The father of a rape victim had denounced as a lie a Republican group's campaign commercial slamming as "soft" on rape Kathleen Kane, the Democratic nominee for state Attorney General in the Nov. 6 general election. The Republican State Leadership Committee in Washington, D.C. used the man's daughter as one of two examples of rape victims to criticize Kane's experience as an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County.
"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. "I know that's a lie, because it was my daughter that was the victim in the case.
The father goes on to say Kane played no role in the case. He calls on the RSLC to take down the ad, adding that the Republican candidate, Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed should do the same. "If they can't convince people to vote for him without lying, he should not even be running," the father concludes about the RSLC and Freed.
His letter is backed up by a letter from Gene Talerico, the 1st assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County, who accuses 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. Talerico said Kane role was an "administrative function," signing the original charges against the rapist before another assistant district attorney took over.
The Kane campaign released 42 pages of court documents that appear to back up Talerico's description of her role in the case. That included court transcripts of a different assistant district attorney handling the case.
The RSLC reacted to Kane's claim in today's Daily News Clout column, where she denied being the prosecutor in the case, by saying she "went on the defensive" to "explain away her weak record." That "fact-check" from the GOP group came before Kane released the records and letters.
The RSLC is paying $558,700 to run the commercial on four television stations -- 6ABC, NBC10, CBS3 and Fox29 --in Philadelphia for a week.
UPDATE, 6:30 pm: PoliticsPA.com is reporting that the Republican State Leadership Committee will edit the ad to remove the reference to the case.