Damaging emails, Super PAC ads and a quite notable letter. See who made this week’s list!
Kathleen Kane. The Inquirer published an extensive and excellent report on the investigation into Attorney General Kathleen Kane last night. Among the revelations was that Kane’s then-top advisor, Adrian King, urged her in an email not to leak the grand jury information. Yet the AG testified that King agreed with the move. Given the fact that Kane’s appeal on the use of a special prosecutor is currently before the PA Supreme Court, this is bad news matched with bad timing. Increasingly, the Attorney General seems to be sinking deeper and deeper into this morass and it looks progressively less likely that she’ll be able to get out.
Jim Kenney. The former Councilman won the race to the airwaves. Well, sort of. A Super PAC, backed by labor, launched the first TV ad of the Philly mayoral race this week. The video sings the praises of Kenney, painting him as a progressive champion ahead of the May Democratic primary. With presumed front-runner Anthony Williams having his own independent forces, this support is crucial for Kenney and could allow him to emerge as the State Senator’s biggest challenger.
Pat Toomey. Signing Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton’s letter to Iran must have seemed a good idea at the time. Sen. Toomey (and most Republicans) have been vocal about their disagreements with the Obama Administration’s negotiations over a possible nuclear deal with Iran. The backlash to that letter surely caught the signees by surprise. The debate got so heated that some called the Senators “traitors” who were in violation of U.S. law. Even Senator Casey, who has a close relationship with his Keystone State colleague, criticized the action and by extension, Sen. Toomey.
Seth Williams. The Philadelphia District Attorney has been locked in a personal and professional feud with Attorney General Kathleen Kane for quite some time. The heart of the conflict stems from the 2013 cases of corruption by Philly State Reps. that Kane choose to pass on. This week, Williams charged three more of the officials involved in that case. His battle with Kane has already brought the DA a higher profile and could end up being a boost to a future statewide campaign.
Lynne Abraham. In a way, Jim Kenney’s gain has been Lynne Abraham’s loss. First, she now faces competition as the alternative to Anthony Williams ever since Kenney stepped down from City Council and entered the race. Then, the pro-Kenney Super PAC ad suggested she could fall behind in the money contest. As a result, Abraham’s campaign called on all candidates to reject “dark money” by signing a pledge. Finally, her team turned in a disappointingly low number of signatures to file for the ballot, trailing not only Williams and Kenney but also Nelson Diaz and Doug Oliver. It’s still early but the ex-DA will have to find a way to get back some momentum.
Martina White. Recently retired Chief Justice Ron Castille made his first endorsement since his ascension to the PA Supreme Court when he backed GOP candidate Martina White in the HD-170 special election. Before he was elected to the Court, Castille served as Philadelphia DA and his support is still valuable. That fact, added to the labor endorsements she secured last month, shows White is running a campaign that has a legitimate chance to pull off an upset on March 24th.
The tweet of the week goes to the Inquirer’s Mike Sielski for reminding us of Chris Christie’s unforgivable sin…being a Dallas Cowboys fan.
BREAKING: With #Eagles poised to sign DeMarco Murray, Governor Chris Christie closes all lanes on New Jersey side of Walt Whitman Bridge.
— Mike Sielski (@MikeSielski) March 12, 2015