Thursday, March 16, 2006

Let's Make a Bad Deal

As San Diego sinks into ever-deeper debt, Brooke Williams and Danielle Cervantes of The San Diego Union-Tribune investigated what the city does with the more than 700 pieces of real estate that it leases to farmers, hotel owners and others. They found that the city has entered into many bad deals with politically connected tenants, sometimes locking itself into long-term deals at low rates and sometimes receiving no rent at all. Because the city keeps such bad records of its property deals, The Union-Tribune team created its own database of more than 5,000 figures to track how well, or poorly, San Diego manages its property. This is an excellent example of investigative reporting that follows the money to produce a story of great importance to taxpayers.


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