Investigating the investigators
It became clear after last week's debate in the attorney general's race that both David Freed and Kathleen Kane are experienced prosecutors who are qualified to be the state's top law enforcement officer.
Freed, a Republican, and Kane, a Democrat, are ready to start day one to fill the job that Republican Tom Corbett held as attorney general before he was elected governor.
During the debate, Kane was the aggressor. Freed was on the defense through most of the live debate televised by the Pennsylvania Cable Network. Though some polls have shown Kane ahead, the former Lackawanna County assistant district attorney let it rip like a challenger with nothing to lose. Freed, the Cumberland County DA, came off as if he were the incumbent, taking no chances and, for the most part, refraining from attack.
You could see that each would be good before a jury.
Freed says the race is about experience. He's been a prosecutor for 15 years and managed an office of prosecutors since December 2005.
Kane, an assistant DA for 12 years, says the contest is about independence and integrity. She referred to Freed as Corbett's “handpicked candidate.”
Out of the gate, the first question from Philadelphia Daily News columnist John Baer focused on their view of Corbett's investigation of convicted child molester Jerry Sandusky and what if anything they'd do to review it.
Kane would conduct an independent investigation into why it took 33 months to arrest Sandusky. Freed said he'd review it like he'd review an allegation of excessive force by a police officer.
Why the focus on a successful case where Sandusky was effectively sentenced to prison for the rest of his life (30 to 60 years)?
Democrats claim Corbett poured his resources into the Bonusgate scandal rather than Sandusky. Kane said only one investigator was assigned to Sandusky initially and later two narcotics officers were added. She wonders why narcotics officers and not sex-crime specialists.
The suggestion by Kane and others is that Corbett, as a candidate for governor, dragged his feet to have the Penn State case explode after he was elected.
Corbett's spokesman Kevin Harley says but for Corbett we wouldn't know about crimes of the legendary coach and the Penn State cover-up.
Corbett has a lot riding on this race. So much so that Dennis Roddy, his speechwriter and special assistant, on his own time was in the crowd at Widener Law School auditorium. He appeared to be taking notes but later said he was fiddling with his iPad.
Freed says on one hand the verdict speaks for itself. He also says he understands there are questions.
The key difference between them is their attitude about investigating the investigators. Kane will go at it full blast. Freed will look it over.
Is that political on either of their parts? We'll see after Nov. 6.
Brad Bumsted is the state Capitol reporter for Trib Total Media (717-787-1405 or firstname.lastname@example.org).
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Two men shot in Uniontown bar
- State police cite ‘Breaking Amish’ star
- Lowly job likely awaits former Pittsburgh police chief after prison
- Shareholder vote causes ATI to review executive pay packages
- Pirates’ McCutchen laughs off pay stub leak
- Cole outduels Mets rookie, carries Pirates to victory
- Trooper fatally shoots burglary suspect inside Somerset Twp. grocery store
- Feds want to seize cash, property from suspects in drug bust
- Midway man dies in 2-vehicle accident in Washington County
- Steelers offensive line targeting injury-free performance as key
- Westmoreland used car dealers indicted in fraud