Back to profile

Stories by Matt Potter

Risks rise as San Diego's painted curbs fade

$4.8 million from color-zoned parking tickets

While San Diego streets and sidewalks appear like deathtraps to critics of the unregulated e-scooter industry, the city faces yet another risky urban challenge: mangled curb painting. "Painted curbs are important because they help convey ...

Can Soon-Shiong grab reporters' jewels?

Times Guild attacks billionaire's proposed intellectual property rules

Billionaire physician Patrick Soon-Shiong, who built a pharmaceutical fortune on owning intellectual property, is famous for zealously protecting his lucrative portfolio of patents and cancer cell lines. A year ago, he recruited noted patent guru ...

Investigations KPBS will not launch

Scott Peters, eternally fund-raising

SDSU’s money-raising newsies As the editorial clout of the Union-Tribune continues to fade under the reign of Los Angeles-based owner Patrick Soon-Shiong, other San Diego media outlets are jostling for a greater role in the ...

Gonzalez surrenders private prison money, gets cash from Ari Emanuel and Patrick Whitesell

The Trump and Bezos connections

When state Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez deployed a firehose of cash from her re-election campaign committee to jumpstart husband Nathan Fletcher's bid for a seat on the county board of supervisors last year, questions regarding ...

Kristin Gaspar may get Remer-ed, Sheriff Gore's van is rockin'

And Kosher vegetarian meals for inmates

Liberal Terra firma Political hopefuls continue to pile into next year’s San Diego races for city council and county supervisor, portending a costly scramble for votes as term limits continue to take their toll on ...

Rehab failures haunt Donovan prison

Audit links rising recidivism to therapy and training inadequacies

It's home to some of California's most infamous inmates, including Bobby Kennedy's killer Sirhan Sirhan, but one of the biggest black marks against the Robert J. Donovan Correction Facility on Otay Mesa may be its ...

Sheppard Mullin lobbies SDSU’s city deal

The unseen hands of Moores and McGrory

During last fall's war over the fate of what used to be Qualcomm Stadium and surrounding acreage, an éminence grise from the city's scandal-ridden history hovered over the political battlefield. Rancho Santa Fe's John Moores, ...

Mike Levin goes slumming, Scott Peters buys T-bills

UCSD chancellor Pradeep Khosla abully?

Democrats bonding It hasn’t taken new House Democrat Mike Levin, who won the seat of Republican Darrell Issa after a grueling campaign season last year, long to hit the road. “What I saw was an ...

Scooter riders flooding emergency rooms

Laws and regulations lag head injury emergency, study finds

While San Diego's city hall continues to dally on the regulation of so-called e-scooters and other transportation devices cluttering local streets and sidewalks, hard evidence has emerged from Los Angeles about the surging tide of ...

Barbara Bry empowering other women, running for San Diego mayor

L.A. Times hires make San Diego even smaller

Off and running on Facebook As the lineup of would-be San Diego mayors continues to grow, one candidate is already up on Facebook, dispatching oblique hits against Republican incumbent Kevin Faulconer and reinforcing the message ...

Democratic slugfest in San Diego city council race

School board money-raising champ jumps forward

Now that term limits have been imposed on the board at the San Diego Unified School District, incumbents there are looking around for their next gig. First to declare for higher office is Kevin Beiser, ...

L.A. Times writing more of Union-Tribune stories

Democrat designs on SD City Council

Downward trend The Los Angeles Times, owned by billionaire physician Patrick Soon-Shiong, is accelerating its not-so-stealthy creep into the editorial content of the San Diego Union-Tribune, also purchased by the pharmaceutical magnate last year as ...

Last hurrah in China for Ron Roberts

Ex-supervisor drains campaign fund for final blowout

Before he left office this month to make way for newly elected Democrat Nathan Fletcher, termed-out Republican county supervisor Ron Roberts took one final trip to China, using up a sizable portion of the remaining ...

Darrell Issa: I was like a Pavlovian dog

A foodie side to Patrick Soon-Shiong

Foodies’ rules Based on a new wave of help-wanted advertisements, the Los Angeles Times under the reign of billionaire physician Patrick Soon-Shiong is veering toward the kitchen. Eating well is a top Times hiring priority, ...

LimeBike greases San Diego palms

Community planning groups hit snag

DC undocked San Diego, widely known for its hands-off policing of e-scooters, is equally notorious among medics and insurance companies for rising shattered bone and head injury rates among the daring who partake in the ...

San Diego – Democrat stronghold?

L.A. Times to follow U-T down T.V. sinkhole

Left turn only The surprisingly lop-sided victory of Democrat Jen Campbell over eight-year Republican incumbent Lorie Zapf in San Diego’s second district city council race last month is boosting liberal interest in taking two of ...

Audit divides blame for San Diego's Hep A crisis

Bureaucratic foot-dragging cited for devastating downtown epidemic

A report by state auditor Elaine Howle released December 20 blames both city and county for the severity of last year's deadly Hepatitis A breakout in downtown San Diego, with lack of accountability by local ...

Faulconer takes money from Liberty Station chapel team

And then writes warning to them

Chapel of the lobbyists As an irate citizenry mustered to save the historic Naval Training Center’s house of worship from conversion to a bar and eatery, San Francisco developer Scott Seligman, who controls the property, ...

Manchester's Texas overrun balloons, lawsuit ensues

Austin project was "stepchild" to Chargers stadium, complaint says

It's a small world for Doug Manchester, the former Union-Tribune owner who made a failed bid to replace San Diego's ex-Qualcomm Stadium meant to lure an NFL replacement for the Chargers back in February 2017 ...

Manchester’s mystery money and Tom Barrack

San Diego-tied inaugural committee chief latest to face questions

Because of the Wall Street Journal's November 13 report that federal investigators are looking into spending and fundraising issues involving president Donald Trump's inaugural committee, eyes are returning to the two San Diego major money ...

Those Zapf entrepreneurs

Last free meals for Myrtle Cole

Chip off the old politico San Diego city councilwoman Lorie Zapf lost her Second District seat to Jen Campbell after a bitter battle of independent expenditure committees, but Zapf’s daughter Tana kept her job with ...

Peters declares for mayor, sort of

Campaign aide who got $33K says “We are looking at it."

With sharp-elbowed maneuvering to succeed termed-out San Diego Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer growing ever more intense backstage at city hall, a congressional staffer has put in a word for her boss. "We are looking at ...

General Atomics opens munitions sales office in India

E-catapult pushed by New Delhi's Gandhi blasted by Trump

One of San Diego county's most lucrative businesses is also one of its quietest, churning out politically-incorrect products that draw sparse local media coverage while playing a key role in the world munitions market and ...

Money squeezed from Get It Done, San Diego

Qualcomm hires opposition research team

Rough operators Qualcomm, the home-grown tech giant known locally for take-no-prisoners political plays, is quickly getting a national reputation for dirty tricks. A November 21 report by the New York Times outlines Qualcomm’s hiring of ...

Public integrity league shuts down

Republican Lincoln Club gets $18,000 refund from hit-piece sender

San Diego's Lincoln Club, which steps forward each election time on behalf of Republican candidates by savaging their opponents with hit pieces, has shut down its latest political committee, called the Public Integrity League Opposed ...

Liberty Station quietly sold for $71 million

San Francisco Giants mogul inked deal a week before Thanksgiving

Control of Liberty Station, obtained from the city of San Diego by the Republican mega-donor McMillin family during the controversial reign of GOP mayor Susan Golding in 1999, has quietly changed hands for more than ...

Uber joins Sempra in sugar daddy game

Barona treats Dems and Reps to free meals

Party before the storm Utility giant Sempra Energy and its subsidiary San Diego Gas & Electric, enmeshed in a bevy of California controversies — including an ongoing effort to resist so-called Community Choice Aggregation in ...

San Diego sole-source overrun soars by $7 million

Chronic change orders and departed workers plague permit system

A sole-source contract touted by development officials for bringing new efficiency to permit processing as it breezed through city council three years ago has come a cropper, according to a November 16 report by interim ...

Idle Navy attack subs hit by audit

$1.5 billion spent on vessels with "no operational capability"

The Navy's fleet of 51 attack submarines, a portion of which is based in San Diego, is suffering from a series of "significant maintenance delays and operating and support cost expenditures," that could jeopardize the ...

Scooter lobbyists behind scenes

Peters' help in ousting Zapf

e-scooter pay-off The Mineta Transportation Institute at San Jose State University is out with a study likely to gladden the hearts of San Diego e-scooter riders, plagued by a rash of accidents and beset by ...

Best and worst of times for Soon-Shiong

U-T owner's biotech tanks; Times hiring soars; Viesselman out

Patrick Soon-Shiong, reputed by some to be the richest man in Los Angeles and the wealthiest physician in America, is currently worth $6.8 billion, per a real-time ranking by Forbes, which as of November 20 ...

Did Qualcomm use GOP oppo research against Apple?

Jacobs family has long local history of deploying cash for political gains

Qualcomm's co-founder, Democrat Irwin Jacobs, is famous for high-dollar political intrigue, including attempts to alter the school board, conceal campaign money, and promote a massive parking garage in Balboa Park with well-timed cash for mayor ...

Zapf falls to Campbell

Anti-Trump off-shore drilling wasn’t enough to get Republican re-elected

Anti-Trump trumped A flurry of last-minute advertising on Facebook attacking president Donald Trump wasn’t enough to get Republican Lorie Zapf re-elected last week against anti-Trump Democrat Jen Campbell. “Lorie Zapf will stand up to Trump’s ...

Democrat Peters goes after McMillin

Faulconer funder under fire in Navy chapel-to-restaurant conversion

The gloves are off at San Diego city hall as mayor Kevin Faulconer and fellow Republican Lorie Zapf discover that newly empowered Democrats are not likely to play nice, given their new House majority in ...

Phil Rath fined again

San Diego influence peddler sanctioned $5000 by state

Phil Rath, a prominent member of San Diego's well-compensated local influence peddling corps and chairman of the board of Civic San Diego, has agreed to pay a $5000 fine to settle conflict-of-interest charges brought against ...

Israel treats La Mesa bureaucrat

L.A. Times resumes voter guide

La Mesa’s foreign freebies Taking off on an all-expense paid junket to the Middle East, courtesy of a non-profit fund closely tied to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, which styles itself as “America’s pro-Israel ...

Developer Moores in last-minute SDSU money move

Will the baseball stadium plaques come back?

Ex-Padres owner John Moores, long a lurker around the margins of San Diego State University's attempts to take control of the city-owned acreage formerly known as Qualcomm Stadium, has finally outed himself. On November 2, ...

Chevron, builders, and trash hauler counter union cash

San Diego Council Moreno-Martinez, Zapf-Campbell races get attention

Last minute money has been arriving in torrents during the final week of San Diego's Campaign '18 and is being spent in record amounts, funneled through a byzantine network of political committees that make it ...

Former Union-Tribune cartoonist Steve Kelley goes to Pittsburgh

Paul McCartney venue in Rancho Santa Fe for sale

Kelley’s next stand Former Union-Tribune political cartoonist Steve Kelley, who departed the paper in the aftermath of a 2001 dispute over “butt cracks” he allegedly snuck into print, is back behind the inkwell, this time ...

Duncan Hunter's smoke-filled spending

Firm tied to smoking, vaping, and misused Facebook data gets $50K

Republican congressman Duncan Hunter, fighting for his political life in the wake of a federal indictment for campaign finance violations, has called upon the services of a consulting firm linked to a controversial Wisconsin political ...

Second District hit pieces leave murky money trail

Avoiding discredit for the mire of San Diego politics

The fundraising battle between two political committees waging a war of hit pieces against their foes in San Diego's Second District city council race currently favors the Republican incumbent, thanks to a fresh cash infusion ...

John Cox or Venezuela

Alpine Chamber gets $75K for Snow Festival, Christmas Parade, and honey event

Bombs away San Diego’s bigger-than-life public art world is in turmoil. A proposed million-dollar pair of oversized plastic straws designed in Los Angeles to grace the entrance of San Diego’s new toilet-to-tap water plant has ...

Cops endorse SDSU West, get $5K from SoccerCity foe

Last minute real estate money flows to San Diego Police Officers Association PAC

The lobbying unit for San Diego police - pouring cash into four city council races – now has helpers in the form of Mission Valley real estate titan Thomas W. Sudberry, Jr. and Los Angeles ...

Scandal for profit

Is L.A.'s Soon-Shiong casting San Diego to fill content maw?

Can a revived investigative reporting push be the key to saving the Union-Tribune from losing its identity, as well as its already dwindling advertising business, to its big northern sibling, the Los Angeles Times? Or ...

L.A.Times gets Big Willie and Room 20

U-T gets “Who gets to keep the dog in a divorce?”

Jerry’s female side The San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce Political Action Committee led by Republican ex-mayor and former police chief Jerry Sanders has come up with a creative name for its latest political venture: ...

November's ballot looms, but June cleanup continues

Two San Diego city council hopefuls cough up ethics fines

As the November finish for some bitterly-fought campaigns approaches, San Diego's ethics commission has been cleaning up legal loose ends left over from June's electoral contests, with costly outcomes for two failed city council hopefuls. ...

SDSU backer kicks in against rent control

Big San Diego landlords ante up against local option

Local development giant H.G. Fenton, battling against the incursion of proposed SoccerCity into the Mission Valley real estate franchise it shares alongside burgeoning Sudberry Properties, has spent a total of $1,502,865 this year as of ...

Atkins garners horse money, DeMaio frets about gas tax repeal title

Fletcher and spouse do Chinese fire drill with committees

Tax dollars at play Now that termed-out San Diego county supervisor Greg Cox has become president of the National Association of Counties, insiders are on the lookout for a flood of staff junketing. The first ...

Unions back city hall incumbents, with one exception

Cops' money is on one Democrat, two Republicans

With one deep-pocketed exception, local labor unions prefer city hall incumbents, whether Democrat or Republican, based on the most recent campaign expense data on file with the city clerk's office. In the hotly contested Fourth ...

Union-Tribune's chief photographer heads for the Times

Longtime San Diegan morphs into L.A.'s deputy of transformation.

Though locals would be none the wiser, the Union-Tribune may soon be stripped of its best longtime talents, signaling to worried insiders that the hometown daily could be on the precipice of being subsumed into ...

Let’s Be Friends

Subscribe for local event alerts, concerts tickets, promotions and more from the San Diego Reader

Close