Thursday, September 3, 2015

Attorney Gen. candidates locked in row office row

The campaign for Pennsylvania Attorney General has turned negative.

Attorney Gen. candidates locked in row office row


UPDATE: Controversial ad continued to run on Philadelphia airwaves over the weekend after a GOP promised to pull it. A spokesman for the Republican State Leadership Committee tells Philly Clout, it will start airing the edited ad today, prompting Clout to ask, since when do political campaigns break on the weekends six weeks from Election Day?


The campaign for Pennsylvania Attorney General has turned negative.

A GOP group's ad portraying Democratic frontrunner Kathleen Kane as being "soft" on rape was pulled from the Philadelphia airwaves after objections from the rape victim's father.

The Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington produced the ad for GOP attorney general candidate David Freed, now says it will edit out the rape prosecution charge.

“Following the issuance of statements from those close to the case that did not come until today, the RSLC has chosen to remove the reference to the case and instead focus on numerous other instances in which Kane failed Pennsylvania victims of abuse,” the committee said.

The ad accuses Kane, a former assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, of making a plea bargain in the rape case that the judge criticized as too soft.

But the victim's father said that was not the case.

"The advertisement says that Kathleen Kane made a plea bargain in a rape case that a judge says wasn't tough enough," the father wrote in a letter released Friday by Kane's campaign to Philly Clout. "I know that's a lie, because it was my daughter that was the victim in the case.

"If they can't convince people to vote for him without lying, he should not even be running," the father said of the committee and Freed the Cumberland County district attorney.

Gene Talerico, the 1st assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, supported Kane and the father, saying Kane had only an "administrative" role in the case that was later assigned to another assistant district attorney.

He accused the RSLC of using "distortions and outright falsehoods" in the ad. Talerico, who supervised the rape case, said he can "unequivocally state" that Kane had no involvement in how it was resolved.

Nonetheless, RSLC executive director Chris Jankowski says the group will continue to hammer Kane on her statement that during her stint in the Lackawanna district attorney's office she handled 3,000 prosecutions - an issue that was central to in her primary battle against former Rep. Patrick Murphy.

 “The bottom line is that Kathleen Kane once claimed credit for prosecuting this case and is now taking major steps to distance herself from it," said Jankowski. "It is difficult to know the truth with Kane’s record, but we will respectfully move on from discussing this particular case and focus those failures she is not contesting."

The RSLC is paying $558,700 to run the commercial on four television stations -- 6ABC, NBC10, CBS3 and Fox29 --in Philadelphia for a week, Philly Clout reports.



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Commonwealth Confidential gives you regularly updated coverage of the state legislature, the governor and the workings of the state bureaucracy. It is written by Angela Couloumbis in the Inquirer's Harrisburg bureau, based in the statehouse, and by the newspaper's far-flung campaign reporters.

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