Larry Kane’s Political Notebook: Campaign & Kane Updates

Larry Kane
Larry Kane

Campaign Update:

The Dilemma of Allyson Schwartz

The long and successful political career of Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz has brought her to a delicate moment, one that may define the final weeks of the battle for the Democratic nomination for Governor of Pennsylvania.

Schwartz faces a choice. Her frontrunner status was lost in February when successful businessman Tom Wolf launched an expensive and charming ad campaign that introduced him to the people of the state. During that same period, Katie McGinty launched a smaller campaign, and a few days ago, Pa. State Treasurer Rob McCord began his broadcast campaign. It is doubtful that the fifth candidate, Jack Wagner, will be able to raise money anytime soon for a similar campaign.

A Schwartz spokesperson declined to talk about the timetable for her broadcast offensive. The timetable is less important than the decision the candidate has to make about the tone of her message. Wolf, McGinty, and McCord have all provided positive commercials. In fact the surprise to this reporter is that there have been no negative vibes at all in this campaign.

So the big question: Will Allyson Schwartz go negative? It is really a case of risky business. She may be behind in the contest but she is not out of the running to win it. A negative salvo against Wolf may have an impact, but there seems to be a lack of material against the former Revenue Secretary, so Schwartz’s best defense may be going on the offense. The real problem is that in the middle of enormous TV viewing and radio listening during the Olympics and that nasty February weather, Wolf’s story was beautifully told. He owned the commercial airwaves. Now that the imagery has been shaped, is it too late for the Congresswoman to try and change it?

One of her concerns, according to insiders, is holding her base in Montgomery County, which is essential for a Schwartz victory.

Meantime, a comment on Rob McCord’s messaging. The spots are crafty and warm. His story of his mother and the sacrifices she made should resonate well. His campaign is well over a million dollars and will last for over a week.

A Dramatic Turn For Kathleen Kane

We all know the story by now of the Attorney General’s decision not to proceed with a prosecution of Philadelphia lawmakers who could have been charged with taking gifts.

As a news story, it doesn’t get bigger. But another thread has emerged in this story, that may be more impactful than the original. Attorney General Kane, in remarks before the Fraternal Order of Police last week, took some strong shots at the news media. There is nothing wrong with that. Most of us have thick skin. Some times we deserve it. But her comments at that event, and her hiring of the venerable Dick Sprague to accompany her to the Inquirer Editorial Board and serve as her spokesperson, would indicate that she has decided to join a special club that takes media bias a step further. Chris Christie is the newest member.

Christie, whose career has been charmed until recently mostly with the help of an adoring media, joined the long line of American politicians who blame the media every time a problem pops up. Even I was shocked when Christie told conservative Republicans that politicians shouldn’t allow the media to define them.

In comes Kane with her anti-media comments at the FOP. Then, the following day, she showed up with Sprague at the Inquirer Editorial Board. In succinctly dramatic style, Sprague said he would investigate. Generally its assumed that you would want Sprague in a fox hole with you, but to shield you from the media?

The Inquirer was not intimidated, continuing with a barrage of investigative reports on the original investigation, along with editorials, and a scathing anti-Kane op-ed by the DA of Philadelphia.

So you have to wonder whether Kane realizes what possible errors she made, not in the vacated sting operation, but in her overly defensive reaction to the reporting of it?

Does she understand that understanding the role of media is part of her job? Perhaps she should have hired a media expert to help her understand the role of the media in a free society

Chris Christie, who enjoyed watching the media record his meteoric rise, and who now partially blames it for his challenges, must be watching this one with great curiosity.

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

6 Responses

  1. Is Larry trying to give Allyson’s Campaign CPR with this piece . Come on Larry you are showing your Bias in Favor of Allyson . You should have never left Channel 6 Your worth as a Journalist died when you left 6ABC . You are a Has Benn Larry

  2. I appreciate AG pointing out the flaws and racial undertones of the case. I am taken back by the editorial by DA Williams. However it turns out, those accused have been sufficiently embarrased. Seems he wants to put somebody in jail…Thats bad karma Mr. DA

  3. not sure what the schwartz campaign has up there sleeve.there either gonna look real smart or real dumb for not going on tv yet.it maybe to late for a comeback.

  4. Schwartz’s real problem is her abandonment of any political philosophy that she once claimed. She has become so corporatist. She no longer represents the “people” unless one defines people as corporations. Her honorary chairmanship of Third Way–the group that wants to cut Social Security and Medicare was quite telling. When she resigned that chairmanship after the media exposed her, she made a further statement about what she really stands for. She should resign from the race.

  5. In reading this, I wonder if Larry Kane saw the sensationalized headlines that made it look like Kathleen Kane was letting offenders off the hook, rather than shutting down a bad investigation and criticizing the handling of the “information”.

    The story should have been the fatally flawed investigation, and why it was so bad.

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