Democrat Kathleen Kane is more comfortable making a TV ad than talking to reporters. That’s the take of Pete DeCoursey of Capitolwire, who described Kane’s relationship with the press in a column Monday.
A column, it bears note, that Kane’s opponent and the Pa. Republican Party eagerly emailed to reporters.
Kane, a former assistant District Attorney from Lackawanna County, faces Dave Freed, the Cumberland County District Attorney.
DeCoursey wrote, in part:
Sometime this week you will be able to turn on your TV and see both candidates for attorney general, in TV ads. Tonight you can tune in to see the Democrat, Kathleen Kane, and the Republican, David Freed, debate with a third-party candidate on the Pennsylvania Cable Network.
So at least reporters around the state and people trying to tell voters who Kathleen Kane is will know she is still alive and still in the race.
Because while Freed has kept up a public schedule of campaigning events, and welcomed media coverage and answered questions at length, Kane has ducked scrutiny more than any other Pennsylvania statewide candidate in my tenure covering statewide politics.
Kane’s staff said it was a private event and she had no time then to talk to us or the other hordes of Capitol reporters all trying to arrange to travel with her so they could tell their readers about her. The same thing happened this week again. She came to downtown Harrisburg, two blocks from the reporters trying to cover her campaign, and ducked them all.
Now just to be clear, for a sitting governor or senator to act this regally and imperially would be unprecedented.
It was easier, much easier, to ride along with Sen. Arlen Specter when he was chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, or Rick Santorum when he was the third-ranking Senate GOP leader, or Ed Rendell or Tom Ridge when they were mid-term governors, than it is to find out where Kathleen Kane is campaigning.
Compared to Kathleen Kane’s campaign, Gov. Tom Corbett’s team are Chatty Cathy’s of information.
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Update: Kane’s camp pushed back against the Capitolwire story, noting that Kane has had over 30 press availabilities and editorial board meetings since Sept. 10.
They also accused Freed of skipping out on another proposed debate hosted by WHYY’s Marty Moss-Coane after the details were set.
Freed’s camp said he’s had 80 press avails since Sept. 1 and accepted 6 out of 7 debate invitations. A spokesman said Freed never committed to the WHYY on-air debate and ultimately declined because the host declined to set forth any format rules.
Moss-Coane’s produced Dennis Devine said both sides were right, in a sense.
“Both sides agreed to an in-studio debate on our show, and we scheduled it for Thursday,” he said. “Only the Freed campaign eventually followed up with preconditions and questions about formal debate parameters, but our offer was for a free-flowing in-studio debate/conversation of the kind that Marty has been hosting for her 25 years. Marty, Radio Times host & executive producer, did not agree to the formal debate structure, or at least clarification of the structure, that the Freed campaign said they wanted (after we had understood them to confirm/agree to join us Thursday), and the Freed campaign essentially backed out at that point, saying we failed to provide them with the structure/assurance that they requested.”
“At that point, we notified the Kane campaign that the debate was not happening. From their perspective, I understand why they thought ‘everything was set.'”