Attorney General Kathleen Kane’s woes keep mounting: Today, prosecutors filed a perjury charge against her, adding to the criminal case stemming from allegations she leaked grand jury secrets to punish a political rival.
Saturday was a good day to be a Philadelphian. A great day. Collectively, maybe one of the best days.
After a not-too-shabby introduction by Mayor Nutter calling for LGBT rights, Pope Francis took the podium at Independence Hall with a speech that the place was built to host. At times speaking in Spanish – and drawing cheers from the crowd – the man of the hour seemed to hip-check Donald Trump. “I ask you not to forget that, like those who came here before you, you bring many gifts to your new nation,” he said. “You should never be ashamed of your traditions. Do not forget the lessons you learned from your elders, which are something you can bring to enrich the life of this American land.”
That’s right. A politician and a leader of the Catholic church got together and said a real thing. And this real thing felt good, maybe even holy. It was weird, it was wonderful, it was the essence of Saturday in Philadelphia.
And yet, it was within the same state that Rep. Daryl Metcalfe is promoting a bill to make English the “official” language of Pennsylvania. And within the same week that he cut the mic of Leslie Acosta – a bilingual immigrant as well as the General Assembly’s first/only Latina lawmaker – who was arguing that the bill is unconstitutional. Read more »
Her law license is being suspended, but nobody’s forcing Attorney General Kathleen Kane out of a job just yet.
Pa. Supreme Court Chief Justice Thomas Saylor said Monday the court won’t try to push Kane out while she faces criminal charges that she leaked confidential grand jury information in order to embarrass a political rival. Saylor said such powers are held by the governor and legislature: “That’s not what we do,” he told the Pennsylvania Press Club, according to AP. Read more »
When attacked, it’s a natural instinct to defend oneself as quickly and succinctly as possible, to shoot down bold lies with hard facts before they hang around and poison the air any longer.
And so when Republican lawmakers attempt to defund Planned Parenthood and presidential candidates paint the women’s health nonprofit as a sadistic baby-killing machine, I can understand why we whip out the numbers. They’re good numbers to have on hand when Jeb Bush says things like “they’re not actually doing women’s health issues” and that Planned Parenthood is “involved in something way different than that.” Or when Rep. Diane Black, sponsor of the House defunding bill, claims: “If there is reason to investigate, then there is reason to withhold taxpayer dollars during that period of time. The American taxpayer has been clear for a very long time that they do not want federal funds spent on abortion.”
Plenty of people have broken it down, but it’s worth repeating: Only 3 percent of the services provided by Planned Parenthood last year were abortion-related. Out of the 10.6 million services provided, 42 percent treated or prevented STDs. Another 34 percent provided contraception. Cancer screening and prevention accounted for 9 percent. (The annual report is available here.) Read more »
[Update 3:55 p.m.] Kane’s office has just released another statement:
I am disappointed by the action taken by the Supreme Court today. It is important to note that the order specifically states that “this order should not be construed as removing Respondent from elected office.” I continue to maintain my innocence and plan to keep fighting to clear my name while serving out the rest of my term in office. I am confident the hundreds of employees of the Office of Attorney General will continue protecting the people of Pennsylvania with the same high level of energy, dedication and professionalism they have always displayed.
To this end, in the wake of the Commonwealth Court hearing, I’ve instructed my office to engage in a comprehensive review of all emails sitting on OAG servers to fully comply with the RTKLs. Our preliminary review has generated emails of government officials, including law enforcement officials and judges, heretofore unknown to us. These emails will be fully released either as public documents defined by the Commonwealth Court, or at my discretion.
[Update 2:17 p.m.] Kane’s office has released this statement:
While I am disappointed in the court’s action I am grateful that the court recognized my constitutional rights both as a democratically elected official and as a citizen of the Commonwealth. The court, in specifically recognizing my continuing authority as Attorney General of the Commonwealth, today allows me to continue the good works of this office: work which has transformed our war on sex crimes and fraud; work which will also root out the culture of misogyny and racially/religiously offensive behavior that has permeated law enforcement and members of the judiciary in this Commonwealth for years.
[Original 1:09 p.m.] The Pennsylvania Supreme Court temporarily suspended Kathleen Kane‘s law license Monday, compounding the attorney general’s political troubles as she faces criminal charges for leaking grand jury information.
The state constitution requires the attorney general to have a law license, but the Supreme Court’s opinion said: “This order should not be construed as removing Respondent from elected office and is limited to the temporary suspension of her license to practice law.”
The attorney general’s office quickly issued a statement: “We plan to review the court’s decision and make a statement once the review is completed.” Read more »
Gov. Tom Wolf has floated a new liquor privatization plan as he and the GOP-led legislature try to finalize the year’s operating budget. Read more »
Montgomery County agents searched Kathleen Kane’s office on Tuesday, according to multiple reports.
“The detectives arrived Thursday morning at Kane’s Harrisburg office in the Strawberry Square complex near the state Capitol, said Chuck Ardo, Kane’s spokesman. Ardo said he did not know what the detectives were seeking,” The Morning Call reports. Read more »
On the surface, Pennsylvania Congressman Charlie Dent has a great idea for ending the coming storm over Planned Parenthood’s federal funding: He wants to compromise.
Planned Parenthood, you’ll recall, has been in hot water ever since tapes emerged that purport to show organization officials haggling with a “buyer” — in reality, undercover anti-abortion activists — to sell organs from aborted fetuses for research purposes. (Planned Parenthood says no illegal activity took place.) Since then, Republicans in Congress have been proclaiming their intention to pull federal funding from the entire organization, nationwide — and even made noises about shutting down the federal government over the matter.
Enter Dent’s compromise: Read more »
Kathleen Kane will be back in court today, trying to block the release of so-called “Porngate” emails she otherwise says she wants released. Read more »
Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey announced his re-election campaign to roughly 150 supporters in a King of Prussia hotel ballroom Sunday afternoon.