Eric Wolff
Journalist

Profiles and Narratives

High Security At Koch Conclave
Buzzfeed Politics, June 24, 2012
The Koch Brothers have locked down a resort hotel in this breezy San Diego suburb for their annual conservative conference, a gathering that directs a funnel of money to their favored conservative causes with the goal of pulling both America and the Republican Party hard to the right.

Fewer houses on market ignite bidding wars among buyers
North County Times, April 7, 2012
This is the sound of the ice breaking in the housing market:

"These last three weeks, we had a lot of movement. Everything we bid had three or four offers." ---- Lola Whiteside, Temecula real estate agent.
"I'm seeing up to six or seven bids. We're pulling our hair out here, literally trying to find houses for people. I haven't been this busy since the boom." ---- Michael Lambert, Carlsbad broker.
"A new bank-owned came on today. It was a parade through that house. We had to get out, because four other people came through. They all want that screaming deal." ---- Diane Conaway, Escondido broker.
After a year in which the housing market seemed frozen, buyers suddenly find themselves competing for the house of their dreams.

A year after Escondido 'bomb house,' twins uncork tasting room
North County Times, November 12, 2011
For twin brothers Brian and Alan Haghighi, founders of California Fruit Wine, the bomb house meant being cut off from their computers and home offices, unable to do any marketing or shipping. It wrecked the first holiday season for their fledgling fruit-wine business.

A closer look at foreclosure-busting attorney Pines
North County Times, October 23, 2010
The Encinitas attorney who last week advised his clients to break into their foreclosed homes has had legal and financial problems of his own ---- including his own bankruptcy, court documents show ---- but the resulting publicity may help dig him out of the hole.
Story won Best Real Estate Story from the Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego Chapter

Wrinkle raises questions in home short sales
North County Times, November 1, 2009
In recent months, second lenders have begun to demand extra money in a side deal to get them to approve the short sale. And some don't want the seller to tell their first lender anything about it, real estate agents say ---- a condition that may constitute mortgage fraud by violating state and federal disclosure requirements.

The hidden link
San Diego CityBeat, September 1, 2009
How jockey agents finesse relationships among riders, trainers and horses

Justice for all
But in civil court, “defendants” are called “respondents.” Except in a few cases, no one gets a free attorney. The standard of proof is lower. O.J. Simpson defines this distinction: Prosecutors couldn’t get him convicted for criminal murder, but the family of Nicole Brown Simpson, his murdered ex-wife, nailed him for millions of dollars in a wrongful death civil lawsuit. This mismatch puts millions of respondents at a disadvantage. “If you’re looking at a few days in jail, you get a right to a lawyer,” said Clare Pastore, a law professor at the University of Southern California and an attorney for the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation of Southern California. “But if you might lose your kids, or your house, or get deported, you get nothing.”
Story won Best in Show from the Society of Professional Journalists, San Diego Chapter

Papa and Mitt
San Diego CityBeat, December 9, 2008
Without even an interview, (Meagan Papp) was offered the job, working for Manchester Financial Group. A few days later, she was in the Grand Hyatt, working for Holly Lienert, assistant to hotelier and developer “Papa” Doug Manchester. Papp had been told she’d be cleaning up an out-of-date corporate contact list, but on her first day, she allegedly got different orders: Raise money for the presidential bid of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. But Papp was paid directly by Manchester Financial for her work in support of Romney, which isn’t allowed under federal campaign law. To prevent big-money corporations from using their substantial resources to dominate federal campaigns, the Federal Election Campaign Act forbids corporations from contributing directly to campaigns.

The Gentlemen of the Line San Diego CityBeat, January 10, 2007
LaDanian Tomlinson doesn't set records all by himself. He needs help from Roman, Marcus, Kris, Shane

The Gray Lady Wears Red Sox
New York Magazine, January 1, 2006
Has the Times gone Red Sox crazy? Since coverage of the Yankees’ off-season began on October 12, five days after their archrivals hung up their hats, there have been 105 articles mentioning the Sox—two more than the Bombers, and 26 more than the Mets, who play in Queens, and not, say, Massachusetts.

In New York, Hockey's Glory Days Belong to a Seemingly Distant Past
New York Sun, January 20, 2005
Hockey's edifice is crumbling: On Monday, it was reported that the NHL's work stoppage had forced the league's official puck-maker to lay off half its employees. Last week, the Boston Bruins ordered all staff to work three-day weeks. And while yesterday's meeting between the players and owners offered hockey fans a glimmer of hope, the cancellation of the 2004-05 season remains a distinct possibility. In New York City, all this bad news is greeted mostly with silence.