Kane Gets Blowback on DOMA Decision

Attorney General Kathleen Kane is getting blowback this week on two separate issues.  First is her shameless wrangling to evict Judge Barry Feudale from his responsibilities overseeing central PA grand juries.  The second is over her decision not to defend the state’s Defense of marriage law in a suit filed by the ACLU.  Right wing ideologues are scorching her for this claiming she must because it is her duty to uphold the law, in this case, a law which has been declared unconstitutional on the federal level.

How can a law which has been declared unconstitutional by the United States Supreme Court be defended on a state level?  It is no longer lawful and therefore indefensible.  Why is it these idiots, blinded by their bigotry, cannot understand that she is defending the law of the land by not defending this state one in court?

Kane Won’t Defend Pennsylvania Marriage Ban

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane announced yesterday her office will not defend the state’s DOMA law in a legal action entered into federal court by the ACLU of PA on behalf of two dozen same sex couples.  The Commonwealth passed the law limiting rights and we just saw the U.S. Supreme Court strike down the federal law as unconstitutional.  If the federal law is unconstitutional because its violates couple’s rights then each state law is also unconstitutional.  Unfortunately they will need to be litigated on a state by state basis.  Ours is the first such challenge to be filed nationally.

I called for such action the day the SCOTUS decision was issued, challenging my peers in committed relationships to seek marriage licenses then hire civil rights counsel to challenge the law.  This is what the ACLU is doing.  There’s no way, following the SCOTUS decision, that a Judge can go against that momentous, landmark decision and uphold these discriminatory laws.

Meanwhile State Reps Brian Sims and Steve McCarter  have co-sponsored a marriage equality bill in Harrisburg.  Sims is the first openly gay person elected to that body in Pennsylvania.  McCarter issued this statement yesterday following the Kane announcement:

I’m extremely proud of Attorney General Kane for doing what is best for Pennsylvanians and agreeing that we must not stand in the way of progress and true marriage equality for all,” McCarter said. “The law banning gay marriage is obsolete and frankly, a violation of the rights of thousands of LGBT citizens.

“It’s the right thing to do and is a fundamental civil rights issue,” McCarter said.

The lawsuit challenging the gay marriage ban was filed in federal court on Tuesday by two dozen Pennsylvania residents seeking to force Pennsylvania to allow them to marry or recognize their same-sex marriages performed in other states.

“Pennsylvania is the only state in the Northeast that does not allow either gay marriage or civil unions, which only acts as a detriment to our state,” McCarter said. “I’m honored to be working with Representative Brian Sims to gather support in the legislature for a bill that would legalize gay marriage and finally bring true marriage equality to all Pennsylvanians.”

 

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.