County Supervisor Bill Horn attends a meeting of the San Diego County Board of Supervisors | Photo by Sam Hodgson

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The gifts that keep on giving

San Diego has five county supervisors who wield enormous power throughout their five districts — Greg Cox (District 1), Dianne Jacob (District 2), Dave Roberts (District 3), Ron Roberts (District 4) and Bill Horn (District 5).

Each year, these supervisors have $2 million to give to nonprofits and government agencies through something called the Neighborhood Reinvestment Program.

In June, inewsource examined the past 16 years of these payments broken down by individual supervisor.

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This week, we looked at how many of those grant recipients have given back, either through gifts or public recognition, as well as the supervisors who accepted these gratuities — despite a ban set up in 2010 to stop that from happening.

From the story:

“Supervisors have also been recognized more than half a dozen times in places like theater programs and websites since the ban went into effect.

“Although the number and amounts are not large, two county grand jury reports have underscored the relevance of gifts and recognition from grant recipients. Both called for greater transparency in the process.”

Read Leo Castaneda’s whole story here, where you can also search the grant history for each supervisor.

Hospice whistleblower awarded damages

The nurse who filed a whistleblower lawsuit nearly two years ago claiming San Diego Hospice admitted people into care who weren’t eligible will be awarded damages, inewsource has learned.

San Diego Hospice, formerly one of the largest and most respected hospices in the country, declared bankruptcy and closed its doors in early 2013, amid a two-year federal audit and allegations it accepted people into care who weren’t imminently dying.

We spent several months last year digging into the story behind San Diego Hospice, documenting hospice patients, families and doctors who deal with end of life decisions.

Read Joanne Faryon’s new story about the whistleblower’s lawsuit here.

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What’s a PAC, anyway?

So far, Scott Peters and Carl DeMaio have raised nearly $4.7 million in their race for control of the 52nd Congressional district (excluding loans and self-financing).

Outside special interest groups that aren’t connected to either campaign have been raising and spending money for and against the candidates for months. Some have even been making six-figure ad buys, and Joe Yerardi — our “Follow the Money” guru — wrote this quick explainer for those of us who may have a hard time telling the difference between a PAC, Super-PAC and politically-active nonprofits.

Explain it to us like we’re five, Joe.

Brad Racino is the assistant editor and senior investigative reporter at inewsource. He's a big fan of transparency, whistleblowers and government agencies forgetting to redact key information from FOIA requests. Brad received his master’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri...

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