Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane and her privately retained spin doctors are on a mission to reshape the embattled Democrat's public image.
A new website, www.truthaboutkathleenkane.com, defends her position that investigations against her are personal attacks.
“The purpose of the website,” Kane said in a statement, “is to challenge, finally, all the smears, false accusations and illegal leaks from the grand jury process that has investigated me for eight months on the utterly baseless and false accusations that I illegally leaked grand jury information.”
Levick, a Washington-based communications firm, announced the site Friday. It features statements from her attorney, Lanny Davis, credited photos and cherry-picked quotes from a recent profile in The New York Times, legal filings and links to editorials.
Kane has said the investigations into leaks into her office were initiated because of her pledge to root out corruption and challenge Harrisburg's old-boys network.
Montgomery County Common Pleas Judge William R. Carpenter, supervising judge of a statewide grand jury, acknowledged this week that the grand jury recommended charging Kane with criminal contempt in connection with leaks to the Philadelphia Daily News. In March, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court will hear a case regarding Carpenter's appointment of a special prosecutor, Thomas Carluccio, to the case. Kane argues the appointment was done illegally, and the court has put further investigation into the grand jury report on hold.
“This website from now on will allow everyone to see what the facts are, rather than the anonymous illegal leakers which this Republican special prosecutor has chosen to ignore,” Davis said.
Christopher Borick, pollster and political science professor at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, said the site is an attempt to clean up “a tarnished brand.” Modern politicians, he said, resort to campaign tactics when pushing for support as elected officials.
“It's Campaign 101,” Borick said. “You try to get your message out directly and hope you can reach people.”
Kane, he said, is an expert campaigner. When she became the state's first elected female attorney general in 2012 — the first statement listed on the website under “Facts” — Kane got 3.1 million votes, more than incumbent President Obama. But at present, the public is either unaware of Kane or sharply divided, Borick said.
The latest Muhlenberg survey on Kane conducted in early February showed a plurality of polled voters — 40 percent — said they weren't sure if Kane deserved re-election. Twenty-seven percent of voters said she did, compared to 33 percent who did not.
Melissa Daniels is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-380-8511 or firstname.lastname@example.org.