance their stadiums. We kept our intention to move from even our best friends. But when we found a buyer for our Mt. Helix home, we had three of our favorite rabble-rousers — Donna Frye, Bruce Henderson, and Mike Aguirre, and their spouses — to a dinner at which we announced our intention to leave San Diego.

At age 67, I still wanted to write and report. I asked Bruce Henderson to approach Jim Holman, editor and publisher of the Reader. Jim quickly offered me a job. For the next 15-plus years, I wrote about San Diego from rural Colorado in a home surrounded on three sides by 14,000 foot peaks. But in summer of 2018, I began to have severe chest pains — familiar to me, because I had had a heart attack in 1981 at age 45 and quadruple bypass surgery, which I had again 1990. Cardiologists said arteries were filling up again. Sadly, in October I had to inform Jim that my career was finished at age 82.

Bauder's favorite stories he wrote (excerpts by editor):

The Bahamas’ Paradise Island Bridge, which brought gamblers to a reputedly mobbed-up casino.
  • Nixon’s Swiss Stash

  • Anthony Summers, author of The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon, wrote that according to documents seized by the Internal Revenue Service, the Nixon deposits in Cosmos were under the heading “N&R.” In the 1980s, Nixon, sometimes accompanied by his wife Pat and sometimes by Rebozo, “traveled to Zurich every single year,” according to Summers’s book. (July 18, 2012)
Son, grandsons, Conrad. Eric and Conrad maintained a friendship for 35 years.
  • Billionaire Conrad Prebys cut his son out of will

  • (We followed this up with several stories)
  • By a strange twist of fate, a letter that Eric Prebys wrote to one of his sons, along with Conrad Prebys's Gift Trust #13, got online. A source of mine found them. Eric Prebys wrote to his son Jake, explaining the trust, "As you can see, there are specific clauses exempting me from receiving any money," he wrote. I counted six paragraphs specifically exempting Eric, who had expected to inherit $20 million. (May 18, 2017)
  • The Convention Center Liars

  • Heywood Sanders, the ranking national expert on convention centers, discovered vast discrepancies in San Diego Convention Center numbers. Basically, what Sanders found was that in many cases when actual attendance declined from the forecast, the number of room nights cited in the report stayed the same. This means that the center has been systematically overstating hotel room nights, and therefore overstating hotel tax receipts, attendee spending, and the center’s impact on the overall San Diego economy. (Dec. 14, 2011)
HIV attacking cell. San Diego high society was obsessed with the prospect of Dr. Salk developing a cure for AIDS.
  • Biotech research hardly unbiased

  • Although I was able to get negative information about the company into the U-T, as was Penni Crabtree, the paper’s medical and science writers often hit a brick wall. “The top editors would go to social events and hear about Immune Response and Salk’s role in it,” recalls one who wrote for the paper at the time. This hometown-booster bias quickly floated down to lower editors, who would spike negative information on Salk’s company, or on Salk himself. (Aug. 29, 2018)
  • Edison, SDGE, lies and double-dealing

  • The community feared that Edison, with its snug relationship with the California Public Utilities Commission and its lobbying power, would have an easier time picking San Diegans’ pockets than San Diego Gas & Electric would. Members of the San Diego Gas & Electric board, holding fistfuls of stock, would rake in bucks, because Edison’s final bid was starkly above the market value of San Diego Gas & Electric stock. (July 3, 2018)
La Jolla–based Scripps Research Institute lapped up fat subsidies — almost $600 million in various incentives — to open this Scripps Florida facility.
  • Over $1 million per subsidized job

  • Then-Governor Jeb Bush seduced La Jolla’s Scripps Research Institute with almost $600 million in various kinds of incentives, both from the state and from Palm Beach County. The facility, which opened in 2009, now has 400 employees. Before long, two more San Diego biotech research tanks lapped up fat subsidies to put branches in Florida. Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute raked in $310 million to set up shop at Lake Nona in Orlando. (May 25, 2011)
  • Bridgepoint: Bad for Students, Good for Gamblers?

  • (One of many on Bridgeport and for-profit colleges.)
  • Bridgepoint pulled a slick one the last week of January. For several years, investigators from the U.S. Department of Education have been probing the student-recruitment techniques of Ashford University, Bridgepoint’s major school, in which 99 percent of the students are online. The results came out early Monday, January 24. The thrust of the government’s report was negative. (Feb. 2, 2011)
Barry Minkow playing himself. One reviewer: “Minkow can’t act a lick."
  • Barry Minkow Movie Is Finally Out

  • (One of many on Rev. Minkow, recidivist)
  • This month, the new movie came out. Name: Con Man. It is not getting good reviews. “Minkow can’t act a lick and his interactions with the rest of the cast are painful,” says James Barber of Military.com, which bills the movie as “the weirdest movie of the year.” (March 22, 2018)
  • San Diego Justice

  • (This is how Moores and Peregrine board got a wrist slap for massive scam.)
  • Between 1999 and 2001, Peregrine falsely inflated its revenue by 40 percent. Throughout that entire period, Gardner told the public that the company was doing wonderfully. But during that fraud period, Gardner was telling the board that Peregrine was doing poorly and, worse, breaking the rules: the auditors were unhappy with the phony accounting, regulators were cracking down. (July 12, 2007)
  • Wolf on Wall Street? No. Scumbag.

  • (Deals with late San Diegan Amr Elgindy who helped expose Belfort. Elgindy later killed himself and we were first to report that.)
  • As a young man, Elgindy worked for smelly brokerages and pushed Belfort-like junk. He admits being a scumbag. But then he switched to sniffing out stocks that were overpriced or fraudulent in some way. He would short those stocks (bet that they would go down) and also post his negative comments in chat rooms and on his own website. (Jan. 29, 2014)
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Comments
1

Right there in the lede, Bauder, you admitted what I've been calling you out on for years -- that you were acting as a personal propaganda spokesman for Mike Aguirre (a "rabble-rouser" who failed as city attorney and received barely 5 percent of the vote when he ran for mayor). You were in bed with him, and thus you were not a credible reporter.

You were and are a conspiracy theorist, and you still have not apologized for insulting Filner's victims and framing the whole situation as a "lynching." There's still time for you to apologize so long as the Reader is still giving you a platform despite your "retirement" (hint: don't be Sugar Ray Leonard -- stay retired). Consider apologizing.

Otherwise, it's a good thing you're gone. In the age of Trump, we don't need any more sexist conspiracy theorists.

Feb. 17, 2019

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Conrad Prebys, his son Eric, and the two grandsons. Eric Prebys wrote to his son Jake, explaining the trust.
Conrad Prebys, his son Eric, and the two grandsons. Eric Prebys wrote to his son Jake, explaining the trust.

How Bauder came to write for the Reader:

My wife and I had bought Colorado land in 1999, and hired a builder who constructed our home on 36 acres. It was ready in early 2003. We kept all this quiet because I was on Herb Klein’s assassination list because of my opposition to billionaire pro team owners getting taxpayers to finance their stadiums. We kept our intention to move from even our best friends. But when we found a buyer for our Mt. Helix home, we had three of our favorite rabble-rousers — Donna Frye, Bruce Henderson, and Mike Aguirre, and their spouses — to a dinner at which we announced our intention to leave San Diego.

At age 67, I still wanted to write and report. I asked Bruce Henderson to approach Jim Holman, editor and publisher of the Reader. Jim quickly offered me a job. For the next 15-plus years, I wrote about San Diego from rural Colorado in a home surrounded on three sides by 14,000 foot peaks. But in summer of 2018, I began to have severe chest pains — familiar to me, because I had had a heart attack in 1981 at age 45 and quadruple bypass surgery, which I had again 1990. Cardiologists said arteries were filling up again. Sadly, in October I had to inform Jim that my career was finished at age 82.

Bauder's favorite stories he wrote (excerpts by editor):

The Bahamas’ Paradise Island Bridge, which brought gamblers to a reputedly mobbed-up casino.
  • Nixon’s Swiss Stash

  • Anthony Summers, author of The Arrogance of Power: The Secret World of Richard Nixon, wrote that according to documents seized by the Internal Revenue Service, the Nixon deposits in Cosmos were under the heading “N&R.” In the 1980s, Nixon, sometimes accompanied by his wife Pat and sometimes by Rebozo, “traveled to Zurich every single year,” according to Summers’s book. (July 18, 2012)
Son, grandsons, Conrad. Eric and Conrad maintained a friendship for 35 years.
  • Billionaire Conrad Prebys cut his son out of will

  • (We followed this up with several stories)
  • By a strange twist of fate, a letter that Eric Prebys wrote to one of his sons, along with Conrad Prebys's Gift Trust #13, got online. A source of mine found them. Eric Prebys wrote to his son Jake, explaining the trust, "As you can see, there are specific clauses exempting me from receiving any money," he wrote. I counted six paragraphs specifically exempting Eric, who had expected to inherit $20 million. (May 18, 2017)
  • The Convention Center Liars

  • Heywood Sanders, the ranking national expert on convention centers, discovered vast discrepancies in San Diego Convention Center numbers. Basically, what Sanders found was that in many cases when actual attendance declined from the forecast, the number of room nights cited in the report stayed the same. This means that the center has been systematically overstating hotel room nights, and therefore overstating hotel tax receipts, attendee spending, and the center’s impact on the overall San Diego economy. (Dec. 14, 2011)
HIV attacking cell. San Diego high society was obsessed with the prospect of Dr. Salk developing a cure for AIDS.
  • Biotech research hardly unbiased

  • Although I was able to get negative information about the company into the U-T, as was Penni Crabtree, the paper’s medical and science writers often hit a brick wall. “The top editors would go to social events and hear about Immune Response and Salk’s role in it,” recalls one who wrote for the paper at the time. This hometown-booster bias quickly floated down to lower editors, who would spike negative information on Salk’s company, or on Salk himself. (Aug. 29, 2018)
  • Edison, SDGE, lies and double-dealing

  • The community feared that Edison, with its snug relationship with the California Public Utilities Commission and its lobbying power, would have an easier time picking San Diegans’ pockets than San Diego Gas & Electric would. Members of the San Diego Gas & Electric board, holding fistfuls of stock, would rake in bucks, because Edison’s final bid was starkly above the market value of San Diego Gas & Electric stock. (July 3, 2018)
La Jolla–based Scripps Research Institute lapped up fat subsidies — almost $600 million in various incentives — to open this Scripps Florida facility.
  • Over $1 million per subsidized job

  • Then-Governor Jeb Bush seduced La Jolla’s Scripps Research Institute with almost $600 million in various kinds of incentives, both from the state and from Palm Beach County. The facility, which opened in 2009, now has 400 employees. Before long, two more San Diego biotech research tanks lapped up fat subsidies to put branches in Florida. Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute raked in $310 million to set up shop at Lake Nona in Orlando. (May 25, 2011)
  • Bridgepoint: Bad for Students, Good for Gamblers?

  • (One of many on Bridgeport and for-profit colleges.)
  • Bridgepoint pulled a slick one the last week of January. For several years, investigators from the U.S. Department of Education have been probing the student-recruitment techniques of Ashford University, Bridgepoint’s major school, in which 99 percent of the students are online. The results came out early Monday, January 24. The thrust of the government’s report was negative. (Feb. 2, 2011)
Barry Minkow playing himself. One reviewer: “Minkow can’t act a lick."
  • Barry Minkow Movie Is Finally Out

  • (One of many on Rev. Minkow, recidivist)
  • This month, the new movie came out. Name: Con Man. It is not getting good reviews. “Minkow can’t act a lick and his interactions with the rest of the cast are painful,” says James Barber of Military.com, which bills the movie as “the weirdest movie of the year.” (March 22, 2018)
  • San Diego Justice

  • (This is how Moores and Peregrine board got a wrist slap for massive scam.)
  • Between 1999 and 2001, Peregrine falsely inflated its revenue by 40 percent. Throughout that entire period, Gardner told the public that the company was doing wonderfully. But during that fraud period, Gardner was telling the board that Peregrine was doing poorly and, worse, breaking the rules: the auditors were unhappy with the phony accounting, regulators were cracking down. (July 12, 2007)
  • Wolf on Wall Street? No. Scumbag.

  • (Deals with late San Diegan Amr Elgindy who helped expose Belfort. Elgindy later killed himself and we were first to report that.)
  • As a young man, Elgindy worked for smelly brokerages and pushed Belfort-like junk. He admits being a scumbag. But then he switched to sniffing out stocks that were overpriced or fraudulent in some way. He would short those stocks (bet that they would go down) and also post his negative comments in chat rooms and on his own website. (Jan. 29, 2014)
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Comments
1

Right there in the lede, Bauder, you admitted what I've been calling you out on for years -- that you were acting as a personal propaganda spokesman for Mike Aguirre (a "rabble-rouser" who failed as city attorney and received barely 5 percent of the vote when he ran for mayor). You were in bed with him, and thus you were not a credible reporter.

You were and are a conspiracy theorist, and you still have not apologized for insulting Filner's victims and framing the whole situation as a "lynching." There's still time for you to apologize so long as the Reader is still giving you a platform despite your "retirement" (hint: don't be Sugar Ray Leonard -- stay retired). Consider apologizing.

Otherwise, it's a good thing you're gone. In the age of Trump, we don't need any more sexist conspiracy theorists.

Feb. 17, 2019

Sign in to comment

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