Friday, November 14, 2014
The Kathleen Kane Feeding Frenzy
Though you let everyone know what happened, someone who works in one of the other offices thinks he knows better than any doctor, and wants to ask you questions about your accident and about work. Though you're a woman, he comes to your house at night and rings the doorbell. Your son answers and tells the guy that you're in the can. He says he'll wait. When your son tells you what happened, you decide to turn the porch light off so this stalker can be on his merry way.
Such is the life of Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane.
She is the victim of what I can only describe as a feeding frenzy by state reporters who would rather stand on her porch at night than delve into any of the real stories going on in the land of midnight payraises. Their coverage of the state legislature is pathetic, but they are giving each other high fives for their gang tackling of this outsider. Their recent treatment of the state's top prosecutor is both unfair and unprofessional. I also believe that if she were a he, it would not be happening.
Kathleen Kane is the first Democrat and woman to serve as Attorney General.
She started with a friendly press and high marks from fellow Democrats. She rejected a lottery privatization and correctly refused to defend the unconstitutional Defense of Marriage Act. But unaccustomed to such a high profile office, she began making some serious blunders.
The biggest of these centers around her decision to shut down a corruption probe that caught Philadelphia are state reps and one district judge accepting gifts. That probably would have gone unnoticed, but she accused career prosecutors, many of whom are black, of anti-black bias. She then got into a public passing match with Philadelphia District Attorney Seth Williams, challenged him to take the case,and he did, recently filing charges against a former traffic court judge.. When the Inky began to ask hard questions, she hired Richard Sprague for a possible defamation suit.
Her second big error concerns the long awaited Sandusky report. She commissioned a law school professor who, in balanced, election-free language, basically exonerated Governor Corbett, who at the time was AG. Corbett played no politics, and using a Grand Jury was a reasonable way to proceed. But when she released the analysis, Kane still insisted there were "inexplicable delays" and claimed that Sandusky had added two more victims to his list as the investigation dragged on.
That would be terrible, except it's wrong. Kane was forced to admit her error, not in person, but through someone who would not identify himself.
A Kathleen Kane Grand Jury also issued a scathing presentment recommending charges against Luzerne County Attorney Shelley Centini, .She was called part of a "cabal of criminals" who engaged in witness intimidation and even paid witnesses. They made her sound like a Mafia Moll.
All charges were dismissed following a preliminary hearing. That almost never happens, and means that Kane failed to establish even a prima facie case.
Undeniably,she tarnished her credibility. But the press has behaved badly.She recently was injured in a car accident on her way to a Grand Jury appearance. A passenger, she suffered a concussion. The public was aware what had happened the day it happened. But the press is gang tacking her over every detail, and even sent someone to pound on her door at night.
One of her critics, amazingly, is her former press secretary, Chris Kelly.
"Our reporter was alone on Ms. Kane's doorstep," he whines,insisting that she "is the attorney general 24/7."
Let me get this straight. A woman has an obligation to answer her door at night to a stranger after experiencing a severe concussion? Are you out of your mind? I don't give a shit what you think is so damn important. It can wait.
No wonder he's her former press secretary.
Kelly also wants to know what Kane was doing in Dunmore at 6:55 am. Um, why don't you look at a map, Chris? You live out that way, don't you?. Dunmore is on the way from her Waverly home to the highway. Maybe the bagels there are good. This is the kind of question that requires posting a reporter at a door at night?
This intrepid :"journalist" also wants Kane to answer why Dunmore police took ten days to release an accident report . How the hell should she know? She's the Attorney General, not Queen of the World. Why don't you send a reporter to pound on the door of the Dunmore Police Chief in the middle of the night? See how far that gets you.
Kane did speak to a reporter who dropped by while the sun was out. "That you for coming during the day," she told him.
Kelly's account is just one of several negative columns that seem to suggest Kane has some obligation to work through a concussion. Steve Corbett, The Morning Call and The Patriot News have had equally goofy accounts.
If a concussion sidelines a NFL lineman, is it so hard to understand that it might sideline Kathleen, too?