Freed Has Wide Cash Lead in AG Race

Republican Dave Freed leads Democrat Kathleen Kane $440,000 to $2,000 according to the latest campaign finance reports in their Attorney General contest. Kane spent roughly $2 million – most of it in loans from her family – to clear a competitive primary; Freed was unopposed.

Kane is a former prosecutor from Lackawanna County; Freed is the District Attorney of Cumberland County.

Kane faced a tough opponent in former Congressman Patrick Murphy and the campaign was expensive – complete with a high-visibility television battle. After she won, Kane enjoyed a week of favorable headlines.

So far, it appears it was money well spent. In the most recent poll of the race by Public Policy Polling, Kane lead Freed 42 to 33 percent.

Her campaign dismissed the cash on hand disparity, noting the report only covers through May 14.

“Dave Freed will have to outspend Kathleen Kane significantly to make up the ground he’s behind in public and private polling,” said Communications Director Josh Morrow. “Kathleen Kane has gotten a great reception from donors since her come-from-behind victory and will have the resources needed to bring change to Harrisburg.”

The race will be hard-fought. Most GOP politicos agree that this office is the top priority of Governor (and former AG) Tom Corbett.

Freed’s camp celebrated the haul, and took a jab at Kane.

“We understand the our billionaire opponent can write a check at any time, but our most recent filing attests to the fact that David Freed’s message and proven experience for the job are clearly connecting with voters across the commonwealth,” said Freed Campaign Manager Tim Kelly.

More on the fundraising, via the AP:

Freed’s largest contribution — $25,000 — came from a political committee headed by GOP national committeeman Robert Asher. Kane and her husband, Chris, contributed more than $30,000 each to her campaign. The Haviland Law Firm in Philadelphia gave her $15,000.

16 Responses

  1. I love how any thread with Asher and Guzzardi is always the longest thread. It ought to be a political comedy show called “The Candyman and the Kook”.

  2. Is the Kane family going to put in another few million for the general? If so, this race is very competitive.

  3. Bob, you are way off base about Montco. It went Dem because of Jim Matthews’ betrayal at Asher’s insistence. What you cite is afterwards. I have no love for Castor or Kerns either, but blaming them for Matthews is just plain wrong. Matthews ruined Montco and did so as a tool of Asher’s to block Castor. Maybe Castor should have stepped aside in 2011, I don’t know. But Asher’s puppet chairman Ken Davis paired Matthews with Castor in 2007 against Castor’s will with the sole object of making sure Castor didn’t control the government. The idiots in the party down there didn’t listen to Castor and backed Matthews to their eternal regret. Then the predictable played out when Matthews turned the county over to the Democrats as Ryan says above. He did that at Asher’s direction. To suggest otherwise, Bob, reflects a profound misunderstanding of Montco GOP infighting. If Asher runs state politics the way he has Montco, then the state GOP is in deep trouble and so is Freed.

  4. The reason MontCo went Democratic is because of Bruce Castor’s ego and Bob Kerns’ incompetence.

    Bob Asher was not involved. Bruce Castor hijacked the County campaign to disastrous effect. Bruce Castor is a political nonentity in MontCo.

    Reform Republicans, led by Joe Meo and his team, are rebuilding the party and Bob Asher is welcome. Bob Asher has not interfered in any way and has encouraged good candidates.

  5. I was in Harrisburg today with Tea Party Patriot and Reform Republicans.

    Surprisingly, few know of Dave Freed’s entanglements with Hershey Trust investigation. This is something one would not want to get too close to. FYI Pennsylvania does not have a special prosecutor.

    The grandfather of Dave Freed’s children siphoned off money meant for disadvantaged kids. Getting rich from government does not move votes toward your candidate.

    I have only begun…

  6. Nobody is looking a Montgomery County for inspiration. Circumstances there are unique. The feud between Bob Asher and Bruce Castor is all consuming. So much so that to keep Castor from becoming commissioner chair, Asher encouraged and brokered a deal where the other Republican Commissioner, Jim Matthews defected to the Democrat and destroyed county government and with it GOP dominance in what was the most Republican of counties. Asher would rather kill the party there and sacrifice anyone than let Bruce Castor run the government. Castor, in turn responded by ruining the careers of all Asher loyalists and patronage hires/contract awardees. It all goes back to the AG race in 04 which everyone knew was effectively for governor in 10. Asher shunned Castor, then-DA of Montco and the hometown favorite, in favor of Corbett. This because Castor blocked Asher’s appointment to the SEPTA transit board on account of Asher’s felon status. (How might bonus gate, Sandusky etc have been different?) So the cycle continues and Montco suffers. Cumberland County is not the same by any stretch because Asher doesn’t live there. Shrewd politicians don’t cross Asher however distasteful it is dealing with him. There is no upside when the party as a whole is required to turn their collective backs on principled and capable politicians like Castor. Freed is simply avoiding Castor’s mistakes. Whether Kane uses that to her advantage is up to her, her advisors, and her polling.

  7. David Freed isn’t a bad DA but is a terrible choice for the party AG candidate. While liked and respected in party circles in and around Harrisburg, he’s not well known across the state. Cumberland County isn’t anything big to anyone outside of Harrisburg. Word of advice to the PAGOP..the Chocolate may taste good but its bad for the health ie party in large amounts. If your looking to Montgomery county as your party model, i see failure in the future. Just look at 2011.

  8. I agree with most of what is said above. The Asher card is a great one to play for Kane, if she has enough money to broadcast it out. “Felon Picks Top Cop” theme is easy to understand. It has had limited traction before because the Democrats have been underfunded and the Republicans using it have had to take on their own party. Eventually, someone like Kane, will be well funded and take down a Republican on the Asher issue. This race has potential for that.

  9. The Tom Corbett BrabenderCox Brian Nutt endorsed Steve Welch was rejected by Pennsylvania Republican voters for a reason.

    Tom Corbett’s man Dave Freed was a very poor choice for Attorney General and his very, very close links to LeRoy Zimmerman, former chairman of the Hershey Trust and the Milton Hershey School will link him to many Republicans enriching and empowering themselves from these iconic schools.

    We will be reminded of ten year investigation of Jerry Sandusky which some think was a cover up by Tom Corbett.

    And, can we forget the failure to investigate Senate Bonusgate insiders?

    If the Kane campaign focuses on Freed’s negatives and Kane’s positives – a prosecutor not a politician – and stays away from demonizing the Tea Party and Reform Republicans, this will be shooting a fish in a barrel.

  10. Say what you want about Bob Asher, but his chocolate covered pretzels are delicious.

  11. You beat me to it! Another story has Asher as part of Corbett’s kitchen cabinet. This guy is at the top of the steaming pile that is the PA GOP. His methods killed off his party in his native Montgomery County. The exact same methods are at play in the state. The Republicans will come crashing down to Earth within the next few years. And it will be solely because of Bob Asher and his corrupt practices.

  12. Asher the criminal is in charge of picking the state’s top lawman. Again. I hope Kathleen Kane uses that as the center of her campaign and just hammers the Republicans on that relentlessly for the last three weeks of the campaign on TV. The GOP is doomed when they elect as their top party man a convicted felon imprisoned for perjury, bribery and political corruption.

  13. Its always wonderful when a candidate for Attorney General and current district attorney’s largest campaign contributor is a convicted felon!

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