Dan Maes not padding résumé with Jason Bourne tales about police past, spokesman says
The apparently damaging attacks on Republican guv candidate Dan Maes just keep coming. Hot on the heels of a front-page Denver Post story about allegedly catastrophic fundraising difficulties, which prompted Colorado GOP boss Dick Wadhams to call Maes opponent John Hickenlooper the luckiest guy in the world comes a Post report suggesting that Maes either embroidered or made up a story about his past as a Kansas police officer. Spokesman Nate Strauch energetically disagrees.
"It's absolutely being overblown," Strauch says about the Post story, which says Maes has backed off claims that he did undercover work for the Kansas Bureau of Investigation while a police officer in Liberal, Kansas -- a job from which he was fired after two years or so.
"It seems to be a question of what is the definition of 'undercover,'" he continues. "Apparently the Post doesn't think providing secure information to authorities is undercover, but I think most people would probably disagree."
Does Strauch think the Post is accusing his guy of either exaggerating the episode or inventing it?
"That's the only conclusion you can come to from the narrative they lay out, and that's absolutely not the case," he says. "The document they pulled off the website is nothing more than Dan laying out defenses to several different lines of attack the Tancredo folks have made. But they make it seem like this is some padded résumé where he's claiming to be Jason Bourne."
Not Dan Maes.
In truth, Strauch goes on, "he was just an everyday police officer -- and he's always said he was just an everyday police officer," albeit one who "met with the Kansas Bureau of Investigation several times. But he never claimed he was a master spy, and that's certainly what they make it sound like."
Be that as it may, the Post story includes an interview with Bob Blecha, the KBI's director, who says he has no records of Maes working with the agency, plus comments from the Liberal, Kansas police chief and city manager from Maes's era offering no support for the candidate's assertions.
To that, Strauch says, "A couple of things are in play here. I have no idea, nor does Dan, how the Kansas Bureau of Investigation keeps records, or what they keep records of. I wouldn't want to impugn the integrity of the director of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, but that isn't to say it didn't happen. This isn't something he's fabricated. Dan has a very clear recollection about this. He remembers the number of the hotel room where he met the officers. He even remembers some of their names."
Why not provide those names to the Post? "Dan's said he won't discuss the case or give out the names, because he doesn't think it's fair to the individuals," Strauch allows. "That's been his stance since the beginning. In fact, it's printed in the document in question. And he's not going to change that stance no matter what the Post might desire."