Kane Fires Another Staffer

Kathleen Kane

George Moore told Kathleen Kane she should fire her controversial chief of staff. The chief of staff still has a job. Moore doesn’t.

Moore, a 16-year veteran of state government, was fired Wednesday from his job as Kane’s labor-relations coordinator. He told the Inquirer he believed he’d been terminated because he recommended the firing of Jonathan Duecker after two women reported Duecker had sexually harassed them. Read more »

Republican Jumps Into AG’s Race

State Sen. John Rafferty

The first official challenger to Attorney General Kathleen Kane has emerged.

State Senator John Rafferty is expected to announce his candidacy this week. The Republican has represented parts of Berks, Chester and Montgomery counties in Harrisburg since 2003. Read more »

Another Sting Target Pleads Guilty

Michelle Brownlee

Michelle Brownlee has become the latest Philadelphia Democrat to plead guilty to corruption charges arising from the investigation abandoned by Attorney General Kathleen Kane and revived by Philadelphia D.A. Seth Williams. Read more »

The Brief: “They Already Called the Election, But It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over.”

Photos by Jeff Fusco

Photos by Jeff Fusco

1. The mayoral candidates spent the final weekend of the campaign insisting the race isn’t over yet.

The gist: The reverberations of last week’s Jim-Kenney-could-beat-FDR poll were still strong on the final weekend of the campaign, with Kenney, Anthony Williams and Lynne Abraham all insisting during traditional last-minute stops at city churches on Sunday that the mayoral race won’t be over until 8 p.m. Tuesday night. At a stop of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church in Nicetown, Williams was joined by U.S. Rep Chaka Fattah, who “decried the poll,” according to the Inquirer. Other speakers did as well: Read more »

The Rise and Fall of Kathleen Kane

Kathleen Kane and Frank Fina.  (Kane: Matt Rourke/Associated Press; Fina: Jason Minick/Associated Press)

Pennsylvania attorney general Kathleen Kane, left, and former state prosecutor Frank Fina. (Kane: Matt Rourke/Associated Press; Fina: Jason Minick/Associated Press)

Ruth Lenahan remembers the feeling she had when she sat down with her friend Kathleen Kane in a political operative’s office in downtown Scranton back in 2011. Kane had been a prosecutor for Lackawanna County for a dozen years, but left in ’07 to raise her two young sons. Now she was restless, and thinking of running for some office. The year before, in 2010, she’d promised to take on a corrupt state senator, Bob Mellow, but was pressured not to by her husband’s family, which owns a large trucking company — taking on Mellow meant risking the loss of a huge state liquor-hauling contract. So she backed out. But now there was a new office to run for, one that seemed to fit her: state attorney general, which, after governor, is the most important elected position in Pennsylvania. And Ruth Lenahan’s feeling about her friend was profound: She was awestruck. Read more »

Lawyers in AG’s Office May Unionize

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa. Republicans who control both the Senate and House picked up additional seats in the November election. In the House, Republicans outnumber Democrats 119 to 84 and in the Senate, 30 to 20. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane looks on before newly elected members of the Pennsylvania Legislature are sworn in, Tuesday, Jan. 6, 2015, at the state Capitol in Harrisburg, Pa.(AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Here’s another headache for Attorney General Kathleen Kane: The lawyers in her office may unionize.

“The office’s 189 attorneys – minus executive-level staff – have been invited to a May 27 meeting with representatives of the American Federation of Teachers Pennsylvania union in Harrisburg to discuss general ‘workplace rights’ issues,” PennLive reports. “A flyer announcing the meeting and obtained by PennLive promises ‘a frank discussion’ about the following topics: voice at work; job security; and protection against arbitrary treatment at work.” Read more »

The Incredibly Simple Way to Fix the Attorney General’s Office

Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Attorney General Kathleen Kane arrives at a news conference Wednesday, Jan. 21, 2015, in Philadelphia.

Quick poll: Who here thinks we can solve the problems that ail the state Attorney General’s office by making Pennsylvania’s political culture more like Philly’s?

Anyone? Anyone?

The question is asked because that’s precisely what G. Terry Madonna and Michael Young recommend in an op-ed making the rounds of state newspapers this week. Not in so many words, but the effect is the same: They suggest that Kathleen Kane’s troubles in office are a problem of politics — and the solution is to create a “resign to run” requirement for that office, forcing the incumbent to quit if he or she chooses to run for another post.

Which is exactly the same requirement that members of City Council face when they want to run for mayor — or any other elected office — aside from the one they hold. Now, it’s been about a decade since Councilman Rick Mariano left office in disgrace, and a little longer yet since an FBI bug was found in John Street’s office, but does anybody really want to claim that the city’s political culture has been exemplary since then? Or that “resign to run” is the reason we haven’t seen any criminal prosecutions at City Hall lately?

Anyone? Read more »

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