MSNBC Names Kane, Shapiro, Costello and Reed PA Rising Stars

This week, MSNBC host and NBC News Chief White House Correspondent Chuck Todd has taken a periodic look into PA politics.

Today, Todd named some of the rising stars in the Keystone state, picking two members from each party. For the Democrats, Attorney General Kathleen Kane and Montgomery County Commissioner Josh Shapiro were chosen.

Todd justified their selection by noting that Kane received the most votes of any political candidate in 2012 and Shapiro has a bright future and could seek higher office.

As for Republicans, Chester County Commissioner Ryan Costello earned a nod because of his recent status as a “Young Gun” and for being named one of The Fix’s “40 Under 40”.

Finally, State Rep. David Reed won the final spot.

“The 36-year old is the Chairman of the State House Republican Campaign Committee where he oversaw his party pick up 13 seats in 2010 and maintain a majority in the 2012 elections,” Todd said. “With House Speaker Sam Smith to retire our experts say Reed is likely to make a move into a leadership position and could even end up running for Governor himself one day.”

Earlier this week, on Tuesday, Todd looked into Pennsylvania’s political history and its shifting views on social issues.

31 thoughts on “MSNBC Names Kane, Shapiro, Costello and Reed PA Rising Stars

  1. Unsanctioned R-

    Will you concede either (or both) of the following:
    1) If Williams fails to prosecute, then the case was such a loser on the merits (as Kane said), that Williams owes Kane a huge apology?

    2) If Williams prosecutes, but fails to convict, Kane (and her supporters) owe Williams a giant “I told you so”.

    Also, how long do you think Williams should take to sh*t or get off the pot with the case (whatever he decides)? Another month, two, six? At what point does his inaction become his failure?

  2. Unsanctioned R-

    Okay, that’s something we can agree on. I completely disagree with the Inquirer’s take or as you call it, “the conventional wisdom”.

    But, the fact remains, that if Williams fails to prosecute or get a conviction, Kane comes out on top. If he gets a conviction, it would hurt Kane politically (but I don’t see that outcome as likely).

    The preemptive excuse that Kane tainted any jury pool is bogus, since Williams asked (begged and begged and begged) for the case after Kane’s statements (and since jurors are questioned about any prior knowledge to weed out information bias).

  3. Again, your problem isn’t with me, it’s with the conventional wisdom presented by the Philadelphia Inquirer, which I happen to agree with in this case.

  4. Unsantioned R-
    1) the questions I asked (which you refuse to answer) are precisely why the case is a loser.

    2) The defense will bring them up, so there is no tainting of the jury pool (as you can easily find 12 jurors who don’t even know who Kane is, let alone her remarks on the case).

    3) You should watch this week’s episode of Cosmos to learn about climate change and global warming.

    4) Of course I think Williams motivations (in this case) are contrary to his words. Engaging in politics instead of his job. Duh. People lie about their motivations all the time. I don’t think you believe half the crap you post here, particularly on this topic. I think you are just trying to attack Kane (and me), even if you think Williams is full of crap too, you wouldn’t admit it. You don’t give a rat’s @ss about “justice for the people”. You just want to see Kane’s rise halted, and some black Dem lawmakers convicted (and you aren’t the slightest bit concerned if the investigation was on the level).

  5. Kane is the cliché. I used to defend her, but it became clear to me and the Inquirer that she is a politician and not a reformer. Most everyone now sees her through that lens.

  6. professor-
    I think in Clarence Thomas’s case, they think he wants to be more like Scalia. But, I digress.

    In my view, Williams is just an opportunist looking score political points. And, unfortunately, city D.A.s (through out the country) often seem to be more interested in sensational convictions to boost their careers than in the actual merits of the cases or misconduct against the defendants. They sure fight like crazy to suppress/deny/block exculpatory evidence that would overturn cases they’ve already chalked up in their “win” column.

    With his blustering about the case, Williams has fallen right into that cliche. It’s not a white or black issue or a racial character trait. It’s not even a question of whether the lawmakers are guilty. It’s just the corrosive political nature of the D.A. job.

    As a general principle, to maintain fairness and faith in the legal authorities, if they break the rules or engage in misconduct, the jurors side against them, even to let the guilty go free. That’s why warrantless searches and evidence get tossed, even if they are clear indicators of guilt.

    So, Williams shot his mouth off about challenging Kane to let him take the case, but LIKE I’VE BEEN SAYING, he hasn’t made a peep about it since. Seems to me if he thought he had a case, he’d be having people arrested, booking them, setting up grand juries, and bragging to the press about how quickly he was acting on this.

    I sometimes think he was completely bluffing and he hoped Kane would not turn over the case to him so he could keep complaining from the cheap seats. But, Kane called his bluff and put him front-row center. I think she completely out-maneuvered him on this by making him beg for his own sh*t sandwich.

  7. You’ll notice I rarely answer questions you ask when you try to change the subject (something you often do when losing arguments—BTW, I assume by now you’ve seen today’s global temperature measurements and realize that the climate models of the “97%” are crap).

    So I guess now we can add that you think Seth Williams is a liar and his motivations are contrary to his words.

    And you agree with me that you could not accept a conviction as just.

    And you agree with me (and the Inquirer) that Kane spiked the jury pool so that Williams would have a difficult time getting justice for the people.

    She stunk this up. Everyone in the SE knows it. Smells all the way down to horse country.

  8. I think Mr. Diano is mixed up. When the people call Justice Thomas an “Uncle Tom,” they don’t mean that he wants to be like AG Kane. They mean to insult him because he is favoring racist whites. I won’t quote the dictionary, but I did read Uncle Tom’s Cabin. Although Mr. Diano isn’t using the term, he is making the exact same comparison.

  9. Taking out the trash-

    Oh, I see your misunderstanding, you think that I’m equating a white racist jury with a “Seth Williams” juror. I think a “Seth Williams” juror, who actually has a law degree and knows the law, would vote to acquit on the merits. However, a “Seth Williams” prosecutor would bring employ the same ethics as if he were a juror. One doesn’t run for office by being a juror.

    So, I think Williams only motivation in pushing this case is his own political ambition, and he doesn’t care if the case is tainted (as long as he thinks he can win) or if the defendants are black, white, green, innocent or guilty.

    My point against Williams is two fold:
    1) I think that he will realize the case flawed legally, and not prosecute it because he can’t afford the political fallout of losing it.
    2) I think that if he thought he could win, he wouldn’t hesitate to put on a legally flawed case and ignore legal/ethical problems with the case.

    Unsanctioned R-
    In the event of a conviction, I would think that the defense did a p*ss poor incompetent job, because you aren’t going to get the kind of racist jury I described in Philly. You seem to be purposed (obtusely) missing the point that I described a jury that doesn’t/couldn’t exist (and that Williams knows doesn’t exist).

    I did notice that you failed to address any of my 4 points that would lead a jury to acquit, rather than reward the investigators/prosecution for misconduct.

  10. In the event of a conviction, looks like David would not admit defeat but cry racial injustice.

    Ah, the irony.

  11. Everyone else gets it. You’re saying a jury full of Seth Williamses or a bunch of whites. That’s race baiting. That’s calling him an Uncle Tom.

    Nobody agrees with your conclusions. Kane blew it.

  12. Unsanctioned R-
    1) You don’t know what an Uncle Tom is.
    From Merriam-Webster:
    “a black who is overeager to win the approval of whites (as by obsequious behavior or uncritical acceptance of white values and goals)”
    This is clearly not the case here. In fact, an “Uncle Tom” would be trying to get on Kane’s good side, not show her up. Which just goes to show how stupid you are.

    2) I’m identifying what kind of jury he would need to get a conviction

    3) I never said he would actually try to get that kind of jury. I thought I made it pretty clear that he would come to the same conclusion, and realize the case was unwinnable.

    4) YOU are the one who is implying that Williams would fall into some racial stereo-type (and you picked one that didn’t even make any sense in the context).

    5) Williams has had the case for a month now, and we haven’t heard a peep from him. He raised the stakes. Kane called his bluff. He doesn’t have the cards. Looks like he going to fold (and hope no one notices).

  13. I’m not sure what it says about you that you don’t even realize you just called Seth Williams an “Uncle Tom,” but it can’t be good.

  14. Unsanctioned R-

    I don’t care what Williams “appreciates” and I’m not race-baiting.

    From my reading of the problems with this case, he’d have to have a jury of 12 white racists, pre-disposed to convict blacks, in order for them to ignore the stink of the case.

    From his chest-thumping about the case, it seemed pretty clear (to me) that he was more interested in politics (and advancing his career for a possible AG run) than in the merits of the case.

    There are (at least) four key questions that a jury has to answer:
    1) Why were only Dem black lawmakers targeted?
    2) If the case was so good, why did the case sit for years before Kane arrived, without it being prosecuted?
    3) Why was the informant given immunity for crimes involving hundreds of thousands of dollars in exchange for conducting stings involving a few thousand dollars?
    4) Why should a jury believe there was a quid-pro-quo arrangement to buy votes from these 4 Dems, for any instances that were unanimous Dem votes anyway?

    These question go directly to the integrity of the investigation itself. If the jury finds the investigation tainted, a conviction will be difficult to obtain.

    And on top of that, Williams still has to overcome whatever else the defense presents on any flaws with evidence itself, alternate interpretations of the evidence, and the credibility of the informant (which might not be too high, since he was facing a lot of charges himself).

    If Williams fails to convict, his political career is going to stink, and Kane will come out smelling like a rose.

  15. I’m sure Seth Williams appreciates the Hannity comparison.

    Good thing he’s not white or else I couldn’t call you a race baiter without 100% chance of it sticking.

  16. Unsanctioned R-
    I have a big problem with the Inquirer coverage because it under reported Kane’s statements regarding the basis of her decision. They left out so much that they essentially mischaracterized her position.

    At the time, I read her fuller statement elsewhere and found it far more convincing and substantive.

    Given the mishandling, and the racial targeting, you’d have to find an all-white jury that was incapable of recognizing racial profiling against blacks as wrong (ie all Sean Hannitys who like profiling blacks in the first place)

  17. Your problem isn’t with me, it’s with the Philadelphia Inquirer which contradicts you and has been much more objective.

  18. Unsanctioned R-
    B.S.

    Williams INSISTED on the case, even after Kane’s analysis of the mishandling and problems.

    While the defense can bring up Kane’s arguments (on their merits), Kane’s opinion (attributed to her) wouldn’t be admissible in court, and a judge wouldn’t allow it into evidence. So, it’s a non-issue, particularly for jurors who have no prior opinion on the case.

  19. Vindicates Kane?
    Her careless words are going to be the defense’s exhibit A. The paper got it right on her. There’s no possible vindication at this point.

  20. To the majority of the state that lies outside SEPA, Shapiro hasn’t done one single thing at all to become a “rising star” other than recently hopping on Tom Wolf’s bandwagon. But I am sure that act will be very well rewarded. Hooray, we have another rising, young, old-boy-in-training.

  21. Unsanctioned R-
    I’ve read the Inquirer coverage and thought it fell short, as it seemed more interested in sensationalism than the legal issues.

    But, now that Seth Williams is stuck with the case, let’s see what he does with it. There are three outcomes:
    1) He realizes the case is a loser, and fails to prosecute.
    2) He decides to prosecute and loses.
    3) He decides to prosecute and wins.

    Cases #1 and #2 vindicate Kane.

  22. David, I’ll send you a subscription to the Philadelphia Inquirer for a more conservative understanding of the day’s issues, esp. Kane.

  23. Diano- There is room to argue, from what I understand, for a certain loss from reorganization. However, the contract was for management. Not for firing and relocation of the administration. It would be a leasing of management from the middle down. No loss of jobs of thousands or even of significance. Not to say every individual lost isn’t significant. But to claim otherwise is a lie or uninformed perpetuation. We could argue the leasing of management would put us at risk when we know anything in government is difficult to reverse. But the contract in its terms was not bad with it’s guaranteed return to the state on face.

  24. By all accounts Montco’s Josh Shapiro is quite a star in the making. I’m not so sure it helps him to be in the same sentence with the completely discredited Kathleen Kane.

  25. KingOfSpades-
    How did Kane “look the other way”? The case was handled and bungled long before she got to it, while no one prosecuted. She realized the case was racially tainted, and had questionable immunity for the informant, and determined it was not likely winnable. When Seth Williams shot off his mouth that he could prosecute it, Kane called his bluff and stuck him with the case files.
    I don’t hear anyone saying those prior to Kane “looked the other way” when they failed to prosecute. What’s everyone going to say of Seth drops the case (or loses it for the reasons Kane predicted)?

    behonest -
    As I recall, the proposed contract left open the possibility for additional activities that could have conflicted with the state’s casinos. One of the many flaws with the scheme.

  26. Roe… There was nothing to claim extensive job loss would result … It was a management outsourcing contract…and there were guarantees in the contract to revenue. You don’t know what your talking about.

  27. KingofSpades, apparently you don’t follow PA politics, AG Kathleen Kane STOPPED Gov. Corbett’s sale of the state lottery to a British capital group, one of the most cost-effective and profitable state agencies, which benefit the state’s seniors AND in turn saved thousands of Pennsylvania JOBS!

  28. Apparently MSNBC isn’t aware of how AG Kane looked the other way when members of her own party were engaging in criminal activity. Nor do they seem to care that she’s accomplished nothing since becoming AG.

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