State House Sound Bites

Capitol reporter Mary Wilson covers Pennsylvania politics and issues at the Pennsylvania state capitol.

Links: AG candidates debate tonight

Written by Mary Wilson, Capitol Bureau Chief | Oct 22, 2012 8:24 AM

The candidates for Attorney General will go toe-to-toe in a debate tonight, the Patriot-News reminds us.  You can watch it live on PCN at 7 p.m., or stream it from Widener University's website.  

Speaking of the AG race, a couple of articles this morning illustrate the difference between the two campaigns of the major party candidates.  The Sentinel considers the study in constant motion that is Republican candidate Dave Freed, the District Attorney of Cumberland County:

Despite those who oppose a sitting district attorney juggling the job while campaigning for another post, other district attorneys told The Sentinel that it only makes sense for one of their own to run for the state-level job.

“I don’t think you would have too many running if they had to quit their jobs to do so,” Crawford County District Attorney Francis Schultz said.

“Certainly, the job is very tough, but with modern technology, such as an iPad and iPhone, it is possible to do it, particularly in this case because the district attorney is more a manager of the office,” Schultz said.

The fact that Freed has been in office for seven years and has an experienced staff only makes it easier for him to campaign, Dauphin County District Attorney Edward Marsico said.

Meanwhile, Capitolwire takes note of the no less active, but perhaps less public, campaigning of Democratic candidate Kathleen Kane. 

Kane has ducked scrutiny more than any other Pennsylvania statewide candidate in my tenure covering statewide politics.

Freed accepted a half-dozen debates or forums. Kane ducked all, so far, but the one tonight and some joint appearances before editorial boards whose endorsements she sought.

...On one recent day as her staff told my staff she was making no public appearances and maybe she would be in the Harrisburg area the following week, I walked down to Second Street for a slice of pizza. When I picked up my order, my luncheon companion told me Kane had just walked by, as had U.S. Rep. Allyson Schwartz, D-Montgomery, in town to raise funds for Kane.

Kane’s staff said it was a private event and she had no time then to talk to us or the other hordes of Capitol reporters all trying to arrange to travel with her so they could tell their readers about her. The same thing happened this week again. She came to downtown Harrisburg, two blocks from the reporters trying to cover her campaign, and ducked them all.

Other things to watch: whether Gov. Corbett decides to sign into law a personal income tax break for businesses who promise to meet a certain threshold of jobs created.  Though, as the Post-Gazette explains, it's not that employees would get to hold onto those tax dollars -- the businesses themselves would get to pocket 95 percent of their employees' PIT.  

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