SAVIOR OR EMPTY CHAIR: Did HD3 Rep. Daniel Kagan Save or Shutter the Family Business?

When the Colorado Accountable Government Alliance sent out a mailer lobbing all sorts of accusations against Colorado House District Three candidate Brian Watson’s business dealings, House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino batted clean up by offering to Fox31 that “Kagan saved his parents’ textile company and managed it for 10 years” and added, “His parents’ company in England was failing, he went back and rescued it.”

Well, not quite.

We took a closer look at Kagan’s business, Kagan Textiles, in the United Kingdom.  It would appear from the financial statements that the Kagan family (including his mother and brother, who also served as directors) dissolved – not saved – the family’s company.  In fact, during his time on the board of directors, Kagan liquidated nearly £20 million in company assets.

Kagan was appointed a director of Kagan Textiles from September 1, 1996. For the period ended January 31, 1996, gross revenue totaled approximately £493,000.  Of this amount, £417,000 was derived from rental revenue and interest income.  The cash the company had on January 31, 1996 was £605,000.  At the end of 2008, the company’s revenues were £684,320 and they had £13,580,191 cash on hand.

Selling off nearly £20 million in company assets doesn’t exactly equate to “rescuing” a company.  Those are the actions of someone who is dissolving the company, which Kagan did formally on July 19, 2011.  Further, to give you a concept of scale, in 2007, Kagan Textiles collected approximately £80,000 in gross rents and earned approximately £274,000 in interest, while the company recorded a £6,120,515 profit on the sale of fixed assets (e.g., real estate).

It was also interesting to note that around 2001, the principle purpose of the textile company changed significantly.  (See snippets from the financial statements below)

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BIG BLUE MACHINE BREAKDOWN: Democrats Vaunted Legislative Program Crumbling

What has happened to the vaunted Democratic “Blueprint” machine? It really wasn’t so long ago that the Democrats were running circles around the GOP in state legislative races.  To their credit, legislative Republicans finally pulled their act together and ended the Democrats six-year monopoly on the State House of Representatives. But what’s happening in Democratic campaigns now would have been unthinkable during the time of liberal middleman Al Yates and former House Majority Leader and noted ball-buster, Democrat Alice Madden.

The Big Blue Machine appears to have lost its mojo under current Democratic leadership. To be fair, House Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino is no Alice Madden.  He is a budget wonk (Medicaid expansion won’t cost “very much dollars“), has very little, if any, real campaign experience and has already had trouble managing his own caucus.  Senate Majority Leader John “Per Diem” Morse has more experience in competitive races given his own personal experiences in El Paso County, but even he has seemed to drop the ball in the 2012 home stretch.

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DEAD LAST, REVISITED

Job-wise, Colorado has certainly seen better days than in the last three years.

Recently, I posted a story about Colorado’s puny recovery from the depths of this recession. Peak asked me to review my data sources since some readers doubted my results.

Good thing they questioned the finding that Colorado’s recovery had been the least successful in America. I used Bureau of Labor Statistics information that the Bureau produced in 2009 and called “final”; since then, it turns out, BLS did a massive revision of several years’ of employment data.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics revision for August 2009 unemployment data determined that back then the “actual” unemployment level in several states, including Colorado, was statistically much worse than they had reported as “final” numbers back in 2009.

Colorado’s unemployment level, given this revision, has seen a reduction in unemployment of 0.2% since August ’09. (The original data I reported had showed we actually got 0.9% worse instead of this very small change for the better.)

So Colorado isn’t “dead last.” It is, instead, ninth worst in recovering.

With due respect, I don’t see Obama – on his next trip to Colorado – crowing that in the last three years our state, under Obama’s leadership, has seen unemployment cut by two-tenths of one percent. But who knows? Maybe that’s the best he can do for us.

SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS: The Kansas City regional BLS office was very helpful in assuring that, this time, I got the right data from them. LN, from that office, went above and beyond, emailing me a 13 page report of the “proper” August 2009 numbers.

 

CPAC PREVIEW: Stars of the Right to Converge on Denver

Photo credit: markn3tel

Today, the American Conservative Union revealed its line-up of regional and national speakers and panelists for the Colorado Conservative Political Action Conference, aka CPAC.  This year’s conference comes just a day after the first Presidential debate being held at the University of Denver, and a monthy before the election.  The intense focus on Colorado and the Denver Metro area underscores the importance our state will play in this contentious election.Standalone speakers will include:

  • Kansas Governor Sam Brownback
  • ACU Chairman Al Cardenas
  • Former Democratic U.S. Representative and former Co-Chair for Obama for America Artur Davis
  • Business leader and ACU Board member Carly Fiorina
  • U.S. Representative Cory Gardner (R-CO)
  • Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
  • National Rifle Association President and ACU Board member David Keene
  • U.S. Representative Doug Lamborn (R-CO)
  • U.S. Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM)
  • U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL)

The day-long conference also will include ten panels and breakout sessions on various topics, including the alleged “War on Women”, as well as the CPAC All Star panel that will include conservative heavyweights, such as:

  • The American Spectator’s John Fund
  • The Washington Times’ Ralph Hallow
  • The Washington Examiner’s Charlie Spiering
  • Chairman of Special Operations for America and Montana State Senator Ryan Zinke

The day will close with a special screening of Dinesh D’Souza’s “2016: Obama’s America”.  For additional information on the day’s events or to attend, please visit www.conservative.org.

 

RALLY THE TROOPS: Romney To Denver Two Days Before DU Debate

Governor Romney will be back to Colorado on Monday for a Victory Rally in Denver at the Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum, only two days before the first Presidential Debate to be held at DU on Wednesday, October 3.

Most observers see the DU debate as one of the last, best chances to shake up the race, as it will be the first time the American people see Romney and Obama go head-to-head.

It will be a busy week for Colorado conservatives, as the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Colorado kicks off in Denver the day after the debate.

Details on Romney’s Monday visit per the Romney campaign:

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TRUTH TEST SMACKDOWN: CBS4 Says Miklosi Ad Attacking Coffman “More Extreme Than Coffman’s Record”

Truth tests on Congressional TV ads in Colorado this cycle have not been friendly to Democrats. With a number of TV ads now, major broadcast stations have been deeming Democrats’ ads false or arguable, while bestowing the coveted “TRUE” to the toughest Republican attack yet.

This trend continues with CBS4 smacking down CD6 Democrat challenger Joe Miklosi’s latest ad saying “in this case, Joe Miklosi’s ad is more extreme than Mike Coffman’s record.” BURN!

Roll the tape:

Perhaps the best part of the “reality check” is that it leads off reporting the news that Coffman has been endorsed by every mayor in CD6. We’re sure the Miklosi campaign really appreciated that.

Or maybe it was the listing of all of Coffman’s bipartisan votes and issue positions at the end of the segment. We can’t decide what made Miklosi’s day worse.

Just like Colorado Pols, we can’t figure out why Miklosi’s campaign has been running these tired old attacks against Coffman without bothering to introduce himself to voters. After all, polls show almost no one in CD6 (71%) knows who Miklosi is, as he’s a Denver state rep running for a Congressional seat in Aurora.

All voters seem to know about him right now is he’s not Mike Coffman and his ads are terrible. Now that’s a winning formula if we’ve ever heard one!

UPDATE: Oh…and viewers of 9News know he had an ex-con raising money for his campaign.

…and readers of the The Denver Post know he was labeled a “Legislative Loser” for his “shameless pander[ing]” and “political gimmick[s].”

So, there’s that.

 

“WAIT 5 MINUTES AND IT’LL CHANGE”: Romney Political Director Makes Case For Tight Race

“Being from Colorado, we have a saying, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it’ll change,” Romney Political Director Rich Beeson told Politico yesterday. “If you don’t like a poll coming out of a state, wait five minutes and you’ll see one that you do like.”

The longtime Colorado GOP operative held a briefing for reporters yesterday, making the case for why the race is tight and likely to be until the bitter end. Things have not been going in Romney’s direction in the key swing state of Ohio according to recent polls, but with 41 days left — a lifetime in presidential politics — and a big map of battleground states, predicting outcomes is little more than a political parlor game at this point.

Perhaps more importantly, Beeson called Ohio “inside the margin of error” making clear the Romney campaign intends to play hard for the Buckeye State.

Per Politico’s Ginger Gibson:

“If we lose Ohio, can we still win?” Beeson said, repeating the question asked of him by reporters. “I say if its and buts were candy and nuts everyday would be Christmas.… I just don’t deal in if-then statements.”

Beeson compared states on the map to children (he has two boys,) saying individual states can’t be written off.

“It’s like kids out there — you’re not ever going to say I’m going to lose one of my kids,” Beeson said. He added, “So we don’t sit down, I don’t sit down and sort of lop those off. I prefer to look at the map holistically.”

Back here in Colorado, things looks much better for Romney. Every nonpartisan poll with legitimate sampling has found the race within the margin of error, usually with Obama up 1-2 points — a statistically meaningless lead.

It’s been a tough couple of weeks for the Romney campaign, no doubt, but better to have those tough weeks now than in October. Making matters tougher for the Romney campaign recently has been the Obama campaign’s massive spending advantage.

Despite being outspent 3-1 in Colorado by the Obama campaign in recent weeks, Romney’s polling has held up. When that gap gets closed or Romney is able to overtake Obama in spending, we wouldn’t be surprised to see a spate of Colorado polls begin to show Romney taking the lead.

 

DEFIANCE: Embattled ADCO Assessor Disputes Reappraisal

Adams County has had its share of corruption over the past couple of years, but Democrat County Assessor Gil Reyes is perhaps one of the worst of the bunch.  That’s why it was so surprising when he responded to an investigation of his activities with a terse and “defiant” letter to the Colorado State Division of Property Taxation.  The Peak has obtained a copy of the letter (see excerpt below).

Reyes’ response may not seem so ridiculous on its face, but within the context of his ethical issues, his response is wishful thinking at best.  First, a Denver Post investigation revealed Reyes had saved a top donor, Majestic Realty, nearly $800,000 in property taxes on the donor’s warehouses.  Then, the Adams County District Attorney, the U.S. Attorney, and the FBI got involved and charged Reyes with criminal misconduct stemming from the property tax reduction.

Unfortunately, this isn’t Reyes’ first ethical breach.  He also pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor for accepting (and failing to disclose) prime sports tickets from major donor Majestic Realty’s leadership.  He also has been criticized for working just two days per week, which he attributes to an injury.  Finally, in the beginning of 2011 two of Reyes’ female employees sued him, alleging he “repeatedly engages in sexual ‘humor’ that demeans women.”

Despite calls for him to step down by an Adams County Commissioner and the Denver Post, Reyes has clung to his post, and has been uncooperative with state officials.

The Denver Post article reporting on Reyes’ response  quoted state property tax administrator JoAnn Groff, who indicated that the state was now at an “impasse” with this situation, “in my mind, they have not cooperated with the reappraisal order. As a result, we do not have a successful reappraisal.”

While the entire saga may seem like inside baseball, the money that Assessor Reyes is offering back to his top donors is much needed in this growing community for better schools and other community benefits.  The Adams County Reform Project, a 527 dedicated to cleaning out the corruption in Adams County government, weighed in on the letter:

“The arrogant tone of Mr. Reyes’ written response is shocking and simply reveals that Mr. Reyes truly doesn’t understand the damage he’s caused in exchanging the trust of residents of Adams County for his own political gain,” said Michelle Lyng of the Adams County Reform Project.

Unfortunately, this is exactly the type of government corruption and cronyism that residents of Adams County have come to expect from their Democratic leaders.

 

OUTSOURCING INSOURCING: Cherylin Peniston Sends Mailer Defending In-State Contractor Bill With Florida Mail Firm

Here’s a tip for candidates this cycle: When you are pimping a piece of legislation that gives incentives to in-state contractors for government work, it’s not a good idea to do so using an out-of-state mail firm. It steps all over your message.

But that’s just what Adams County Democratic Rep. Cherylin Peniston did recently when she sent a piece of mail over Senate Bill 1 using Mad Dog Mail, a Florida-based mail vendor for Democratic campaigns. Peniston is being challenged by Republican Brian Vande Krol, who nearly knocked off Rep. John Soper in 2010.

As the source who sent us the piece of mail said — “she outsourced the job of promoting her message of insourcing.”

Senate Bill 1, also known as the HIRE Colorado Plan, was the bill that gave a 5% preference to Colorado contractors that had at least 90% in-state employees, raising the cost of contracting business for the state. The bill was called “muddled economic thinking” by the liberal Denver Post editorial board, and was successfully killed by the Republican-controlled House.

Heralded by Democrats as essential to their “jobs” plan, the bill earned the special recognition of being the first piece of legislation introduced in the Democrat-controlled Senate, making it unsurprising to see the failed legislation show up in campaign mail.

While we’ve only received this one piece of mail from Rep. Peniston, we wonder how many Democrats are pushing an insourcing message to voters by outsourcing the job to a Florida mail firm. A search of the Secretary of State’s website finds that 15 Democrats running for the Legislature, as well as the Colorado Democratic Party, all employ Mad Dog Mail out of Florida.

Guess that “laser” focus on job creation through protectionist policies got a bit blurry during campaign season.

 

ENDORSEMENTS: Colorado Women’s Alliance Lends Support to Jefferson and Arapahoe Co Candidates

The Colorado Women’s Alliance has evaluated the candidates and has offered its endorsement of the 2012 Colorado State Senate and House candidates in Colorado.  Debbie Brown, director of the Colorado Women’s Alliance had this to say about the endorsements:

“Our research confirms that women’s issues are much broader than you’d guess from watching over-the-top political ads designed to scare and distract.  Joblessness, home foreclosures, rising education bills and a stagnant economy all affect the lives of women in a very personal way. Legislators must enact policies that protect and respect a woman’s personal financial security and independence.”

The criteria for the endorsements was that the candidate had to commit to putting job creation first, to commit to reducing the burden of business regulation, and to be running in a targeted race. The endorsements focused on Jefferson and Arapahoe Counties, two of the most contested counties in Colorado in local and presidential elections.

Here are the Jeffco candidate endorsements:

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