The Republican group whose ad against Attorney General candidate Kathleen Kane was refuted by her campaign says it has released a new commercial. The updated version omits a reference to a rape victim whose father rebuked the original ad.
However, Democratic ad watchers say they haven’t seen the new version on television yet, and it has yet to be posted on the RSLC’s anti-Kane website or its YouTube page.
“All stations have the most recent RSLC ad and we stand by it,” said Adam Temple, spokesman for the Republican State Leadership Committee, the organization spending over half a million dollars attacking Kane in the Philadelphia media market. “Kathleen Kane made her record an issue in this campaign, however she is now spending as much time avoiding it as she once spent exaggerating it.”
Temple said that the RSLC put a new ad into production on Friday night and distributed it to Philadelphia-area broadcast stations on Sunday evening. Several of the stations played the original ad throughout the weekend.
The switch isn’t happening fast enough for Kane. Her campaign lambasted the group for its delay and for misconstruing the facts in the original ad.
“It’s been two days since Dave Freed’s allies said they’d withdraw this vicious, false ad, yet it’s still on the air and still running on their website,” said Kane campaign spokesman Josh Morrow said on Sunday. “So once again, Freed’s friends show they can’t be trusted to tell the truth. They lied in the ad, and now they lied about taking it down.”
Morrow also criticized Freed, the Republican candidate for Attorney General, over the fact that his campaign had been silent on the issue for days.
“News reports repeatedly say that his campaign is refusing to respond to questions about his supporter’s reprehensible tactics and baseless claims,” Morrow added.
“Freed needs to tell his people to take their ad down immediately and take their special interest money and their dirty tricks and get out of Pennsylvania. The people of Pennsylvania deserve better.”
Freed’s campaign commented on the ad for the first time on Sunday in response to Morrow’s statement. Mentioning neither the ad in question nor the group airing it, Freed Campaign Manager Tim Kelly called for ethical conduct from all parties.
“David Freed is running his campaign in the way he’s run the district attorney’s office for the past 7 years, with honesty and integrity. It’s our sincere hope that our opponent, as well as any outside groups that are supporting our campaign or our opponent’s campaign, conduct themselves in an honest and ethical manner,” he said.
The original version of the ad accuses, “Of Kane’s few cases, a judge rejected a weak plea deal she made because of the brutality of the crime and age of the victim.”
Kane’s camp, aided by an appeal from the father of the victim and a letter from the supervising prosecutor, pushed back against that claim. They said that she was not involved in that particular case beyond an initial, administrative function stage and had nothing to do with the plea deal mentioned in the ad.
Freed is the District Attorney of Cumberland County; Kane served as an Assistant District Attorney in Lackawanna County.