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In-Depth Interview: Investigative Reporters Expose Shady Foundation Started by Utility Lobbyist

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Investigative journalists Peter Byrne and Will Carruthers detail their reports on Darius Anderson, PG&E lobbyist and Sonoma County media mogul who set up Rebuild Northbay Foundation, purportedly for victims of fires caused by PG&E.Carruthers wrote the first article of the series, and partnered with Byrne on the second one.  You can watch the video of this interview here.

The central figure in their investigation is Darius Anderson, a well-connected political fundraiser and Sacramento lobbyist who owns Platinum Advisors.  Anderson controls virtually all print media in Sonoma County, except for the weekly Bohemian, which published these reports.

In the aftermath of deadly wildfires in Sonoma in 2017-18, Anderson set up the Rebuild Northbay Foundation, promoted by his Santa Rosa Press Democrat as a charity to help fire victims.  Based on public records, Byrne and Carruthers report that the foundation’s only major donor was PG&E, which kicked in $2 million while Anderson served as paid lobbyist for the utility.  Almost none of the foundation’s money has gone to victims; the funds have been used for overhead, and for expenses for lobbying trips to Washington.