Fact-bending GOP group keeps it up in A.G. race

Posted: September 25, 2012

A REPUBLICAN nonprofit group ran an inaccurate commercial for nearly five days about Kathleen Kane, the Democratic nominee for state attorney general, before revising it Monday.

The Republican State Leadership Committee, in the new version of the ad running in the Philadelphia media market, tries to shift the blame for its mistakes to Kane for pointing them out.

The original ad said Kane went "soft" on two rape cases when she was an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County. Kane and the Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office disputed that, saying that she had played no role in the resolution of those two cases.

"Now she lets others take responsibility for violent criminals given weak plea deals," a female narrator says in the new version.

The father of the victim in one of the cases denounced the ad as a lie and said in a letter released by Kane's campaign that the RSLC "should be ashamed."

A spokesman for the RSLC, which operates from Washington, D.C., would not explain why the original version, which started airing Thursday, continued to air Saturday, Sunday and Monday despite the inaccuracies.

The new version cites a third rape case with a 15-year-old victim not mentioned in the original ad. In that 2005 case, a jury found a 27-year-old man guilty of statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault and indecent assault but acquitted him of rape, sexual assault and indecent exposure, according to the Scranton Times-Tribune.

"And in one of her only trials, Kane failed miserably, resulting in the alleged rapist of a 15-year-old getting off on a conviction of lesser charges," the ad says.

The defendant in that case is still serving a four- to 10-year prison term, state records show.

Kane on Friday recalled that case, which the RSLC listed on its website before adding it to the commercial Monday. She said it was unfair for the RSLC to suggest that she had gone light on the defendant in that case.

"It was a jury verdict," Kane said of the case. "How do you go light when it is a jury verdict?"

Contact Chris Brennan at brennac@phillynews.com or 215-854-5973. Follow him on Twitter @ChrisBrennanDN. Read his blog at PhillyClout.com.

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