Questions Raised about Kane’s Targeting of Nursing Homes

KaneIt’s the immortal question in politics: How much influence is too much influence?

As Craig R. McCoy and Angela Couloumbis of the Inquirer report, Pennsylvania has become part of a nationwide trend in which law firms recommend to state AG’s which industries to go after. Those same law firms, of course, just so happen to be the ones to get the cases.

For instance, the firm of Cohen, Milstein, Sellers & Toll first made a deal with then-Attorney General Linda Kelly to investigate nursing homes. Attorney General Kathleen Kane continued the deal and approved four similar arrangements.

The idea, according to supporters, is to get the government to encourage cheaper private-sector lawyers to go after those harming the public good.

“But opponents say contracts like the one signed with Cohen Milstein establish troubling ethical incentives at best and, at worst, glaring examples of pay-to-play: Political donors rewarded with exclusive, lucrative government pacts,” McCoy and Couloumbis write.

“Critics say that rather than have disinterested regulators – state employees whose pay increases not one cent if they issue a fine or not – the deals unleash dollar-driven hired guns armed with subpoena power and the prestige of government.”

Complicating the matter is the fact that the ten firms Kane has given no-bid contracts to have contributed over $350,000 to her campaign.

In the contracts the AG’s office agreed to always seek cash settlements from defendants, presumably for the law firm’s benefits, but this provision was recently dropped in the nursing home cases after the organizations filed suit.

Quid pro quo deals in politics are notoriously difficult to prove and this likely wouldn’t be as big an issue if Attorney General Kane was not already dealing with so many other controversies. For now, it’s worth keeping an eye on.

June 1st, 2015 | Posted in Front Page Stories, Harrisburg, Top Stories | 8 Comments

8 thoughts on “Questions Raised about Kane’s Targeting of Nursing Homes”

  1. Busta Perv says:

    Good point, Bob.

    Also note that just about every State AG’s Office in the country is doing what AG Kane is doing. But don’t expect Craig & Angela to print that. They have been co-conspirators to Fina & The Corbett Pervs. The INKY should be ashamed!!

  2. Busta Perv says:

    Good point, Bob.

    Also note that just about every State AG’s Office in the country is doing what AG Kane is doing. But don’t expect Craig & Angela to print that. They have been co-conspirators to Fina & The Corbett Pervs. The INKY should be ashamed.

  3. bobguzzardi says:

    Law enforcement has been privatized by the Attorneys General; the Libertarian in me is pleased.

    In addition to what I expect to be more thorough inspections of nursing homes, another e upside is that the law firms will be focused on enforcing the law and cannot be swayed by campaign contributions.

    Note that this was a Republican initiative.

    The Inquirer article reports:
    In Pennsylvania, Cohen Milstein struck its contract with former Attorney General Linda Kelly in 2012. Her successor, Kathleen Kane, has since reaffirmed the deal – and approved four others like it.

    Read more at http://www.philly.com/philly/news/20150531_As_Penna__targets_nursing_homes__law_firm_could_benefit.html#G7Dreucly8rqep2d.99

  4. Larry says:

    Kane could murder a child and Observer would be right there to defend her and talk about racy emails.

  5. jmarshak says:

    Nevermind the part where Kane gave out no-bid contracts in exchange for campaign contributions, this just another facet of the misogynistic conspiracy to take her out! Everybody hates her because she’s a woman and her ethics are as pure as the wind driven snow!

  6. Montco PA Dem says:

    It is amazing to me that nobody has pulled the plug on them at the Inquirer. Surely there are still actual journalists at work there who can see this crap for what it is. I guess it’s OK to run one-sided hatchet jobs on a public official if they once hired Richard Sprague.

  7. Observer says:

    Let’s see… These questions were raised by… whom? Frank Fina? The Pornboys network still working at PA-AG? Or maybe… DEFENSE COUNSEL? These are the same lobbyists who protested when outside counsel went after Big Tobacco – and won MILLIONS for the state. Or when Big Pharma had to also pay MILLIONS for promoting junk drugs the state had to pay for. Coulombis and McCoy continue to be used as lackeys – laying the groundwork for their futures in the PR industry. They sure aren’t journalists.

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