Saturday, February 13, 2016

It's a cat fight! Attorney General candidates scrap over endorsement

Candidates in the attorney general's race are fighting, well, like cats and dogs, over cats and dogs.

It's a cat fight! Attorney General candidates scrap over endorsement

Republican David Freed, left, and Democrat Kathleen Kane, shake hands after a televised debate for the state attorney general's office Monday, Oct. 22, 2012, at Widener University School of Law in Harrisburg, Pa. Elections are Nov. 6. (AP Photo/The Patriot-News, Dan Gleiter) AP

Candidates in the attorney general's race are fighting, well, like cats and dogs, over cats and dogs.

At their one and only debate Monday night, Democrat Kathleen Kane in response to a question from this reporter about enforcement of the state's Puppy Lemon Law, said she was proud to have the endorsement of the Humane Society of the United States.

Only trouble is the Humane Society of the United States, the national non profit animal adocacy group - not to be confused with your local shelter - can't endorse candiates.

Kane  was in fact endorsed by Humane PA, a political action committee that endorses candidates in statewide and local House and Senate elections and advocates for pro-animal legislation.

Tim Kelly, campaign manager for GOP candidate David Freed, says the claim made during the debate at Widener University Law School in Harrisburg is the "second time that Kane has misled Pennsylvania voters by claiming an endorsement she has not earned."

"Kathleen Kane's patently false statement before a statewide television audience on Monday evening clearly demonstrates that Kane will do and say anything to win elected office," said Kelly. "Whether she's misrepresenting her record, accepting special interest money after saying she does not, or claiming endorsements she has not earned, Kathleen Kane has repeatedly proven that winning an election is more important to her than telling Pennsylvania voters the truth."

Kane stirred controversy when her campaign sent out an announcement last month that Kane had been endorsed by the Pennsylvania State Troopers Association when in fact she had not. Kane blamed the mistake on an intern.

For its part, the Kane campaign denounced the attack as evidence the Freed campaign was grasping at straws in the face of her debate win.

"Kathleen clearly intended to say that she was endorsed by Humane PA," said her spokesman Josh Morrow. "This is a desperate attempt by Dave Freed to salvage something from a debate that he lost."

Kane, a former Lackawanna County assistant district attorney, maintains a 12 point lead in the latest Morning Call/Muhlenberg College poll. Both candidates this week rolled out new campaign ads.

For the record both candidates touted their records prosecuting animal cruelty cases (Freed is the district attorney for Cumberland County) and pledged to vigorously enforce consumer protection and cruelty laws.

In case you missed the debate, you can watch it by clicking on the link on the PCN TV blog here.


Click herefor's politics page.

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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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