Darius Anderson, State Legislators Take Trip to Cuba

CalWatchdog.com investigative report tracks activities by upcoming media mogul.


As lobbyist Darius Anderson seems to eyeing more purchases of community newspapers, such as the Napa Valley Register.

Now, however, a CalWatchdog.com investigative report finds him traveling to Cuba with several state lawmakers.

Anderson, founder and president of the influential lobbying firm Platinum Advisors, spent a spring holiday with a Republican state Assembyman from San Luis Obispo and a Democratic state Senator from Livingston.

To read the story, click here.

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Ralph Hutchinson April 07, 2013 at 06:15 PM
There is a Development Center in San Luis Obispo and Darius donated. Many suspect Darius and the CalWatch-Sonoma Media Investors stirred up a dram about Sonoma Development Center in an attempt to get State Officials to close them down so Darius and others can get at the real estate for development. Darius donating in San Luis Obispo to Abel Maldonado's campaign last Fall? Link ---> http://secure.repweb.net/abelmaldonado/Userfiles/file/ENDORSEMENTS%20ABEL%202_23_12.pdf Isn't there another "sister" development center like SDC down there rumored to close? Does Cal Poly have an eye on it or does Darius see developmental potential? Maybe he thinks he can get Sonoma Developmental Center and Lanteran at the same time?
Ralph Hutchinson April 07, 2013 at 06:46 PM
Why the need for a SUPER SECRET trip? What Humanitarian efforts has Darius Anderson's non-profit Californians Building Bridges ever done for the oppressed people of Cuba? Why did Darius's non-profit just get a license in 2011 are you telling me they operated yet again without an OFAC license just like they did in New York dealing securities and settled a $500k Corruption Charge? When will this guy actually do things legally and ethically?
Ralph Hutchinson April 07, 2013 at 06:48 PM
To deal with a Communist Country, an Enemy of the State without proper permits and licensing from our American State Department some may consider an Act of Treason.
Dee Baucher April 07, 2013 at 07:29 PM
Maybe he's going to Cuba to see about opening up his casino and hotel complex there? Just like before the Revolution.....rich Americans exploiting the whole Cuban Corruption Landscape.....very vintage. After all, both Castros are on their way out.
Ralph Hutchinson April 07, 2013 at 07:46 PM
Making $$ on the backs of the oppressed won't buy respect nor build character in the eyes of The People.
Jan Michael April 07, 2013 at 08:21 PM
The California State University system has had their hands on the Sonoma Developmental Center for years to acquire the property as a university extension, the property cannot be privately purchased, everyone knows this, including Darius.
Ralph Hutchinson April 07, 2013 at 10:40 PM
Well Darius and his friend Sandy Weill from the Press Democrat purchase have been courting SSU. If they arrange the University to buy SDC my bet is they would benefit from adjacent property acquisitions. Direct or indirect. Darius had Gov Jerry Brown at the SSU recently. I think Darius is eying State Park General Vallejo's on Spain St in Sonoma adjacent to Ramekins-Estate (fka Generals Daughter). Again a plea to his Governor crony to close the park save money.
Jan Michael April 08, 2013 at 12:45 AM
In 2005 my company completed a Seismic retrofit on building 5 of the SDC and I reviewed the Charter as part of our initial investigation. It was pretty clear that the SDC could never be held in private ownership. The one thing that struck me the most was the apparent radiation experiments that went on in the 1950's I heard about. I tear up ever time I drive through there now. The SDC graveyard tells all.
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 03:11 AM
Laws, Rules or guidelines to Darius don't mean much. The NY DA, New Mexico, LA and Orange Counties, heck even OFAC dealing with Communists of sanctioned Cuba means nothing. I don't think any old Charter will matter he will nullify that or simply blow over it he hasn't shown me any respect for ethics, process or Laws of the Land. He got Douggie's Mom Barbara (Boxer) to fast track the RP Indians controversial formation. That's just the way he was mentored either by his dad a SF cop, Boscoe, Willie Brown, Gray Davis, Mayor-Gov Brown, Gavin or the Grocery Store guy Burkle. Its just the way Darius works and views the "Pay to Play" world. In my opinion grease a few palms of Politicians and get favors is his M.O. Mark my words, Darius wants something from these politicians he took on Spring Break. Watch their districts read the papers and it will emerge.
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 03:49 PM
Why Cuba? I dunno...why not Iran, South Korea, Syria or Venezuela? Why not dine with Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood? What do these California Politicians have to do with Cuba in their constituent districts? Or was is a junket to pay them off and in exchange for future favors Darius wants from them? I tell you I've contacted this Californians Building Bridges and inquired about what supplies and goods they are looking for donations to serve the needs of the people and low and behold I never had any return contact. Why? I question whether they actually do anything but schmooze VIP's and host junkets under the pretense of Humanitarian Efforts. I never see any accomplishments reported. Link ---> http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba_tr_app.pdf I still would love to hear what Humanitarian Aid Darius provides to the People of Cuba or anything frankly on this list from the US Treasury Dept document titles "What You Need to Know About US Sanctions Against Cuba." Maybe he is travelling as a Journalist since he bought the IT and PD cause they sure have written a ton about Cuba in the last couple years and had party after party Cuban-themed in Sonoma. Perhaps thats why he bought the papers in addition to the real estate values of the proximity to the Casino and the desire to tear down the IT and build his French Hotel on the El Camino Real? Link ---> http://www.treasury.gov/resource-center/sanctions/Programs/Documents/cuba.pdf
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 04:10 PM
Darius dined with El Presidente Castro? "A 2011 San Francisco Chronicle column by former Assembly Speaker Willie Brown described a similarly lavish trip. “Having spent a few days in Havana as a part of a Californians Building Bridges junket,” Brown wrote, “the trip was put together by Darius Anderson, who turns out to be very big in Cuban investments. So big, in fact, that the night he was missing from the group, he was dining with the president.”
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 04:16 PM
Non-Profit activity questionable? "In 2011, the only year for which the organization filed a tax return, it spent $94,586 on travel-related expenses of $136,476 in overall expenses. The organization’s mission also listed as a priority, making “one-time financial grants and donations of supplies and materials to charitable organizations that lack their own resources or do not qualify for assistance through existing agencies and organizations in their region.” "Yet, in 2011, it paid out $0 in domestic and foreign grants, according to the group’s tax return. The organization’s tax return RAISES QUESTIONS about WHETHER THE GROUP is MEETING its tax-exempt MISSION STATEMENT. Contributions to Anderson’s non-profit organization are tax deductible, according to an IRS database."
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 05:03 PM
Assemblywoman Kathleen Galgani is D5 Stockton, Darius has shown an interest in casinos and card rooms in that area in the past and disclosed his own minority stake in the Modesto A's baseball team at that time. Perpahs he is making another run at it? The 49er DeBartolo and Burkle Ralph's Grocery Store. Its an old article but an interesting combination and history perhaps not long forgotten? Link ---> http://www.recordnet.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/19950924/A_NEWS/309249976&cid=sitesearch
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 06:58 PM
“Shredded their itineraries when they landed?” What would be that secret? CalCoastNews picking up the story of Darius Goes to Cuba with Politicians. Link ---> http://calcoastnews.com/2013/04/katcho-spends-spring-break-in-cuba-with-powerful-lobbyist/ Link ---> http://www.onecitizenspeaking.com/2013/04/what-were-two-california-legislators-doing-on-their-secret-trip-to-cuba-with-sacramento-lobbyist.html "A Capitol source described Achadjian’s Cuban voyage as a “super secret trip.” The source said the trip participants “shredded their itineraries when they landed.” Achadjian’s office confirmed that the Republican assemblyman traveled with Anderson to Cuba and said that he paid his own way. “He went on the annual trip to learn and study about Cuba,” said Craig Swaim, Achadjian’s chief of staff."
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 07:37 PM
Assemblyman Katcho Achadjian of the 35th District is in San Luis Obispo. Frank D. Lanterman Regional Center is affiliated operator of the State Development group down in San Luis Obispo. With his recent smear campaign orchestrated by friends Bronstein and Falk and parroted by the Sonoma Index Tribune and Press Democrat, In my opinion Darius has been eying the Sonoma Development Center for development. Perhaps he is eying all 4 of the State run facilities for privitzation and profits developing. Rumors are that Cal Poly has been looking to expand at this San Luis Obispo site, and perhaps Darius, his partner Sandy Weill and others have been greasing the wheels of Sonoma State University to relocate down to the Sonoma Development Center location in Glen Ellen and they stand to profit on the heels of that move? Grease the Politicians, grease the universities, win the hearts and minds of the people with favors, grease the local politicians with lavish parties and benefits, and stir up controversy and drama over a couple tragedies and blow them out of proportion, get his State cronies interested in shutting the centers down and you shake up a Mojito Darius style a recipe for development where all the fixes are in. Pay to Play...
Jan Michael April 08, 2013 at 09:15 PM
As with any contentious issue, typically, there are desperate views and those opposed to the Sonoma Developmental Center redevelopment have welcomed it, while Darius, who knows, he bought the I-T to get to the real estate, Thank You Bill, hasn’t toured the SDC property as of this date.
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 10:45 PM
Darius traveled to Cuba without Government Permits? From the CalWatchdog article: "According to his biography on the Platinum Advisors website, “Through Californians Building Bridges, Darius founded Project Havana, a humanitarian project dedicated to making a difference in the lives of the Cuban people through providing grants and donations of supplies to charitable organizations that lack their own resources. For the past 10 years, Darius and CBB have led over 50 missions to Cuba.” "Yet, according to the organization’s website, it did not receive a license to legally operate in Cuba until 2011. “On March 29, 2011, Californians Building Bridges (CBB) was granted a license by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control, License # CT-16606, to travel and engage in transactions directly related to a new humanitarian project in Cuba,” the organization states under “Project Havana,” one of only four pages on its website. Guide Star, the independent organization that tracks nonprofit financial information, lists the organization’s founding and ruling year as 2012." Only one tax return, filed on October 30, 2012, was publicly available.
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 11:19 PM
Darius doesn't worry about licenses to sell securites in New York or New Mexico resulting in a corruption kickback case where he paid $500k to settle. The New Mexico was ongoing as of a few months ago same MO. Why would Darius need a permit to travel to a Communist Country on the "No Travel" under US Government sanctions? I think its fair to say ifhe just got the permit, in 2011-2012 and Willie Brown's article was written years prior, that Darius Anderson did in fact make dozens of trips to "forbidden" Cuba illegally. In my opinion he should be fined and his privaleges revoked to return.
sal nero April 08, 2013 at 11:36 PM
Houston we have a problem. "For the past 10 years, Darius and CBB have led over 50 missions to Cuba." -From Platinum Advisors' website. Calwatchdog.com has caught on, it would appear.
Ralph Hutchinson April 08, 2013 at 11:56 PM
Darius starts a non profit to shield his personal vacations and parties. He also hosts VIP's friends or Politicians that he wants something from. Then applies for a Government permit and potentially misleads them and the IRS as to the activities and purpose? What benefits or deliverables aside from personal artwork and a few boxes of cigars has he to show? Is there a 800Watchdog number to call OFAC to challenge his license or the non-profit status to IRS?


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