DENVER – “There are people, here and now, today living in a state of poverty in this rich, wealthy state,” declared state Rep. Daniel Kagan (D-Greenwood Village). “There are hundreds of thousands of people who work – not one job, not eight hours a day, but two (jobs), 12 or 13 hours a day.”
“Someone can work morning to night and still can’t be assured that they have a decent place to sleep, a decent school for their children to go to, and put a decent meal on the table… It’s true!” exclaimed Kagan in an impassioned self-video-taped speech. “That is completely wrong in a rich country like this!”
Kagan, who is running against Republican candidate Brian Watson, said it was time to dispel the myths that poverty is “deserved” and that it doesn’t exist in this state.
The Democrat made the pitch in 2009 when thousands of people lost their jobs, struggled to find even part-time work and battled foreclosures that caused a shortage in rental housing.
In response the financial crash in October 2008 and ensuing recession, Kagan voted to tax candy, vehicle registrations, internet purchases and to raise property taxes on senior citizens. He successfully fought for state-funded grants for job training and affordable housing, and backed a bill to freeze rents that failed.
But his detractors question how the son of millionaires British Lord Joseph and Lady Margaret Kagan, now deceased, can possibly relate to those struggling to pay for housing, food, gas and transportation.
Kagan has lived in a 5,000 square foot home in a posh Cherry Hills gated community next to the Glenmoor Country Club since 2007 – a home purchased by Kagan Textiles Ltd. of the United Kingdom for $2.3 million.
Rep. Kagan and his wife Faye served on the board of directors of the privately held company that deeded the residence to the Kagans for $2,183,000 in June 2010.
According to Arapahoe County records, the home was given to Dan and Faye Kagan.
Unknown is whether any money was exchanged privately between the Kagans and the now defunct company founded by Sir Kagan for the purchase of the home in 2010, or the rental costs during the three prior years.
If not, tax attorneys told The Colorado Observer that both the deeded home and estimated rent based on market value may be considered taxable income earned by Daniel Kagan, who served as managing director of the company’s board.
It is not known whether or not any taxes were paid, and Rep. Kagan did not respond to requests for comment.
After Lord Kagan’s death in 1995, Dan Kagan and his family moved to West Yorkshire England where they resided for 10 years. Records indicate that two of the couple’s three children attended The Grammar School of Hipperholme, a school for students ages 3 -18 that was founded in 1530 in Halifax.
The children’s school tuition of roughly ₤7,400 pounds per year was a bargain compared to Kagan’s boarding school tuition of an estimated ₤38,000 per year at the prestigious Rugby School founded in 1567 in Warwickshire.
Since Kagan graduated in 1971, the all boys’ school hasn’t changed dramatically. Rugby finally admitted three girls in 1975, but the Christian value-based school still requires uniforms and morning church services. Boys wear charcoal grey trousers, light-hued shirts, dark colored suits, dark solid socks and black leather shoes – not suede, patent leather or moccasin (loafer) styles.
Kagan also declined to respond to questions about vague information on his bios – some of which have vanished from the internet in recent weeks.
Consider Kagan’s bio published in 2009 when he beat fellow Democrats for the appointment to fill the House District 3 seat vacated by lobbyist former state Rep. Anne McGihon. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1975 at the age of 22, the bio stated, “In the 1970’s, Kagan joined the Teamsters and loaded freight onto trucks in Dallas, Texas.”
But, records and Kagan’s own previous statements seem to contradict that claim.
According to FAA records, Kagan was granted a foreign-based private pilot’s license based on his license issued by the Civilian Aviation Authority in United Kingdom in October 1976. Kagan listed his address as 15 Fixby Road in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire – one of the estates owned by Lord and Lady Kagan which is now a high-end housing development – and never updated the address despite living in the U.S.
An FAA public information officer said the address should have been updated.
Kagan’s 2009 campaign bio also stated that Kagan “became a flight instructor, giving retiring military pilots transition training onto civilian jets under the GI bill, and later providing basic flight training to midshipmen at the U.S. Naval Academy, operating out of Fort Meade, Maryland.”
Though Kagan didn’t state time frames for either job, he recently wrote about running an aviation school at Love Field in Dallas in the 1970s.
Kagan lauded Dallas-based Southwest Airlines based at Love Field because “they welcomed unions when they started up business. Welcomed them! In Texas!”
“I had a little flight school back in 1978 and we operated out of Dallas Love Field,” recalled Kagan on his Facebook page. “(Southwest Airlines) with some rather dubious taste, insisted on hiring good-looking young women as stewardesses and dressing them up in kinky boots and hot pants.”
No records indicated Kagan ran a flight school, or exactly when he gave private pilot lessons to U.S. Naval Academy midshipmen in Annapolis.
FAA and Tipton Airport officials said the facility was established as the Fort George Meade Army Airfield in 1960, renamed Tipton Army Airfield in 1962, and was not used for civilian air traffic until November 1999. By then, Kagan had returned to England.
From 1979 to 1984, Kagan said he was a student at George Washington University and earned income as a radio reporter for the Democratic News Service on Capitol Hill for the Democratic Party. He spent the next three years in New Haven, Connecticut where he earned a law degree from Yale.
Rep. Kagan and his wife Faye were married in 1989, and reportedly opened their own law firm in Washington, D.C. presumably until returning to England in 1995. Though the couple has individually identified themselves as either “legal counsel” or “attorney” since 2008, neither is registered to practice law in Colorado.
The Colorado Supreme Court, which maintains a database or current and retired attorneys, requires registrations and prohibits anyone from claiming to be an attorney who is not authorized and currently practicing law under state guidelines.
History has shown that resume padding can be enormously damaging to the credibility of a political candidate. In 2010, the campaign of Republican gubernatorial nominee Dan Maes spiraled out of control after news that he embellished his resume by claiming to have been a top cop for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation. The scandal-plagued Mr. Maes ultimately finished a distant third in the race, well behind Democrat John Hickenlooper and former GOP U.S. Rep. Tom Tancredo, who ran as an independent.