Lancaster New Era
When Pennsylvania voters choose the state’s chief law enforcement officer Nov. 6, they will decide between two veteran prosecutors: Republican David Freed of Camp Hill and Democrat Kathleen Kane of Clarks Summit.
The primary distinction between the two candidates for attorney general, aside from their party affiliation, is their level of experience.
Freed, 42, is the elected district attorney in a county of nearly a quarter million people. In Cumberland County, he has overseen the prosecution of more than 4,000 cases a year since 2006.
He has personally handled many high-profile files, including two recent cases involving murders of children by a parent in Cumberland County. In addition, he recently prosecuted a 14-yearold “cold case” homicide that was solved by using DNA evidence.
Freed is serving his second four-year term as the county’s top law-enforcement official, a position that has produced many of the state’s successful attorneys general.
Kane, 46, worked as assistant district attorney in Lackawanna County until 2007, when she resigned the position to help Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton campaign.
While she has served as a prosecutor, Kane has not served in an elected management position.
We are concerned about her lack of experience in overseeing a county department, let alone a state agency that has a staff of about 800 people and a budget of nearly $80 million.
Kane’s inexperience is evident in her plan, if elected, to prosecute some cases herself.
The attorney general directs a criminal investigation unit, drug-law enforcement program, multi-county investigating grand juries and a Medicaid Fraud Control Section, among other important divisions.
So, along with the burden of overseeing hundreds of prosecutions going on across the state at any given time, she is going to argue cases herself? That’s impractical at the state level.
Kane has tried to score political points by tying Freed to Gov. Tom Corbett, a former attorney general.
She has called for a thorough investigation of Corbett’s handling of the Jerry Sandusky sex-abuse case when he was attorney general.
That suggests a deep misunderstanding of how the attorney general’s office works. To assume that Corbett ran roughshod over such an expansive operation, with its numerous law-enforcement agents and prosecutors with no particular political agenda, suggests that Kane has no conception of the office.
Attorney General Linda Kelly, a Republican nominated to the post by Corbett in 2011, has handled the job with aplomb, following through successfully on the Sandusky prosecution — a prosecution, Kane neglects to point out, that Corbett launched.
Kelly is not seeking a full four-year term. In addition to Freed and Kane, libertarian Marakay Rogers of York County is also running for the position.
The New Era strongly endorses Freed, the experienced, qualified candidate, as Pennsylvania’s next attorney general.
Read more: http://lancasteronline.com/article/local/766799_Freed-experienced-as-top-prosecutor.html