Prophylactic for Izvestia's hagiography on Kagan
The World's Greatest Newspaper (not) calls the Kagan family "left-leaning." Well, er:
Robert Kagan had a scam in which he "represented" tenants who were resisting co-op efforts, which were the great engine of gentrification in New York back then. As soon as Robert signed up to represent the tenants, he would form a partnership with other speculators and send the tenants -- his clients -- letters offering to buy out their "insider" rights, under some such soothing name as "Apartment Investors Associates".
Needless to say, the tenants had no idea that "Apartment Investors Associates" included their lawyer, who thus stood to benefit from losing their case -- not to put too fine a point on it.
There were other fiddles, too -- non-resident fictitious "tenants" who were sockpuppets of Kagan's, for example.
No doubt this all sounds very arcane, but it was a big deal at the time. Kagan was the chair of the local community board's "ethics committee" -- you can't make this stuff up. He was either dumped, or had to resign from that position of honor, and he sued me, me personally, for libel, and claimed damages to the amount of a lot of dollars. Millions. I don't remember how many. A few more than I had, anyway.
Of course we laughed the suit off, and it went nowhere -- a very sad and ineffectual attempt at intimidation. After all, we had the documents. There was no surmising about it.
Left-leaning? Not. "Progressive"? Indubitably. I mean, you say the word "scam," right? Plus the usual peasants thrown under the bus?
NOTE The scam might have been invented at Golden Sachs, eh? Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose....