The Brief: Is Kathleen Kane a Vengeful Novice or a Victim of Male Conspiracy?
1. Kathleen Kane gets the long-form and (sort of) soft-focus treatment in the Inquirer.
The gist: Embattled Democratic Attorney General is profiled, at length, by the Inquirer’s Maria Panaritis. There’s a lot of backstory on her hardscrabble Scranton upbringing, a lot of which has been written about before. The most revealing paragraphs are these:
Kane says that she is the victim of conspiracy in the state’s male-dominated political universe. That she has been targeted from the start by male prosecutors and Republicans who bridle at her ascension in a state underrepresented by women in elected office.
“There are a group of guys who really are angry, who really do not want me there,” she said, “and they are doing everything they can to remove me.”
Why it matters: It’s fascinating to see this exquisitely balanced story in the Inquirer, which has appeared to have been on a relentless campaign to bring Kane down since early 2014. A recent example: on Friday, the Inquirer’s Editorial Board called on Kane to resign. One can only wonder what sort of behind-the-scenes negotiations between Kane and the Inky took place before she gave them the access needed for a profile like this.
The piece sets up a question that it doesn’t try to answer. Is Kane a victim of a male-dominated political culture that just couldn’t handle her? Or is she a “vengeful novice with a hardball that could use better aim?” It’s an interesting question, but the Inky’s answer was made clear sometime around, oh, its 20th front page story excavating Kane’s various and sundry offenses.
Still, it’s notable to see the Inquirer include the sentiment below in a punchy quote (albeit near the very end of the piece) from longtime defense attorney Dennis Cogan.
But Cogan added that leaks of confidential information to the media are relatively commonplace and seldom lead to prosecution.
“We hear about leaks all the time from grand juries, as opposed to bribery cases and public official misconduct – that’s bad stuff,” he said. “A grand jury leak? Oh, come on.”
2. New poll shows Jim Kenney and Anthony Williams overtaking Lynne Abraham.
The gist: A Jim Kenney-supporting Super PAC released the results of a new poll showing Kenney and Williams tied with 26 and 25 percent of the the support of likely voters, with Lynne Abraham at 20 percent. The poll, which had a margin of error of 3.7 percent, surveyed 644 people, according to an Inquirer report. The race’s last poll, commissioned by Lynne Abraham, showed her with twice as many supporters as Kenney and Williams (though still trailing undecided voters). But that poll was in the field before campaign television ads began in earnest.
Why it matters: Abraham wasn’t the only candidate who thought she was in the lead a month-and-a-half-ago. Sources close to the Williams and Kenney campaigns confirmed their own information showed Abraham was ahead. But they expected that support to soften quickly, and it seems it has.
3. Hundreds of young Philadelphians turned out for a City Council election event.
The gist: Thursday night, hundreds of young Philadelphians showed up for an event called the City Council Candidate Convention, sponsored by the Committee of Seventy and Young Involved Philadelphia, and hosted by WHYY.
Why it matters: Getting Philadelphians to care about City Council has never been easy. Getting young Philadelphians to invest an evening in meeting Council candidates strikes Citified as a real accomplishment. Keep this sort of thing going, and who knows what might happen.