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Murphy Goes Negative (Watch Video)

The animus that has been bubbling in the Attorney General primary boiled over onto the air on Saturday. Patrick Murphy’s campaign began airing the above ad, slamming rival Kathleen Kane for her past contributions to Republicans and her family’s company’s record on labor issues.

“What [Kane] doesn’t want Democrats to know is that she’s also a millionaire trucking executive. And her company is proudly anti-union, fighting to keep wages lower while Kane profits,” says a female narrator.

“And she’s been in politics, but not on our side. She supported Republican after Republican, even donating to Tom Corbett.”

Both campaigns have been on TV for weeks; Kane has yet to air a negative ad herself.

PoliticsPA delved into both of those charges in early March; you can see the detailed report here.

Here are the broad strokes: the contributions to Republican candidates, including $500 to Tom Corbett’s AG re-elect in 2008, are accurate. She and her husband have given tens of thousands of dollars to Republicans as well as Democrats. The segment on the Kane is Able company and its labor record is where we get into the weeds.

Kane’s campaign says she is not and never was an executive at Kane is Able nor any of its subsidiaries. The company is owned and managed by her husband, Chris, and his family.

“It’s patronizing that Congressman Murphy is attacking Kathleen Kane for policies of her husband’s company, policies over which she has no control,” said Kane campaign manager Sadie Sterner. “Kathleen Kane supports the Employee Free Choice Act and as Attorney General, will vigilantly defend the right to organize.”

Murphy’s proof? Kane was listed as a company exec 11 times by 6 separate political campaigns to which she contributed. That so many people, given reporting requirements, would make the same mistake is too much to be an accident, Murphy’s camp says.

Kane’s camp notes that campaigns, not donors, file those reports and Kane herself is not responsible for what they reported.

Even if she’s not officially affiliated with the company, Murphy’s camp argues, it’s a fair connection since so much of her campaign’s funding comes from her husband and other executives (about 90 percent of her $2 million). Those executives have had an antagonistic history with labor unions. And Murphy points to an appearance on PCN when she said, “I am not a supporter,” when asked whether she supported the pro-union Employee Free Choice Act.

Kane’s camp fires right back, noting that Fox Rothschild, the law firm where Murphy is a partner, boasts their ability to, “design and implement union avoidance programs.” (Murphy notes that that isn’t his practice area).

Murphy is a former Congressman from Bucks County; Kane is a former prosecutor from Lackawanna County. Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed is unopposed in the Republican primary.

22 Responses

  1. “Kathleen Kane supports the Employee Free Choice Act” That’s nice to know, especially since the Teamsters were recently seen at Kane Freight Lines.

  2. @ ModerateIndy
    The PA 8th district is a Republican. Anyone from that district, like myself know’s that it covers all of Bucks County which is heavily Republican. If anything, Murphy know’s how to win an election, especially a tough election. Kathleen Kane know’s how to right a check. She’s going to need more than her millions to sway PA voters that she is the best candidate for Attorney General.

  3. Murphy and his Soros funded backers know no other way to campaign other than using dirty politics. His campaign may be using a microscope on Kathleen Kane’s background; however, it would serve the citizens to do the same with those who support and fund Patrick Murphy.

  4. Kathleen Kane will be a far more potent candidate against party hack Dave Freed.

  5. Both the liberal Philadelphia Inquirer and the liberal Philadelphia Daily News have endorsed Kathleen Kane because of her experience and because Kathleen Kane is focused on law enforcement and not on political issues.

    Independence from the party leadership and ‘equal justice under law” are what needs to concern voters, in my opinion, Kathleen Kane is most likely to be independent and enforce the law, not politicize prosecutions.

    An independent Democrat can defeat Tom Corbett’s man, Dave Freed. We have had enough one party rule in the AG’s office.

    Jerry Sandusky is still walking the streets because of the failures of Republican Mike Fisher and Republican Tom Corbett and this has to sicken us all.

    The Republican AG’s office is investigating the former Republican AG. How far do we think that will go. Hershey Trust has been tarnished by LeRoy Zimmerman’s grasping for more and more.

    LeRoy Zimmerman is the grandfather of Dave Freed’s children. How far with than investigation.



  6. As a Democrat, why would Kane contribute ANYTHING to Tom ‘Cut Education’ Corbett? That’s a game changer for me.

  7. Well Mr. Murphy, his wife and his campaign manager are busy blasting Kane on here, that much is clear. Here is the reality check though. Murphy got crushed by Fitzpatrick in a district he should have won. But he is way too far left and will never get the votes of Casey Dems much less independents and moderate Rs. Throw in the fact that he is a hot head who was caught on video cursing angrily in a town hall meeting, and you have the makings of a loser candidate. We can elect our first Democrat Attorney. Murphy cannot beat the Republican Freed , who like Kane is a prosecutor with real experience. All the Republican has to do to beat Murphy is run an ad of him cursing in the town hall, and Murphy has no hope. Kane is moderate, appeals to both genders and all age groups. She is our hope.

  8. Served our country in Iraq + Prosecuted terrorists + stood up for civil rights in Congress = Beyond qualified

  9. Never taken the PA bar+ never tried a case in PA + two prior Federal Election Commission violations and investigations equals UNQUALIFIED and UNETHICAL. Not voting for Murphy.

  10. I see tremendous potential in Patrick Murphy. He is honest, genuine and has tremendous personal strength.

    The fact that Kane gave even one penny to Corbett (let alone $500), gives me serious pause before considering her.

  11. This navy vet will be voting for Patrick Murphy. He is a more reliable democrat than Kane. His roots are rowhouse northeast Philly. He is a combat veteran who led the fight to end DADT. He is not a multi-millionaire, we have more than enough of them in politics already. He is strongly pro-union. Bill Clinton is just playing payback for Kane’s support of Hillary in the 2008 primary. Well Bill, I voted for Hillary in the primary and will vote for Patrick Murphy in this primary.

  12. How does a company, whose employees opted to not join a union (as is their right), go from being simply non-union to “proudly anti-union”? Do they hire Fox Rothchild and impliment a union avoidance program? Is that the trick?

  13. And Patrick Murphy lost his re-election bid in 2010 by 10% in a district that has a majority of Democratic registrations. Let us also not forget that he outspent his challenger by a margin of 2-1.
    Apparently Murphy turned off the base in SEPA with his failure as a congressman. He is hoping that the rest of the state doesn’t look at his record of hard left positions in the House of Representatives.

  14. TNardi-
    Umm…. wouldn’t an “independent voice” be from someone who has supported both Dems and Reps?
    Kane has predominately supported Democrats. Her explanation for the $250 support of Corbett was simple: She felt the Dem candidate wasn’t as well qualified for the job, and she didn’t realize how unprecedented Corbett would be in politicizing the job.

    She’s made the argument that one of the reasons, that Dems keep losing the AG elections is that we don’t always put up candidates who are as qualified for the position. This is consistent with her position that she thinks voters would pick her in November because they would see her as more qualified than the GOP candidate, and Murphy would be at disadvantage against the GOP under that criteria.

    Voting for George Bush in 2000 says a lot about Murphy’s judgement and true political leanings. His status as a Blue Dog democrat only makes him less appealing.

    Murphy’s not so much “lying” as switching between dodging and exaggerating about his background. Murphy’s got very little legal experience that is relevant for CIVILIAN law of the AG office.
    He claims to have prosecuted terrorists in Iraq. First of all, under the Bush administration that can’t have been very difficult. The conviction rate under Bush was effectively greater than 100% because many were tortured and incarcerated without even getting a trial. Also, it’s tough to parse Murphy’s resume, but I think he wasn’t the lead prosecutor on these cases, but merely assisted the lead prosecutor. (Someone needs to pin him down on that point.)

    Also, Murphy went to Widener. I’m guessing he couldn’t get into a better law school like Penn, Villanova or Temple (or a correspondence school).

  15. This is a totally legitimate move on Murphy’s part. These are things that people need to know about Kane.

    I was inclined to support Kane because she is a women; however, after seeing this ad, and doing my own research into some of her stances, there is no way on earth I could support her.

    Anyone that comes into this race without personal bias towards one of the candidates, should fall on Murphy’s side. He is clearly the guy that will fight for us the hardest in Harrisburg.

  16. Well Murphy is desperate if he has to go negative. Can’t win on his own credentials. If he wants to bring someone’s family into it, he should keep an eye on his brother who forwarded taxpayer dollars from the Wilkes barre parking authority to Patrick’s law firm Fox Rothschild. Looking forward to how Kane responds.

  17. This election is not about a single vote someone made 8 years ago. Also, it’s not like Murphy is hiding anything about it.

    The issue is that Kathleen Kane supported Republicans financially — and one presumes with her vote — while promising to be an independent voice. She’s just as much a politician as Murphy, except Murphy isn’t lying about his background. She’s also trying to claim that she has nothing to do with her husband’s trucking company — even though *she listed her occupation as an executive with the company* and her family wealth is her largest source of funds bar none.

  18. Kane’ small contribution to a sitting Attorney General seeking re-elections is far less offending than Murphy’s admitted vote for.Bush for

  19. Kane gave a measly $250 to Corbett.
    Kane gave $10,000 to Rendell.

    Pat Murphy vote FOR George Bush for President.

  20. Wow. I cannot believe that Kane contributed to Corbett. We cannot afford to have someone in the Attorney Generals office that has helped Tom Corbett (who cut education funding, and tells women to “close their eyes”) get into office.

  21. Kane: I’m not nor have never been an exec at Kane is Able. I just lied on all my campaign donations.

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