Kathleen Kane: Parking Ticket Deadbeat?

As a prosecutor Kathleen Kane’s responsibility is to insure we all pay for our crimes and that she be an upstanding citizen obeying all civil and criminal laws.  Why then did she have fifteen parking tickets dismissed?  Gort42 has the story.  When a parking ticket is issued the registration (plate number) is recorded and if it isn’t paid within a certain period (ten days?) then it goes to a local Magistrate Court for prosecution.  Around here that might mean a constable showing up at your door with an arrest warrant.  I’m not sure what the procedure is in Luzerne and Lackawanna Counties but I’m sure it’s similar.

Of course if the vehicle belongs to someone else or isn’t properly, legally registered, that poses a problem for the court.  The owner can say it wasn’t their ticket and have an opportunity to go to court and prove that fact.  More likely in this case, Kane didn’t update her registered, as required by law, when she relocated.  Therefore the court couldn’t locate the owner and dismissed the tickets.  Fifteen of them…  Or, she used her position to avoid paying her fines.

Which is it?  We already know Kane flaunts federal election law so why not local parking regulations?  The locations of the tickets issued could be interesting, were they near the courthouse?  Her favorite lunch hangout?  Her virulently anti-union trucking company Kane Is Able?

Who in the world gets so many tickets in the first place?  Responsible drivers and citizens don’t keep parking illegally.  Does she think her position sets her above the law?  What does that say about her fitness to be Attorney General?  I’d pose these queries directly to her campaign but they don’t return my calls any longer.  They aren’t good at answering questions about their candidate’s integrity though they are good at throwing threats at those who do it.

This really isn’t what we need in a public servant, even on a local level.  Is this the best her county can do for a DA?

Kane May Have Violated Federal Election Law

Kathleen Kane wants to be Pennsylvania’s Attorney General but seems to be having trouble obeying federal election law.  In a telephone conversation Monday her media person Joshua Morrow insisted to me that she had never been an executive at her husband’s firm Kane Is Able.  Patrick Murphy’s campaign alleged that she had made FEC contributions saying she was and that the firm was anti-worker and anti-union.  The Kane campaign never contested those facts, just that she had never been associated with the company.

Yet on numerous occasions she filed legal forms with candidates and campaigns listing her occupation as an executive at Kane Is Able.  These include monetary contributions just last year to Bob Casey’s Senate re-election campaign and previously to Joe Sestak’s Senate race, Arlen Specter in 2010 and the Pennsylvania Democratic Party.  That last contribution dates to October of 2006.  The FEC posts all documents online in their original form and contributors to federal campaigns must fill them out for every contribution.  This means Kane stated her official occupation, for federal election purposes, numerous times as Executive, Kane Is Able.

Is the Kane campaign lying about her record or did Kathleen Kane commit federal election law violations?

Here are links to some of the documents:

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Morrow contacted me ordering me to retract a statement I published from the Murphy campaign and said “I’d be sorry if I didn’t.”  When I double checked the facts I found their statement was entirely accurate.  I then told Mr. Morrow that I thought their attacks on the Congressman’s war record were unworthy and backfiring.  It’s never a good strategy to impair an opponent’s service to their country, especially when, in Patrick’s case, he was awarded the Bronze Star for that work.

The Murphy campaign kindly provided me with the official narrative written in granting him the award for his work in the Judge Advocate’s Office where he did, indeed, prosecute terrorists.  Specifically, Sheikh Tohma and Sheikh Moyad, a top lieutenant of Moqtada al Sadr.

It is unbecoming to attempt to mar the record of a war hero in order to achieve elective office and Ms. Kane should be ashamed.  The words of her manager were totally speculative and completely unfounded.

I contacted Mr. Morrow for comment but he hasn’t responded.

Murphy Attacks Kane As Anti-Worker

Patrick Murphy’s campaign for Attorney General went after foe Kathleen Kane today for being anti-worker and anti-union.  Basing their argument around her company Kane Is Able they claim 98% of her campaign funds have come from the firm which is anti-union:

Kane and executives from her corporation, Kane is Able, where she served as an executive (according to Federal Election Commission reports), have put $2.3 million into the race for Attorney General. Just to be clear, that accounts for more than 98 percent of her campaign funds. At the same time, Kane is Able has consistently and adamantly opposed the right of workers to organize.

As the Pennsylvania Conference of Teamsters pointed out in a recent letter, “Kane is Able has refused to pay their workers a living wage or improve safety conditions, creating a culture where workers fear to lose their jobs if they even discuss joining a union.” (letter attached)

Now, Kane is trying to buy this election with millions in profits from a fiercely anti-union company.

The company’s disdain for organized labor is well documented by the company itself. In a series of 2009 newsletters, Kane executives call labor unions unnecessary, corrupt, and bad for business. (As of last week these newsletters can no longer be found on the company website, but PDF copies are attached)

In July 2009, Kane is Able CEO Richard Kane talks about the importance of customer service and says:

   “I strongly believe that these values thrive in a non-union company. I am convinced that being a non-union company best positions us to grow our business even in challenging times.”

In the April 2009 newsletter, Kane Chief Operating Officer Harry Drajpuch criticized legislation that would make it easier for workers to organize and called unions corrupt:

   “The Employee Free Choice Act will make it easier for unions to ‘represent’ you, with all the corruption and associated union dues you’ll be forced to pay.”

Given this disgraceful history of union bashing by her corporation, Kathleen Kane has some important questions to answer:

   Does Kane agree that unions are unnecessary, that allowing workers to organize for better wages is a threat to corporate welfare, and that organized labor is corrupt, as her fellow Kane executives have charged? If not, when will she demand a public apology on behalf of Pennsylvania’s working families?

   If she believes in the right of workers to organize, what specifically did she do as an executive to ensure that Kane employees could exercise their Constitutionally protected right to form a union?

   If Kane says she believes in the right of workers to organize, when will she openly insist that the executives of her corporation publicly invite labor leaders to meet with their employees?

   Does Kane support the Employee Free Choice Act?

   Does she agree with former Kane COO Harry Drajpuch that unions are corrupt or does she believe that Drajpuch was trying to scare employees?

The truth is that Kane has no good answers. Even if she disagrees with her corporation’s open hostility toward their workers’ right to organize, her campaign is entirely beholden to the corporation and their wealthy interests.

Candidate Kane’s rhetoric doesn’t match Executive Kane’s record. Working families in Pennsylvania need to trust that their Attorney General will fight for them, not just for the very wealthy.

Kane has attacked Murphy implying that because he passed the Bar in Minnesota and worked as a prosecutor in the Navy he isn’t qualified to be AG.  Being labeled as anti-union in a Democratic primary isn’t good.

Update:  The Kane campaign responded yesterday:

STATEMENT OF KATHLEEN KANE, DEMOCRAT FOR ATTORNEY GENERAL

“I won’t be discussing Congressman Murphy’s spouse during this campaign and I’m disappointed that he’s decided to take a different, much more negative approach.

“I’m proud of my husband. His business is a real Pennsylvania success story that employs 1,200 people, but I have no intention during this campaign in discussing his business instead of my record as a prosecutor.

I married my husband because I love him, not because of the success of his company. I grew up in a working class family, the daughter of the President of AFSCME Local 2584.  I’m pro-union because it’s in my blood and because I believe that America does best when it has a strong, growing middle class.  I support the Employee Free Choice Act and as Attorney General, I will vigilantly defend people’s right to organize.

“Congressman Murphy’s attack is particularly hypocritical given that his law partners at Fox Rothschild boast on their website that they “design and implement union avoidance programs.”  

“Instead of focusing on our spouses, I suspect Pennsylvania Democrats are more interested in our positions on the issues. For example, perhaps Congressman Murphy would like to explain why he sponsored NRA-backed legislation to overturn a ban on deadly assault weapons in Washington DC?”

We thank the Kane campaign for its response.  I checked the link and Murphy’s law firm does boast about its “union avoidance programs” plus says this:  “maintain a pro-employee working environment, which minimizes the risk of a successful union organization drive.”

Update:  Joshua Morrow of the Kathleen Kane campaign contacted me today to insist I print a retraction of a claim made by the Murphy campaign above.  He insisted that Kane was never an executive at Kane Is Able and that the Murphy campaign statement is false.  You can see here it is entirely accurate.  Here is the Murphy statement:

Kane and executives from her corporation, Kane is Able, where she served as an executive (according to Federal Election Commission reports), have put $2.3 million into the race for Attorney General.

Here is the information publicly available with a Google search which took me ten seconds to find:

KATHLEEN G KANE (KANE IS ABLE, INC/EXECUTIVE), (Zip code: 18411) $1600 to BOB CASEY FOR SENATE INC on 02/01/11

KATHLEEN G KANE (KANE IS ABLE, INC./EXECUTIVE), (Zip code: 18411) $900 to BOB CASEY FOR SENATE INC on 02/01/11

She made campaign contributions to federal campaigns listing her occupation as an executive with Kane Is Able.  Providing false information would be a federal crime.  Here, again, she is listed giving money to Bob Casey For Senate Inc.

Mr. Morrow made some veiled threats that I’d be sorry if I didn’t retract my article with the Murphy allegations.  The statement is TRUE and it leaves me wondering about Ms. Kane’s integrity.  Up to today I have been neutral in this primary race feeling both candidates were qualified and would be good Attorney Generals.  Now I’m wondering about that after my telephone conversation with the Kane campaign.

Morrow made several speculative attacks against Patrick Murphy claiming he took the bar exam in Minnesota because it is easier than Pennsylvania’s (and was, thereby skating through) and that he never prosecuted terrorists because of inexperience in the JAG Corps.  I asked him for proof and he had none.

Let’s recap this entire story:



Murphy says Kathleen Kane was an executive at Kane Is Able based on forms she filled out for Bob Casey For Senate Inc.

The Kane campaign says that’s a lie.

I found the documentation online saying she did list herself as an executive with Kane Is Able, just as the Murphy campaign alleges.

The Kane campaign slams Murphy for speculating about her employment with the company and then speculates about his experience in the Army.

In doing so they imply he isn’t qualified to be a lawyer much less AG and denigrate the JAG corps.

I’m not sure I’m neutral any longer, Kathleen Kane isn’t fit to be anything if this is the sort of person she is.

Lehigh Valley Officials Endorse Patrick Murphy

A slew of elected Democrats from the Lehigh Valley convened at the Hamilton Family Restaurant to endorse Patrick Murphy for Attorney General.  City Council members, State Representatives, Mayors and Controllers were among the audience there to show support in a contested primary for the office.  Kathleen Kane, a highly qualified prosecutor is also running for the nomination along with former Congressman and Auditor General Don Bailey.

Northampton County Controller Steve Barron emceed the event and speakers included Bob Freeman, Sal Panto and Ed Pawlowski.

Patrick and Steve:

Teaching a toddler to high five:

Mayor Pawlowski:

Mayor Panto:

County Chair Walt Garvin (and my fellow co-host at Democratic Talk Radio) with Rep. Bob Freeman:


Summit to Feature Attorney General Debate

The Pennsylvania Progressive Summit is scheduled for Feb. 10-12th and it will feature a debate among the candidates for Attorney General.  Pennsylvania has never elected a Democratic AG but three people are vying for the nomination.  The Summit organizers (this blog has no affiliation with this event) released this today:

Where does the next Pennsylvania Attorney General stand on:

   Civil liberties?

   Consumer protections?

   LGBT rights?

   Workers’ rights?

   Environmental protections?

KaneFind out at the first debate among the Attorney General candidates at the Pennsylvania Progressive Summit. All three Democratic candidates-Kathleen Kane, Dan McCaffery and Patrick Murphy will be there to answer our questions about these and other issues.

Admission to the debate is part of your registration for the PA Progressive Summit in Philadelphia on the weekend of February 10-12, 2012.

McCaffery.JPGIt promises to be the highlight of the progressive political year. Here are some other highlights:

*Presentations from progressive leaders from Wisconsin, New Hampshire and across the country. People like State Senator Jon Erpenbach, one of the Wisconsin 14 who fought to protect collective bargaining.

*Over 70 different panels, workshops and presentations by the best and brightest leaders, activists and innovators in the progressive movement

Patrick Murphy*More than 1,000 participants from all over the region and across the U.S.

*Democracy for America will be providing its extremely popular Campaign Academy

*and more to be announced…

The PA Progressive Summit will be the hottest ticket of 2012. Don’t miss out by registering late. Click here to register online now!

If you attended one of the first two Summits I know you’ll do everything in your power to be there again. If you haven’t been before, you won’t want to miss this one. It will be an historic step in our movement to Fight Back and Move Forward!

See you at the Summit!

Michael Morrill, for the Summit Organizing Team