New TV ad sullies Pa. A.G. race

Republican David Freed and Democrat Kathleen Kane, seen here after their debate Monday in the race to become Pennsylvania's next attorney general. Ads by out-of-state PACs have given the election a nasty edge.
Republican David Freed and Democrat Kathleen Kane, seen here after their debate Monday in the race to become Pennsylvania's next attorney general. Ads by out-of-state PACs have given the election a nasty edge. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)
Posted: October 25, 2012

THE RACE for state attorney general took another nasty turn Tuesday, this time with Republican candidate David Freed targeted by an out-of-state group's hard-hitting TV commercial.

Kathleen Kane, Freed's Democratic opponent, quickly called for the ad to be taken down, calling it "misleading."

Kane complained last month when a similar commercial was aired attacking her campaign.

"These groups, they do what that want to do," Freed campaign manager, Tim Kelly, said Tuesday. "I don't really think these ads have terribly changed or will change the dynamic of this race."

The new ad is being aired in Pittsburgh, Harrisburg and Lancaster by the Committee for Justice & Fairness, a political-action committee founded in 2010.

The Democratic Attorneys General Association, a political nonprofit, has given the PAC $1.6 million since August, according to a report filed Oct. 13 with the IRS.

DAGA executive director Travis Berry did not respond to requests for comment Tuesday.

A federal report filed Oct. 15 by the Committee for Justice & Fairness showed that all its money has come from DAGA.

The two women who run the PAC work for Hilltop Public Solutions, a firm that does work for DAGA.

They also did not respond Tuesday to requests for comment.

DAGA also gave Kane $100,000 for her campaign last month.

The ad hits Freed on three subjects, most seriously claiming that he defends Gov. Corbett's handling of the Penn State University child-sex-abuse case. The ad claims that Freed said that that case did not need review.

Freed has said several times, including during Monday's debate with Kane, that he would review how the case was handled if elected Attorney General.

Kane, who has hit Corbett repeatedly on his handling of the Penn State case, has said that she would launch an investigation.

The ad also claims that Freed refused to prosecute former state House Speaker John Perzel on "campaign violations."

Those allegations were rolled into an investigation by the state Attorney General's Office, which led to Perzel being sent to state prison on public-corruption charges.

And the ad hits Freed, the Cumberland County District Attorney, for not investigating a 2010 complaint that the county email system was being used to send political material.

Another political nonprofit, the Republican State Leadership Committee, last month started airing a commercial accusing Kane of being "soft" on rape cases when she worked as an assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County. That county's district attorney disputed those claims, and a rape victim's father called on the RSLC to take down the inaccurate ad.

The group instead left the ad up for three days and then edited it to claim that Kane let others take the blame for weak prosecutions.

Freed distanced himself from the RSLC but did not ask for the ad to be taken down after Kane requested that he get involved.

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