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Stories by Matt Potter

San Diego vacation renters' trash eyed

Skids greased for Wheels Labs e-bikes

Short-termers’ trashy haul Online vacation rentals of less than a month, already at the center of a popular storm regarding traffic, noise, and zoning, now have another challenge to contend with. “Our investigation determined that ...

Todd Gloria spends some cool cash

Newspaper gift, Kamala Harris, and Pride Weekend flights consume political funds

When Assembly Democrat Todd Gloria closed down his 2018 reelection committee back in March, the former San Diego city councilman rolled $293,078 of remaining cash into his 2020 reelection fund, spending the balance of the ...

Four-star Omni stay for Duncan Hunter aide

General Atomics gets $92 million contract for border work

Ethical vacation As his boss twisted slowly in the winds of federal jurisprudence, a top employee of indicted Republican House member Duncan Hunter took off with his wife for a round of ethics training at ...

Streetlight spy shakeup hits San Diego city hall

Ousted chief airs sexual harassment charge, pay complaints

The ex-chief of San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer's controversial <a streetlights that spy program has filed suit against the city, charging gender discrimination and retaliation for leading an investigation into an "egregious" sexual harassment case ...

State auditor attacks SDSU for dearth of student parking

San Diego city water staffers dinged

Qualcomm time bomb As the clock continues to tick on super-secret talks between San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer and the California University System over turning over the city-owned stadium formerly known as Qualcomm to San ...

UCSD heist costs USC $50 million

Battle of the So-Cal research titans capped by self-denigration

A high-profile 2015 raid by the University of Southern California on the University of California San Diego's home-grown but disgruntled Alzheimer's research unit will cost the Los Angeles school $50 million, according to the terms ...

Russian hackers haunt San Diego Electronic Poll Book

Slow votes vie with cybersecurity

It's being pitched as the latest voting reform elixir, widely adopted by counties across the country, but a call for proposals to create and operate a so-called electronic voting book system for the San Diego ...

San Diego's unsupervised tree trimming

What will Shirley Weber's policy on restive students do?

Trees falling in the city The ungraceful demise of La Jolla’s semi-famous Lorax Tree may be only the beginning. San Diego’s urban forest has grown increasingly unruly, and much of the blame lies with not ...

Maienschein, Sara Jacobs, Sempra push San Diego Democrats way ahead

$220,974 in first half of 2019 compared to the GOP's $83,950

An ex-Republican politico, a super-rich heiress with future office in mind, a giant power company, a Beverly Hills outfit seeking to preserve its lucrative Mission Bay leasehold, and lots of labor unions have helped keep ...

Faulconer, Atkins, Fletcher step quickly to mask GEO support

Nathan Fletcher routes money to wife Lorena Gonzalez – "amazing work she does"

Nooses GEO Group, the private prison provider and political sugar daddy to a bevy of local elected officials ranging from Republican mayor Kevin Faulconer to state Senate Democratic Pro Tem Toni Atkins and Assembly Democrat ...

Mara Elliott sets four blasts for campaign cash

2020 fundraising by San Diego incumbents could surpass all records

The approach of the 2020 presidential election season heralds the beginning of a frantic fundraising time for San Diego city officeholders aiming to stave off reelection challenges next year with campaign war chests bankrolled by ...

San Diego city data employee stays at ZaZa, risqué fantasy hotel

Jack McGrory co-sponsors event for Terra Lawson-Remer

Decadent dungeon Serena Blanks, a data center manager for the city of San Diego, was off on a mid-May overnight excursion to Houston, Texas, where she was put up in the city’s luxury four-star Hotel ...

Mayor O'Connor, Union-Tribune owner, McDonald's heiress on Today show

When women ruled San Diego – 30 years ago

The following comes from a Reader story published on June 1, 1989. It's ten minutes before one o'clock, Thursday afternoon. The crew of the Today show is in Seaport Village about to begin taping a ...

Campland gives big to Campbell

Lobbyists furnish political services, campaign cash

News that Campland on The Bay, the legacy recreational vehicle park on the northeast corner of Mission Bay, is rapidly closing in on a five-year lease extension from city hall is casting a spotlight on ...

San Diego State window on wealth at the top

Juan Vargas gets money from Warren Buffett PAC

Quid pro SDSU The arrival on Montezuma Mesa of San Diego State University’s latest president Adela de la Torre, who officially took control of the school in a flashy April 11 inaugural, has marked the ...

Moores and minions grab no-bid Aztec Stadium deal

Naming rights hawked by L.A.’s Legends

The raw power of San Diego's big money politics is again on display with news that a company founded by ex-Padres owner John Moores will take over development of San Diego State University's proposed Mission ...

Duncan Hunter aide junkets free on U.N. Foundation tab

Off-topic at the Ramona Town Hall meeting

The theme of the day at House member Duncan Hunter's Ramona town hall meeting Sunday was supposed to be "The Border, Then and Now," though the indicted ex-Marine GOP congressman's off-topic discussion of his selfie ...

SDSU's Campanile Foundation dinged by auditors

Toni Atkins campaign fat with money

Campanile delinquents Money-handling by San Diego State University’s non-profit Campanile Foundation, which features a glittering array of local movers and shakers on its board, has once again run afoul of auditors for the California State ...

Lorena Gonzalez, Nathan Fletcher – biggest pigs at freebie trough

Hueso, Maienschein, Gloria, Atkins – runners-up

Lorena’s suite life A bevy of state politicos found their way into a San Diego Native American casino to slake their thirst and partake in luxury dining during the first three months of 2019. Topping ...

GEO Group finances Faulconer turkey hand-outs

Charity giving but not really

Many of San Diego's biggest and most controversial special interests continue to give to One San Diego, the charity set up by Republican Kevin Faulconer, which among its good works pays for the free turkeys ...

Fox Sports shares naming rights to Qualcomm stadium, plus manages it

Mayor Faulconer wants PR firm for final lap

Tired ethics network Republican Bill Baber, a member of the San Diego’s city ethics commission, has drawn a warning from the state’s Fair Political Practices Commission for his work on behalf of a political committee ...

Pelosi rules San Diego campaign cash war

Moores ex-wife, anti-nuke lawyer trounce Republican cable mogul

Democrats continued to lead the pack of San Diego county donors to federal campaigns during the first four months of 2019, with Escondido lawyer and nuclear proliferation opponent Ira Lechner, with legal roots in Washington ...

Toni Atkins seeks speechwriter to crank up the volume

Top pro tem aide pulling down $229,000, staff director gets $204,000

Toni Atkins, President Pro Tempore of the California Senate is looking to hire a speechwriter. "The Office of Communications for Senator Atkins has the responsibility to lead all strategic communications efforts for the Senator," says ...

Georgette Gomez – errand girl for San Diego hotels

Bang! wants social media help for its porno site

Get out of jail money San Diego city council Democrat Georgette Gomez, who brokered last month’s 5-4 council deal to advance the date of the convention center expansion ballot measure from November to March of ...

North Island Navy jet repair depot hit by audit

Condition of combat aircraft fix-it facility labeled "poor"

San Diego's Fleet Readiness Center Southwest at Naval Air Station North Island is badly broken and must be fixed to avoid a big hit on the nation's combat readiness, says an audit by the U.S. ...

San Diego political ethics fines down in 2018, but why?

Voice of San Diego defends Jacobs pull-out from Balboa Park

Black box for corruption Political ethics are improving at San Diego’s city hall — if last year’s drastic drop in financial penalties meted out by the city ethics commission is an accurate gauge. There could ...

Bay Area billionaires bankroll Mark Kersey

Charter school cash flows into ex-Republican's coffers

The race to succeed termed-out Republican Kevin Faulconer as mayor of San Diego reached a new level of intrigue with the Monday, April 29 announcement by city councilman Mark Kersey that he is departing the ...

Mara Elliott warns city council on Brown Act

City employees accused of personal internet use, long breaks

Illegal secrecy San Diego city council members are at risk of breaking the state’s so-called open meeting law if they ask too many questions during closed-door sessions with mayor Kevin Faulconer about his behind-the-scenes dealings ...

AEG and H&S lobbyists vying for fresh Sports Arena deal

San Diego seeks new operators

After more than a year of closed-door negotiations with AEG Worldwide to extend the company's lease of what is currently known as Pechanga Arena San Diego, the city has launched a public solicitation for possible ...

San Diego Marine pilots handicapped by tight airspace and ammo

Protection of endangered species, safety make training tougher

A formerly secret, still redacted Pentagon audit has revealed key "capability and capacity gaps" at Marine Corps Air Station Yuma across the state line in Arizona, the top desert training ground for Marine fighter pilots ...

Campo –small town rich in drama

Naked monks, Tecate train, Luman gunfight, 2004 fire, sand trucks, selfish developers, Campo Diner, vigilante Minutemen

Complications of Tijuana to Tecate to Campo train Ten federal agents waiting at the railway museum are demanding that the train continue onto its last stop in Campo and be cleared through customs before anybody ...

Mayor Faulconer walking fine line between Trump lovers and haters

Will Patrick Soon-Shiong have the patience of Citizen Kane?

Faulconer’s two-faced fundraising San Diego mayor Kevin Faulconer keeps punting questions about how he feels regarding fellow Republican Donald Trump, neatly sidestepping criticism or support for the president and his immigration crackdown. “I asked Faulconer ...

San Diego pothole repairs failing at record rate, but...

...slurry seal chief gets free Forty-Niners road trip

Richard Eugene Matter, Jr., Assistant Director of San Diego's transportation and stormwater department has been meted out a $500 fine for failing to disclose a $488 gift of travel, lodging, and admission to a San ...

Susan Davis returns to the trough – in Israel

UCSD chancellor seeks online snooper

Freebies, right and left Democratic congresswoman Susan Davis, already one of the most well-traveled members in House history, was off to Tel Aviv and Jerusalem in February, courtesy of the liberal J Street Education Fund. ...

Pay disparities rock San Diego's city hall

White men: $98,026, Black women: $59,816

San Diego's male firefighters have a significant edge when it comes to collecting chunks of lucrative overtime pay, leaving the annual salaries of the few women in the Fire-Rescue department far behind their male counterparts ...

Check out ties, briefcases from San Diego Public Library

Pot cafe PAC donates to Bill Baber and Chuck Lowery

San Diego VA lowlights The Department of Veterans Affairs “February Highlights” report has just disclosed a heretofore unrevealed incident of violence in San Diego. “A veteran was arrested on charges related to knocking over objects ...

SDSU $575-an-hour lobbying deal revealed

JMI Moores lawyer in on secret Qualcomm land talks

When last we checked in on closed-door negotiations between the city of San Diego, led by Republican Mayor Kevin Faulconer, and the California State University system regarding the city-owned real estate once known as Qualcomm ...

City of San Diego wants dockless scooter secrets

Big Brother will know exactly where you are

Smart Cities Week in San Diego is coming up next month, but is California's second-largest city one of America's dumbest places when it comes to knowing about what is going on in high-technology's netherworld of ...

Larry Remer and Nancy Chase – warriors in Todd Gloria campaign

Jimbo's hires lobbyist to fight Horton Plaza lease

Chasing Larry Remer If there was ever any question that next year’s race for mayor of San Diego would get nasty and expensive in a hurry, it’s been dispelled by the March 4 disclosure filing ...

Union-Tribune online numbers plunge 22.44 percent

Can Soon-Shiong hit five million L.A. Times subs?

A bold new digital subscription prediction by Los Angeles-based Patrick Soon-Shiong regarding the L.A. Times, which he bought last June for $500 million-plus and has since infused with $150 million worth of staff salaries, along ...

Scott Peters gift to Duke just coincidental?

U-T searching for someone to get photos in order

Old school money In the wake of last week’s national college admission scandal, a kingpin of La Jolla’s burgeoning upscale SAT cram school industry went after William Rick Singer, the Newport Beach-based alleged perpetrator of ...

Hawkins Way uses San Diego's Procopio lawyers to lobby city hall for downtown evictions

Beverly Hill firm behind the closing of the Plaza Hotel

As the rush to gentrify downtown San Diego by evicting low-income residents continues apace, the specter of lobbyists pushing clients' projects through city hall and picking up sizable public subsidies is growing. A prime example ...

San Diego cops release streetlight spy cam rules

Video cannot “harass, intimidate, or discriminate against any individual or group”

More than a year after San Diego launched a video and audio surveillance network incorporated into 3200 streetlights, the police department has finally released new rules spelling out how the system is used by law ...

Susan Davis meets with Illumina, Inc., picks up Ilumina stock

Union-Tribune axes Spanish-language Hoy

Work and pleasure mixed House Democrat Susan Davis has been stocking up on holdings of Facebook, the social media giant that critics say needs more federal regulation to reign in its privacy poking. During the ...

KFMB's Elisabeth Kimmel caught in Georgetown admission bribe

$244,000 allegedly paid to tennis coach Gordie Ernst

A former pillar of San Diego's Republican media establishment has wound up as a key figure in the nation's sprawling college admission scam in which wealthy parents allegedly forked over big money to bribe their ...

First public meeting on San Diego's surveillance via streetlight

Move comes after months of inside turmoil, cop concerns

Following months of uncertainty regarding the low-profile rollout of San Diego's so-called smart streetlights, equipped with spy cams, shot-spotters, and related intelligence gathering gear, officials have called a community meeting in Southeastern San Diego to ...

Hacker stalls Port of San Diego's video spy network

"Search capabilities identify men, women, children, and vehicles with speed and precision"

When an unknown hacker brought the Port of San Diego to its knees last September, a key casualty of the ransomware attack was a push by staffers there to assemble a network of 400 video ...

Irwin Jacobs' loyalist Todd Gloria gets his reward

UT unwittingly resurrects Kearny Mesa Sunroad scandal

Irwin’s secret agent “You’re invited to our fundraising kick-off on Thursday, February 28th at the home of Christine Forester,” said an invitation by state Assemblyman and San Diego mayoral candidate Todd Gloria, facing off against ...

Lorena Gonzalez and Nathan Fletcher go to Disneyland for free

Magic Kingdom, NBC Universal, Pebble Beach top yearly political gratuities

It's almost spring, time once again for desert flowers to bloom and the annual appearance of Assembly Democrat Lorena Gonzalez and family members at the gates of Disneyland. Gonzalez – who recently declared she will ...

Secrecy cloaks SDSU's Mission Valley land deal

Lobbying costs hidden as CSU spurns public records request

As the California State University system pushes forward with its efforts to grab a major chunk of Mission Valley for "SDSU West" and a new stadium costing a currently estimated $250 million, negotiations between the ...

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