December 21, 2015

SURPRISE! Kathleen Kane Will Be A Liability For Democrats In Pennsylvania

Here’s a hot take: Scandal-plagued Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane will be a problem for Democrats in the 2016 election.

Kane has had quite an eventful 2015, which included criminal charges of obstruction of justice and perjury, her disbarment, calling for her own impeachment process, and attempting to avoid the state Senate’s attempt to remove her outright. She’s also refused to resign her position despite calls from Pennsylvania Democrat Party leaders, including her own Governor.

Democrats, including Hillary Clinton, are racing to distance themselves from the craziness surrounding Kane, but it’s unclear if their damage control efforts will work. The most recent Quinnipiac swing state poll of Pennsylvania showed Clinton struggling with low favorability ratings in the state. Couple that with an earlier poll showing Pennsylvania voters want Kane to resign, and you’ve got a recipe for controversy. As the Pennsylvania Democratic Party chairman said, the Kane story is “a mess that seems to continue to unravel.”

Should we really be surprised? Keystone State Democrats have had an unusually corrupt year: In February, former Pennsylvania Treasurer Rob McCord pleaded guilty to federal charges for attempting to extort money from campaign donors. Throughout the following months, several former and current Democrats in the state legislature entered guilty pleas to corruption charges. In July, Democrat Congressman Chaka Fattah was indicted for allegedly stealing hundreds of thousands of dollars in charitable and federal grant money. Kane’s indictment in August rounded out the summer.

So it’s safe to say that the Democrat brand has seen better days in Pennsylvania, and that’s bad news for their presidential nominee, whoever emerges from the crowded U.S. Senate primary, and candidates all the way down the ballot. It’s been a mild start to the winter season, but 2016 sure is shaping up to be a hot one for Pennsylvania Democrats.