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National GOP Group Targets Kane

The Republican Attorneys General Association wants to make sure it can continue to count Pennsylvania as a member. The group launched a new website that dings Democratic nominee Kathleen Kane – including a heroic attempt to find a picture of her that is unflattering.

It was first reported by John Baer of the Daily News.

The site is simple; basically a rehash of arguments made by her primary opponent, former Congressman Patrick Murphy. Namely, they target Kane’s campaign talking point that she prosecuted over 3,000 cases by noting her remarks that she took just 24 to trial. (RAGA’s claim that Kane was deceitful is unfounded – her campaign for the most part carefully said ‘prosecuted,’ not ‘tried.’)

But the site gives a brief preview of the Republican case against Kane, who many GOP operative had said was the more formidable general election foe.

Kane faces Republican Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed as she seeks to become the first Democrat elected to the post as well as the first woman. Current AG Linda Kelly was appointed, not elected, to fill the remainder of Gov. Tom Corbett’s term.

Kane’s camp swung back, calling the effort a sign of concern by the GOP.

“Obviously, the Republicans are running scared if they feel compelled, less than a day after the primary, to start bogus negative attacks on Kathleen Kane,” said Communications Director Joshua Morrow. “They won’t work anymore in a general election than they did in the primary.”

He pointed to numerous times that Republicans have called Kane a strong general election candidate:

“Unlike Murphy, Kane has experience as a prosecutor and would pose a more serious challenge to David Freed in November.” – Chairman Steven C. Boc, Philadelphia Federation of Young Republicans.

“Prosecutor Kathleen Kane… is in the driver’s seat to become the first Democrat attorney general. And expect the Penn State scandal to be front-and-center in the fall election, with Kane pounding away about what former Attorney General Tom Corbett knew, and when he knew it.” – conservative columnist Chris Freind.

“This is the strongest Democratic field” in a while, Alan Novak, a former state Republican chairman, said during an interview on the Pennsylvania Cable Network. “It will be a strong contest for David Freed.”

The Republican Attorneys General Association is part of the Republican State Leadership Committee. The effort wasn’t coordinated with the Freed campaign, which is focused on boosting his own name ID and fundraising.

“The Freed campaign’s focus is clear. We’re traveling the commonwealth each day, meeting with voters and telling Dave Freed’s story,” said Campaign Manager Tim Kelly. “Dave is a career prosecutor and, for the past 7 years, the elected District Attorney in Cumberland County. His leadership in locking up criminals and keeping our streets safe in the DA’s office will extend seamlessly to Attorney General’s office.”

15 Responses

  1. Bob-

    All fair points. The Slogan “Wrong for Pa” on this lousy website should be changed to “Wrong for Pay to play” so that is more accurate as to why insiders are against Kane. Of course we are referring to all of the good ol’ boys…

  2. Dave Freed’s negatives cannot be underestimated. Neil Oxman and the Kane strategists will point out how Dave Freed is inextricably anchored to State Republican Leadership. After all, are not both Sen. Corman and Tom Corbett Penn State Sandusky Enablers. These are not guys that victims of sexual predators want on their side. Not to mention that the grandfather of Dave Freed’s children is himself a Republican State leader and a subject of AG investigation for looting Hershey Trust’s disadvantaged kids. Nope, not a kid friendly group.

    How much experience did Tom Corbett have as a prosecutor when he was elected AG?

    On the positive side, Kathleen Kane will tell Republicans that she is independent of Democratic Party leadership and independent of Union leadership and she will tell Democrats she is a Democrat…all obviously true.

    The Tea Party is in play, in my opinion.

  3. TJ-
    Her experience handling cases would make her a better AG. She would have a far better understanding of the work the attorneys under her were doing. For BIG cases, where decisions about what charges to bring, what plea bargains to except, what attorneys to assign, and explaining those decisions to the public, her experience would be a significant help.

    Relatively minor differences in experience between Freed and Kane aren’t going to make a difference like they did with Murphy/Kane or could have with Murphy/Freed.

    Kane and Freed have both passed the threshold test of being qualified for the job.(Murphy never met that threshold, from a POLITICAL perspective). The issue for Kane/Freed is who would do a better job going after criminals (and Corbett).

  4. Kathleen wins in November, just as she did in primary!!! She’s fine being the under dog. Whistling from allegheny co. To Erie, thru Lackawanna and Luzerne… And a big smack in Philly.

    We had two awesome primary candidates. There are some key differences between 04 and 08 and now. For example, Corbett did well in Allegheny Co. Freed simply won’t. I see this race coming down to checks and balances on Harrisburg. The people are fed up.

  5. Kane won the primary because she ran on experience. Murphy ran on agenda and policy.As we all know, the experience argument one the day. I’d expect the same thing to happen in the general election. If Kane ran on agenda and policy, she would have lost. She hasn’t been clear on important progressive issues. The State party and liberal base sure as heck won’t waste their time helping a candidate that they didn’t support in the primary. Especially since they hold doubts about whether or not she holds core Democratic values.

    The only way Kane wins this is one the Obama-Casey coattails. But as we saw in 08, 04, ect., the Democratic Presidential Nominee won the state, and the Republican won the AG’s office.

  6. @ Adam
    Your comment does in fact make my point for me. “Exactly how much time do you think the Attorney General spends trying cases?”- The Murphy supporters were saying the exact same thing when Kane supporters were acting like her courtroom experience was what mattered. Your right, the AG doesn’t try cases. But the people who voted for her, voted for her because she led them to believe that her 3000 cases was what made her qualified.

    If people voted for the candidate based on agenda and policy, Murphy would be the nominee right now. The fact of the matter is, Kane is going to have a hard time winning the experience argument because she fabricated it during the primary.

  7. Adam, you made TJ’s point about Freed being more qualified, He has ran a DA office and prosecuted cases, while Kane has never ran an office, just prosecuted cases

  8. GOP voters should have no problem with Kane. Her husband’s company is virulently anti labor.

  9. @TJ – Exactly how much time do you think the Attorney General spends trying cases? I don’t care how many cases either of them has tried. They’re not running to be a grunt attorney in the office, they’re running to manage the office and set policy.

  10. How is she not misleading voters? Every candidate who has run for Attorney General in the past could probably say they prosecuted 3,000 cases. They don’t because they know it would come across as inflating their resume. That is exactly what Kathleen Kane is doing. Is a former ADA from Lackawanna County the most qualified candidate the Democratic Party has ever nominated? Sure seems like her campaign and the media are acting like it.

    I can’t wait for the Freed ad that comes out saying he prosecuted 4,000 cases. I’m sure he also tried more than 24 of them. He is by far the more qualified candidate. However, journalists continue to stand up for Kane, mainly because she’s the first female candidate to run for this office. I get wanting women in state wide office. I am all for that and welcome their presence with open arms. However, we need qualified women in office just as we do men. There is no justice in electing a women just for the sake of electing a women.

  11. This is the problem with politics right now. This Atty General seat belongs to the citizens of Pennsylvania NOT the national GOP Atty General’s group. There should be laws passed that outside groups, both Repub and Dem should not be allowed to interfere in races. This crap that is going on where interest groups like Karl Rove’s American Crossroads interfering in PA House and Senate races and Grover Norquist having influence over races on the state and local levels has to stop. Let the voters decide on the candidates without having a bunch of half truths and outright lies spread by groups that have nothing to do with Pennsylvania.

  12. The Democratic Attorney Generals race drew the most votes of any in their statewide primary. She defeated the progressive candidate and had Bill Clinton’s backing, a strong plus to PA Democrats. She is certainly the stronger of the two democratic candidates.

    The successful candidate will most likely be the one who makes the best case for themselves, running on and highlighting their record, citing their philosophy and goals, especially with the current state of the state corrections system.

  13. These people suck! Lest the GOP forgets, it was on their watch that they “kicked the can down the road” on PSU. Freed is going to get pounded. Kane is tough on crime and independent.

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