With Kathleen Kane winning the PA Attorney General race, I’m feeling overwhelmed with a feeling of optimism that we can set off a series of positive events in our commonwealth to stake out a decade where the Democratic Party can make some real headway. Much like Michael Fay’s backside in Singapore, I think we can take the “Kane” to the Republican establishment in PA.
As a full disclaimer to start things, I was 100% a Patrick Murphy supporter in the Democratic Party primary in May of 2012 over Kathleen Kane. I was not excited with her business record with labor and doubted her progressive chops. I’ll admit to say that I’m happy to see that she’s our new AG.
The following list of steps would be my dream scenario as to how Kane’s victory can springboard future Democratic Party gains.
1) Make the AG’s office the people’s prosecutor:
- I would start by prosecuting pollution and labor abuses in the fracking industry. Every time some type of pollution prosecution takes place against a shady gas driller Kane should invite representatives from hunting and angling groups to share the stage with her. The environmental groups with whom I run will see the inherent value in the activity, but to bring the outdoors men and women on Pennsylvania to the forefront would highlight why we protect our forests and waterways from a more traditional point of view.
- Return Corbett’s “favors” to elected Republicans statewide by turning the investigatory eye onto illegal practices currently done by Republicans. Bill DeWeese’s (long serving Democrat locked up over corruption) actions, in theory, must have some Republican equivalents. Kane could look into any laws broken about lobbying money taken by Republicans that may have violated the law, illegal state and county level Republican voter intimidation and suppression tactics, and illegal Republican patron actions on the local and county level that misuse tax payer funds. I’d love to see those stones turned over statewide. My hope would be that enough key Republicans in the state House and Senate would be run out of town to allow Democrats to pick up the 3 seats in the Senate and the 15 or so seats in the House needed to get control of both chambers of the PA legislature in the 2014 elections.
2) Go after Governor Corbett……HARD:
- Kane is on record with wanting to do a full investigation of the handling of the Penn State mess. There are serious questions about Corbett’s commitment to a speedy investigation, his acceptance of campaign dollars from people connected to the scandal, and the countless acts of abuse that were continued by Jerry Sandusky while Corbett’s “team” of investigators “investigated” the abuse. Kane, being a Democrat, will be able to allow for full whistle-blower protection for the employees of the state AG’s office to come forward with all types of documents and information that will fully bring the light of day to Corbett’s inappropriate management of the entire Sandusky situation.
3) Drop the Sandusky shoe into the Governor’s race:
- To fully investigate the wrongdoing of Corbett will take some time. The question is should the full report be issued to coincide with the primaries in May or the general election in November. In either case, Corbett needs to take an electoral hit.
4) Get Joe Sestak elected Governor in 2014:
- Admiral Joe Sestak ran a great race for Senate in 2010 and came very close to beating Tea Party Pat Toomey in a Republican wave election when Toomey already had great statewide name recognition and hardly and Democrats came out to vote. We need him in the Governor’s office for 2015-2019 and 2019-2023. Sestak would be a great governor, we’d have veto power against any possible future Republican Gerrymanders of our legislative maps in 2021, and we’d have the ability to roll back a lot of legislative crap handed out by Corbett and team R. Kane would have the ability to use the AG’s office to prevent any voter suppression / intimidation funny business resulting from the first set of big elections with PA’s new voter ID “law.”
5) Successfully parlay 4 great years of AG work into a Senate seat:
- Pat Toomey needs to go. He’s up for re-election in 2016, his policy positions are way out of touch with the average Pennsylvanian, and he’d be vulnerable to a defeat at the hands of a strong Democratic Party candidate. That candidate would be Kathleen Kane. She’ll be riding a multi-year wave of strong work as our AG, she’ll have damaged the Republican brand through some great and timely prosecutions and reports, and will be buoyed by strong Democratic voter turnout in a Presidential election.
I don’t know if any of this can and/or will happen, but I’ll choose to remain optimistic on our chances to work to install leadership in Pennsylvania that will work for the people once again.