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Updated with Video: National GOP Group to Target Kane on Philly TV

Update: The ad is the hardest-hitting of any so far this cycle, depicting a teenage girl being abducted by someone in a white van.

“Kane also went soft on a rapist of a 16-year old, who was released and later assaulted two more women,” says an announcer, ominously. “We just can’t risk our families’ safety on Kathleen Kane.”

Kane has here efforts to combat child sexual abuse a major theme in her campaign, particularly in the light of the Jerry Sandusky case.

Update 2: Kane campaign Communications Director Josh Morrow blasted the ad, and blamed Freed and Corbett:

“Dave Freed and Tom Corbett have chosen to launch a vicious and untrue attack on prosecutor Kathleen Kane because Freed has been trailing badly in multiple public and private polls. These Harrisburg guys like Freed and Corbett will do anything to stay in power and prevent there from being an independent Attorney General.  It says a great deal that Freed isn’t even attempting to make a positive case about his own record, but is instead unleashing his allies to smear Kane’s record as a tough prosecutor.”


A national group aimed at electing Republican state officials will unleash an attack ad against Kathleen Kane starting Thursday, two media-buying sources tell PoliticsPA.

Kane, a Democrat and former prosecutor from Lackawanna County, faces Cumberland County District Attorney Dave Freed in the race for Pa. Attorney General.

According to two sources, one Democrat and one Republican, the ads will begin tomorrow and air through September 29, entirely in the Philadelphia broadcast market.

Update: Chris Brennan of the Daily News confirmed the buy via Federal Communications Commission filings. He crunched the numbers and found that the group is spending $393,400 to air commercials on 6ABC, NBC10 and Fox29.

PoliticsPA is presently seeking official confirmation from the group behind the ad, the Republican State Leadership Committee, and its affiliated Republican Attorneys General Association (RAGA). It appears that the buy will be an independent expenditure, meaning that the group has not coordinated with Freed’s campaign.

The Kane campaign declined to comment before seeing the ad.

The content of the ad is unknown, beyond the fact that it’s a negative ad against Kane. But ultimately, the substance of the attack may be familiar.

Back in April, the RAGA launched a website meant to criticize Kane’s record as an assistant District Attorney. The site is currently down for maintenance, but it was essentially a rehash of arguments made by Kane’s primary opponent, former Congressman Patrick Murphy. Namely, the group said that Kane’s biggest campaign talking point, that she prosecuted over 3,000 cases, was deceitful given her later remarks that she took just 24 cases to trial. (RAGA’s April claim that Kane was deceitful is unfounded – her campaign for the most part carefully said ‘prosecuted,’ not ‘tried.’)

Kane’s high-profile primary win against Murphy – and the television ads that brought her to victory – gave her a name ID advantage over Freed. In every poll since, including one commissioned by the Philadelphia Inquirer in late August, Kane has held a comfortable lead.

In any case, expect to continue to hear about Kane’s 3,000 cases. Even if RAGA doesn’t go there, Freed might. He told the Pa. Press Club that the Cumberland County DA’s office oversees about 4,000 cases per year, meaning that since taking office in 2006 he can claim to have had a hand in prosecuting over 20,000 cases.

So why the national interest? With the presidential race and U.S. Senate race one the wane in Pa., it appears to be the most competitive statewide race this year.

Plus, GOP operatives almost universally identify the AG contest as the 2012 campaign most prioritized by Gov. Tom Corbett, himself the immediate past AG. Republicans have held the office since it first became an elected position in 1980. If Kane, a Democrat, were to win the position and make old files public, it could mean renewed criticism about Corbett’s handling of everything from the Bonusgate investigation to the Sandusky case.

Additionally the RSLC, which accepts corporate contributions, gave $480,000 to Corbett’s Attorney General campaign in 2004.

17 Responses

  1. If the Kane campaign messagers can make the case that 32 years of One Party Rule means cover up and Freed’s entanglements with that One Party means cover up, I think she wins.

    And how many cases has Dave Freed, personally tried to verdict?

  2. That is utterly disgusting and speaks more to the gutter politics of Freed/Corbett. Kathleen Kane’s record is public and beyond reproach. Being a prosecutor and not a politician seems to be resonating with the Pols, and not in the good way.

  3. Jack-

    Leroy the crook’s son in law is not able to be AG. Freed is as Bob mentioned, the guy needed to cover-up the fact Tom Corbett let a child rapist run free for 3 years. That IS a fact.

  4. That commercial is disgusting. Kathleen Kane is a mom AND a tough as nails prosecutor. What does this say about the Republicans and Freed? They are losing, they are desperate, and there is no depth of hell they won’t sink to. Shame, shame.

  5. Good ad. She’s an empty pant suit. Hope you Dems enjoyed your bogus lead in the polls while it lasted. Can’t wait for Freed to chew her up in the debates. “Kane is Not Able….to be AG”…

  6. My concern is that Neil Oxman who is responsible for media and messaging is from Philadelphia and has a jaundiced view of Tea Party and RedState voters so that he will not be able to craft a message that resonates. Oxman is probably clueless, or at least on polls and anecdotes, as to what resonates.

    I hope her consultant does not lose this race for Kathleen Kane.

  7. Dave Freed’s political patron took three years to arrest a child rapist. I think it might not be a good idea for Tom Corbett’s hand picked replacement Dave Freed to raise the issue of “soft on rape”.

    If Dave Freed is elected, we will never know why it took so long, three years, to arrest. I am not an expert but I don’t think it is routine for police and DA to take three years to arrest anyone. The AG could have arrested Sandusky and there was no impediment to investigating any other child molestations or rapes.

  8. Republican dirty tricks…Willie Horton type ad. Disgraceful GOP. And by the way, haven’t they learned from watching Romney…your campaign needs to be about you, not just tearing down your opponent.

  9. Who is going to believe a woman, a mother, would be soft on a rapist of a 16 year old?

    and we could compare to hard driving Tom Corbett who took three years from complaint to arrest of a child rapist. Honestly, if this is all the Rs have, they are desperate.

  10. hmmm, the Dems are trying to deflect attention from the ad’s contents to who is behind it. Kane should anser the allegations, if she can.

  11. If the same attacks Patrick Murphy used in primary failed, what would make Dave Freed think they will work in the general?

    Kathleen Kane shellacked Patrick Murphy in the primary 52.8 v 47.2 despite the very aggressive and well funded attacks.

    If Kathleen Kane hammers the theme of Ending One Party Rule and hammers Dave Freed’s conflicts as hand picked candidate of Tom Corbett and the Republican Establishment, I think she will score very well with the Constitutional Limited Government voters and with the independent voter.

    And, in my opinion, it is time to end one party rule.

  12. Reading this, the attack seems to be that Kathleen Kane tried 24 cases and prosecuted 3000. That does not seem to be a negative to me. How many cases did Tom Corbett, actually, try, or even prosecute?

    Whatever Kathleen Kane’s negatives may be, it seems to me that Dave Freed’s are much, much higher. The Republican Establishment Incestuous Insider Network is a very tangled web of conflicts and, I am afraid, cover ups.

    The Enemy Within Republicans Part 4 – Kane v. Freed Who Is Leroy Zimmerman? 6 November Attorney General End 32 Years of One Party Rule. Four good reasons to elect the first Democrat as Pennsylvania’s Attorney General; Leroy Zimmerman, Senate Bonusgate Noninvestigation, Harrisburg Bond Bailout, Sandusky.

  13. SEPA-

    Maybe even they had reservations about getting involved in this situation. We all know what it is and it isn’t pretty.

  14. Let the GOP Smear Campaign Begin! I am frankly shocked it has taken the Republican Party this long to get all their lies in a row.

  15. More anonymous, GOP smear attacks paid for with corporate money. Thinking this is money from the polluters, insurance, and banking industries! Shows you where the State GOP wants to take this state.

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