DENVER– Democrat 6th Congressional District candidate state Rep. Joe Miklosi claimed that he didn’t know who was working on his campaign – most were being picked and paid by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC).
The controversial staff shakeups made news – but undetected was a key member of Miklosi’s fundraising team – a felon whose arrest record is riddled with drug charges.
“As long as I keep meeting my benchmarks, it’s a two-way street. (The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is) going to pay for my field program, they are paying for my staff. I have people in my office – I don’t even know who they are,” Miklosi said at a fundraiser in May.
In his bid to unseat Republican 6th District Congressman Mike Coffman, Miklosi has been criticized for stacking his team with out-of-state staffers chosen by the DCCC – one of the exceptions is confessed drug felon Doran Todd Kaye, age 37, of Denver.
Miklosi refused to answer questions about Kaye, and repeatedly said, “I’ll have Ryan (Hobart), my communications director get back to you.”
Hobart did not return calls to The Colorado Observer. Numerous attempts to contact Kaye were unsuccessful.
According to FEC reports, the Miklosi campaign reimbursed Kaye for expenses on Aug. 1, 2011 and has paid a bimonthly “salary” since Sept. 1, 2011 to date. Kaye’s resume published on LinkedIn states that he recruits and supervises the call center team – a fundraising field operation.
Kaye’s resume describes his role as to, “Support finance team by recruiting, training and supervising the call center team. Develop program guidelines, scripts, resource and training materials. Create and maintain call lists, donor databases, call statistics and performance management. Improved overall call team performance from 40 percent below quota to 25 percent above quota.”
Kaye held a similar position on former House Speaker Andrew Romanoff’s unsuccessful U.S. Senate campaign in 2010. Romanoff lost the Democrat primary to U.S. Sen. Michael Bennet, and struggled to retire massive campaign debt.
On the Romanoff campaign, Kaye worked under Finance Director Kirsten Boyd, daughter of state Sen. Betty Boyd (D-Lakewood). Kirsten Boyd held the same position on the Miklosi campaign that reported paying her from July – October 2011.
Kaye’s pipeline to these campaigns appears to be a nine-month stint as a “trainer/fundraiser” for Telefund, a company that brags of being the one of the top fundraising arms of the Democratic National Committee, Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Obama for America and other “progressive non-profit organizations.”
According to Kaye’s resume, he landed the Telefund job in October 2009 – a few months after a warrant for his arrest was served and then cancelled in July 2009, and he completed a two-year probation and jail term for a class 4 felony, possession of a Controlled Substance Schedule 2 drug.
Schedule 2 drugs are described as dangerous drugs that include cocaine, morphine, methamphetamines and opium.
According to public records, Kaye was arrested at least six times by the Denver Police Department for drug related charges from April 2006 to March 2009, excluding several warrants for his arrest primarily for failure to appear or comply with court orders. Kaye’s arrest and court records include but are not limited to the following:
April 21, 2006 – Arrest 1486627 Denver Police Dept. at 3:45 AM: Charged with possession of one count of a Controlled Substance, Schedule 2 drug, in excess of one gram – a Class 4 Felony.
Sept. 12, 2006 – Denver District Court Case 2006CR2585: Kaye entered a plea of guilty for the Class 4 felony, and the court rendered a deferred sentence.
Oct. 30, 2006 – Arrest 1514086 Denver Police Dept.: Kaye charged with one count Dangerous Drugs cited as “distribution, manufacturing, dispense, sale, possession”, classified as a Felony.
Dec. 14, 2006 – Arrest 1520129 Denver Police Dept.: Kaye charged with one count Dangerous Drugs cited as “distribution, manufacturing, dispense, sale, possession,” classified as a Misdemeanor.
May 20, 2007 – Arrest 1541456 Denver Police Dept.: Kaye charged with one count possession of Controlled Substance Schedule 2 – over 1 gram (Class 4 Felony), and one count possession of Controlled Substance Schedule 5 (Class 1 Misdemeanor).
May 24, 2007 – Denver District Court Case 2007CR3030: Records indicate that the Denver District Attorney’s office dismissed the Felony charge and Kaye entered a guilty plea to a Misdemeanor charge. Kaye was sentenced to 90 days in jail, 2-year probation, and ordered to pay $819 in fines, fees, surcharges.
May 24, 2007 – The current case triggered a revisit to Denver District Court Case 2006CR2585 in April 2006. The court voided that “deferred judgment” and reinstated a 2-year probation, 50 hours of community service, and 180 days jail with “credit for 276 days served.” Kaye paid $3,275.50 in court fees, fines and surcharges.
July 12, 2007 – Arrest 1548674 Denver Police Dept.: Kaye charged with “two counts of misdemeanor drug charges.”
Dec. 12, 2008 – Denver District Court Case 2008CR06084: Stated the charge as one count of “possession with intent”, (typically possession with intent to sell or distribute), classified as a Class 3 Felony. No charges were filed by the Denver District Attorney. The case was closed.
March 12, 2009 – Arrest for a charge of drug paraphernalia at4231 W. 16th Ave., St. Anthony’s Central Hospital in Denver. After Kaye failed to appear for the June 5 arraignment, an arrest warrant was issued, but he entered a guilty plea to the misdemeanor on June 26, and paid $85 in fines and court costs.
Both Democrat and Republican campaigns advertise positions for fundraising and survey phone banking positions on Craig’s list – but the pay and criminal record requirements are different.
Democrat-based Telefund solicits people to “come work with our fun, passionate staff in a comfortable calling center” and offer an average pay of $10 per hour with bonuses for reaching goals – and up to $15 an hour for exceeding them. They do not say anything about a background check.
Republicans offer $12 per hour, but require a criminal background check. An entity for the GOP advertised for campaign workers this week but clearly stated, “MUST be able to PASS a Criminal Background Check. Without any Felonies.”
Tyler Sandberg contributed to this report