Larry Kane: Blockbuster Invades Pa. Democratic Governor’s Race

Guest columnist, Larry Kane
Guest columnist, Larry Kane

The Philadelphia Inquirer report on Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s shelving of a long and expensive investigation of alleged corruption by Democratic lawmakers in Philadelphia can be compared to a snake hiding in the grass waiting for just the right moment to pounce and cause toxic damage. The claim in the story is dramatic: that Pennsylvania’s number one law enforcer dropped the investigation, begun by one of the most respected corruption prosecutors in the state’s history, because she says it was aimed at African American lawmakers, a claim that may, according¬† to Inquirer reporters, be compromised by other points of view, of which there are many in this story.

Who is right in this story may not be the main point, politically. The story itself has motivated two possible scenarios: The embattled Governor, Tom Corbett, may now have a potent argument in his fall campaign, that a Democrat was protecting Democrats in the big city. The second scenario is more immediate. Will this force the Democratic Candidates for Governor to speak out about the report, and where will that go?

The newspaper piece is fascinating. Both sides have their arguments, but the reactions from the state lawmakers. who have not been charged with any crime, are tepid at best. The memories seem to be blurred in some of the reactions.

One thing is for sure. The Attorney General may think about a more detailed explanation before the banner headline and the story within, threatens to unravel her party in a year when her party seems to be riding high.

Larry Kane, the Dean of Philadelphia Anchors, is in his 48th year of Broadcasting Philadelphia.


14 Responses

  1. The article states (if you can find real facts in th the middle of the long and rambling article) that Seth Williams also declined to prosecute the case. For the same reason as Ms. Kane – the informant was given immunity by the prior administration before testifying.

    It seems even Larry Kane couldn’t find the facts in this overlong presentation of unfocused conjecture.

    The only poiint of disagreement I could find after reading the articles on this issue is whether or not this case was started for racial motives. The fact the case is faulty, if you really read the article is agreed to.

    But the fact is that although Corbett and his following AAG’s prosecuted corruption before it always started with democrats in time to affect elections. It seems to be the same this time.

  2. Only a psychopath would call the editors at the Philadelphia Inquirer ” rightwing psychopaths.” Get a clue man.

  3. So while Corbett was cutting slack on child molester Sandusky he targeted some black Dems in Philly and somehow this is all AG Kane’s problem. Nice to see the rightwing psychopaths are all atwitter about another fake “scandal”. Means they have nothing to support One Term Tom.

  4. The ONLY thing this story proved is what a miserable, corrupt, partisan, and incompetent place the AG’s office was before Kane came in to clean it up.

  5. | Who is right in this story may not be the main point, politically.

    In one short sentence, Mr. Kane shows exactly what is wrong with political journalism.

  6. The federal prosecutors decided not to go forward. Seth Williams supports pressing charges.

  7. @Ron, Highly unlikely. Corbett left the AG post on January 18, 2011. This sting was probably in the infancy stage during 2010. In fact, the alleged quid pro quo offer made to State Rep. Vanessa Brown was in reference to the voter ID law, which obviously wasn’t part of Ed Rendell’s agenda. The Waters “birthday present” was April 2011.

  8. Only issue with Tom Crowell’s argument is pretty simple: a legislator taking an envelope full of cash is about as legally ambiguous as selling an undercover police officer a few stamp bags of heroin. “I’m an African-American legislator of no consequence in Harrisburg, therefore I’ve been framed” is not a much better defense than “I have no idea how those drugs ended up in my pocket.”

  9. Sounds to me that this whole investigation was screwed up while Corbett was in charge of the AG’s office. Drop this baby back in his lap!

  10. This is still politics, right? Where right and wrong don’t matter? In the words of Tom Duffy, it matters what you DIDN’T do.

  11. Jackb is right, the story will get buried. Which is why it’ll be so fresh when it hits mailboxes during her next run.

  12. I think the DA said that the case was unprosecutable was due to causation issues (i.e., they couldn’t prove that the bribes changed votes), not that the factual background was false. The legislators did fail to disclose the bribes though which is a separate crime.

  13. There’s an alternative view, of course: that the article is flat out wrong. If the Philly DA said he couldn’t prosecute, the Chief of Staff for the GOP Attorney General said they couldn’t prosecute, the feds wouldn’t take the case and the Dauphin County DA said the case was problematic, maybe … just maybe….the article is wrong and Kane did what was right?

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