Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tension Creates 'Anti-Honeymoon' for Corbett, Kane

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Tension Creates 'Anti-Honeymoon' for Corbett, Kane

Article excerpt


Call it the anti-honeymoon.

The interaction between midterm Gov. Tom Corbett and newly inaugurated Attorney General Kathleen Kane has been tense since before she took office a month ago. Just this week, it sent sparks flying in a dispute over the legality of a Pennsylvania Lottery contract.

Mr. Corbett, the seasoned pol and former attorney general, is countering a stubbornly low job-approval rating with an ambitious agenda that would chop down the backlog of highway and bridge work, overhaul the state pension system and hand over to the private sector the sale of alcoholic beverages and the management of the Pennsylvania Lottery.

Ms. Kane, the former county prosecutor and political novice who resoundingly won her first election campaign, is walking a tightrope between fulfilling her professional responsibilities as the state's chief legal officer and living up to expectations that come with being the first woman and the first Democrat to be elected to the post.

Mr. Corbett, 63, a Republican who faces potential re-election challenges in both the primary and general elections next year, is eager to convince voters he is an effective leader worthy of a second term. Ms. Kane, 17 years his junior, is equally determined to prove that she is an independent prosecutor who will fairly apply state laws.

The tension between them pre-dates Ms. Kane's arrival in Harrisburg.

Ms. Kane threw down the gauntlet during last year's campaign by repeatedly questioning -- at the height of the Jerry Sandusky child sexual-abuse scandal -- why it took state prosecutors almost three years to arrest the former Penn State assistant football coach. She vowed to launch an investigation to answer that question, if elected.

Mr. Corbett, who was the attorney general during most of that period, said it took time to build the case that convicted Sandusky on 45 counts and sent him to prison for at least 30 years. …

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