Wednesday, April 1, 2015

A National Swat at Kane

A national Republican group dedicated to electing GOP state officials tees off on Democratic attorney general primary winner Kathleen Kane.

A National Swat at Kane

Last week's Democratic primary winner for state attorney general, Kathleen Kane, already is taking fire from a national Republican group claiming she is "wrong for Pennslvania."

The group is the Virginia-based Republican State Leadership Committee, of which the Republican Attorneys General Association is a part.

It says it's the largest caucus of GOP state leaders in the nation, claims 100,000 donors and says it raised $30 million in the last election cycle to help elect Republican row-office candidates and state lawmakers.

Its hit on Kane, who beat fellow-Democrat Patrick Murphy in the April 24 primary, is that she has money and exaggerated her record as a prosecutor.

In a statement, the group said, "Fortunately in November Pennsylvania voters can choose the real deal: Dave freed (sic), a career prosecutor, not another politician.”

Two things: probably a good idea to capitalize the last name of a candidate you're backing (it's Dave Freed, Cumberland County DA); and "a prosecutor, not a politician" was Kane's slogan against Murphy and undoubtedly a key to her victory.

You can read the full GOP statement here.

I, too, questioned Kane's claim of prosecuting 3,000 cases as an assistant DA in Lackawanna County and drew the admission that the number relfects cases moved through the office during her dozen years there -- as opposed to cases she actually tried in court, which she later put at about 24.

Political campaigns exaggerate. It's just a fact of life. And she needs to clean that up for the fall campaign.

But calling her a "politician" after she won a race on a slogan that she's not a politician is a stretch. As is the assertion she tired to "buy her way" into office (she married into a family that owns a big-time trucking firm, Kane is Able).

Virtually every candidate tries to buy his or her way into office, either with campaign funds from wealthy donors, unions or big business or with personal money.

Outside interest groups are part of the electoral process at almost all levels these days. But their claims should be weighed the same as candidates' claims -- with a grain of salt.

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
About this blog
John Baer has been covering politics and government for the Daily News since 1987. The National Journal in 2002 called Baer one of the country's top 10 political journalists outside Washington, saying Baer has, "the ability to take the skin off a politician without making it hurt too much." E-mail John at

John is the author of the book "On The Front Lines of Pennsylvania Politics: Twenty-Five Years of Keystone Reporting" (The History Press, 2012). Reach John at

John Baer Daily News Political Columnist
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