Showing posts with label State Offices. Show all posts
Showing posts with label State Offices. Show all posts

Monday, October 01, 2012

PCN Auditor General Debate



Last week I recorded a debate among the candidate for Pennsylvania Auditor General.  It broadcast on the PCN network and, as of this writing, is still available online.   I took rough note while watching and am posting them.  This is not intended to be a full transcript and I encourage interested voters to listen to the full debate and research the candidates on their own.  As always I apologize in advance for any errors or misconceptions.


Candidates:  State Rep. Eugene DePasquale (D-95),  State Rep. John Maher (R-40),  and Betsy Summers (L)

Introduction by Professor John Gedid,  director of Widener  University Law & Government Institute in Harrisburg

Gedid:  This is an important election, especially for fiscal issues.

Brian Lockman, president of PCN, and moderator

Reporters, Brad Bumsted (Pittsburgh Tribune Review), Charlie Thompson (Harrisburg Patriot News), Eric Boehm (Pa Independent)

Sponsored by PCN, Widener University Law & Government Institute, and Pennsylvania Correspondents Association

Opening Remarks

BS:  Thank PCN and Widener for including me.  Auditor General is an overseer of state and federal tax dollars.  Other candidates will say they are independent watchdogs.  They aren’t and can’t be.  I have no political ties as Libertarian, can represent taxpayer.  Why is it that as soon as govt gets our tax dollars they act as if it is theirs to spend indiscriminately.  I will ask you as taxpayer to get involved as I expose waste mismanagement and fraud, and ask you to contact your representatives and demand change.  As a Libertarian it is always an uphill battle. 

ED:  Thanks everyone.  State Rep.  this is where I went to law school, night school.  Born and raised in Pittsburgh, fell in love with Tracey in grad school.  Moved  to western Pennsylvania, York Co, where she is a teacher.  I went to night law school.  Served as Deputy Secretary at the state Department of Environmental Protection.  In 2006 resigned and ran for pa legislator.  When elected was first rep to post expenses on line, lowest expenses in state, bought district office furniture at yard sale.  Need watchdog to make sure depts.  are doing what they are supposed to be doing.  Reverse cuts.

JM:  Thanks to all.  The informed voter is my friend.  I’m an auditor.  I’m running for auditor general.  My opponents are good folks, mean well.  But I’ve been auditing since [missed date -- 1980?], making sure organizations and government are doing better.  Built a business from scratch.  I came from the real world and never expected to be in government.  Not even registered in political party.  Then state rep in my district died and people asked me to run.  I said no.  Then realized that having written a textbook on government spending, I had something to offer.  Elected.  Ashamed that Pennsylvania did not have lobbying regulations.  Now you can see more online.

Brad Bumsted of Pittsburgh Review:  how can you really be state’s fiscal watchdog when auditor general can’t audit legislature, will you push for a law to allow this?  Is general assembly’s self-audit okay?

ED:  Yes, auditor general can’t audit legislature.  I put my expenses online, made sure [missed this] online.  A lot of reforms have happened.  No more private car leases.  We have made cutbacks.  We do need to do more.  Current audit in legislature not effective but do believe in separation of powers.  Not sure Auditor General should audit legislature.  I have led by example.

JM:  Like Gene my expenses online.  Did not take state car.  Returned money to the state.  Worked to have legislature’s surplus returned to taxpayers,  Voted for it, ED did not.  Yes, separation of powers.  Greatest abuses we have seen are in legislature but that is a tiny portion of money spent by PA.  So much more to be seen.  Auditor general is the person to discover and expose waste.

BS:  I would be an independent watchdog.  As a libertarian I would asked Attorney General to allow Auditor general to audit general assembly.  Current general assembly audit done by people picked by legislative leadership.   I will ask the Attorney General to issue opinion that it is constitutional for auditor general to audit legislature.  If the Attorney General won’t I will seek constitutional amendment.  Legislature slush fund has millions, should go back to general fund.

ED:  Suggested surplus go back to reverse cuts to adult basic.

JM:  Gene, come one, you watched Ed Rendell take money from tobacco settlement .

ED:  Under Rendell there significant growth to education

JM:  In the past two years education spending grown half a billion dollars.

Charlie Thompson, Patriot-News, H’burg:  Special performance audits?  What areas?

JM:  I would not only include performance audits but introduce system audits.  Performance audits, like driving and how many times got home without running out of gas.  Gas gauge is like system audit to detect when things not done right.  That’s the kind of work a skilled auditor can do.  It is altogether absent.  Time for a change.  First audit would be in Dept of Environmental Protection.  Systems there are insufficient for boom in Marcellus Shale.  Administration acknowledges system doesn’t work and need new one.  Auditor General needs to set up systems audit.

BS:  I would make sure that no only systems audits but also forensic audits, go back and go after the people who have stolen the taxpayer dollar and misused it and prosecute them.  We had back 6 years ago, there was in the DCED money was disbursed to increase jobs in PA.  No one went back to check and see if anyone created those jobs.  FIAT spent 109K to send people to Hershey Park for the day.  That gentleman lost his job but we should have prosecuted him.  We have to stop this bleeding from Ds and Rs.

ED:  Yes I will conduct performance audits.  Auditor General Casey did performance audit of nursing homes.  I would do performance audits of all water treatment plants to make sure Marcellus done right.  Water protection is sacrosanct.  Make sure we have enough people to check wells.

Eric Boehm:  Both opponents have drawn some criticism for running for auditor general while also running for reelection, and eligible for per diems and salary.

BS:  Survey, 86% of Pennsylvanians think that you should leave office or finish term before running for another office.  If either of opponents elected we will have to spend money for special elections.

ED:  When I made this decision I talked with constituents and colleagues.  They asked me to run for both.  This is a tough race and they don’t want to lose me.  When I started I didn’t have a statewide name.  Now is more likely.  If have to resign to run more costly.  If both of us resigned to run then would have to have two special elections.  If one of us win then just have special at primary.

JM:  Gene and I agree on this.  We agree on many things.  I talked about running so if anyone else was interested they could step forward.  In that sense 60,000 people made that decision when no one else ran.  Look at 2008 presidential election, both candidates in senate.  Hard to come up with someone who had been in public services who hasn’t run for one office while in another.  As long as transparent let public made decision.

Brad Bumsted:  Historically audits don’t name any names of people involved.  Largely talk about depts. And agencies, would you name names?

ED:  Primary goal is to find waste fraud and abuse and fix it.  I have a track record of that.  At DEP came in under budget.  As far as naming names, if I found any criminal activity would turn over to DA or AG.  My goal is not to scapegoat people but to fix problem.

JM:  I’ve done forensic audits in private sector that have resulted in public officials being successfully prosecuted.  I like auditing.  I’m good at it.  Many Auditor General reports you read them and say “so what?”  There ought to be an ability to ask questions and get answers.  I co-authored a text on government accounting, ask questions that make a difference.

BS:    I can understand why we might want to hold names back and turn things over to AG.  As auditor general I would make sure all records open and available to citizens of PA.  Rs and Ds have been representatives for awhile.  Do you think they’re going to do something that will harm their party?  No they won’t.  Those items will not be audited.  I will audit everyone, no distinctions.  You can count on me to be totally independent.  So many issues of waste and mismanagement.

ED:  If I’m auditor general I don’t care who the governor is.  If I find something wrong and we uncover it I will do something about it.  In 2008 I called for Bill DeWeese to step down.  

JM:  Independence of mind is essential in an auditor general.  Those who paid attention to my efforts on open records issue remember it was opposed by parties.  I got it done.

Ask q of other candidates.

JM asks ED :  I have 30 years of auditing experience.  Who will do the auditing if you win. 

ED: I will be the auditor general.  In City of York, DEP and legislature I have brought down costs.  As for performance audits I know what those depts are supposed to be doing.

ED asks JM:  Previous 3 auditor generals, none of them auditors, what did they do wrong if they weren’t CPAS. (lists their accomplishments).

JM:  Each of them brought an interested dimension to office.  But I think auditor general should be an auditor.  They did good work but it was only a small part of their time in office.  There’s more to be discovered.

BS to JM:  In your term in state house you voted yourself a 50% pension increase and a midnight pay increase.  You take per diems with no receipts.  Will you supply details on actual expense incurred.

JM:  I’ve got 10 years of my expense reports up on the web.   I have led by example.  I have paid expenses out of pocket.  Refused pay raise and voted ot repeal it.

Charlie Thompson. Patriot News.  Our last three Audit Generals have run for governor while in office.  Would you commit to not seeking another office while in this seat.

JM:  No difficulty making that commitment.  This is the culmination for me, as an auditor, been an auditor since [1980?]  I’m sure when I’m done no one in either party will want to elect me for anything again.

BS:  No plans to run for governor.  This is hard enough.  I did want to mention Rep Maher voted to repeal pay raise because of public uproar.  Been advocate for taxpayer for many years in community of Wilkes-Barre.  It’s important that people speak up.  

ED:  If the people elect me as Auditor General I’ll be there as long as they want me there.  I think this is a critical job.  It is a grunt job.  If you do the job right it makes it very hard to get elected for anything else.

Eric Boehm:  Two major scandals – ’05 pay raise, the bonusgate scandal.  Both of you have some ties to that.

BS:  Out of all 3 candidates, you the taxpayer were severely affected by bonusgate.  State workers were paid to throw 3rd paper candidates off the ballot.  Your choices were removed because of bonusgate.  They’re taking your choices away.  [mentions DePasquale hired someone associated with bonusgate]

ED:  People make mistakes in life.  A lot of people have paid a significant price for bonusgate and rightfully go.  After that they have a right to earn a living.  So, yes I have hired the WS group (Sidella).  Part of this if from my father served 8.5 years of a 10 year prison sentence.  Once debt is paid they have the right to make a living and follow the rules.  My dad now fixes up homes in Pittsburgh.  If you’ve paid your debt and are willing to work hard I’m willing to give them  second chance.

JM:  I have never allowed a legislative employee to work on campaigns.  Having the bright line is the easiest way to prevent someone on state payroll to do campaign work.  Gets back to being auditor.  If you do things in a systematic fashion there’s less chance of things going wrong.  For the payraise vote before it was even cast I put in writing that I refused it for then and forever.  When I took office I took a pay cut.  I wasn’t coming for money but for duty.  But the amount at stake for others, like judges, prevented good people from serving.

Brad Bumsted:  Do you believe pay to play exists on state contracts.  If so what would you do about it?

ED:  We don’t know.  You have to do audits of state contracts to find out.  To make those judgments in advance would impugn people without cause.  Our campaign financing system in PA is a disgrace.  That is a mistake.  I’m not saying Corbett or Rendell did anything wrong taking that money but it needs to be fixed.

JM:  We really don’t know and we really should. Over the years I’ve taught how to do forensic audits.  It may not show up on campaign reports.  Could be sacks of money.  Have taught at Cambridge U on how to discover these things.

BS:  It also has a big impact.  I Live in Wilkes-Barre, Luzerne Co.  We had cash for kids.  We now have judges in prison. [something about Wilkes-Barre and the Taxpayers Association].  We are sure pay for play is going on.  Difficult to expose.  If people say “we don’t have any records” the state will say “they don’t have any records so go away.”  I know about corruption.  Seen it happen.
Charlie T:  Of modern Auditors general whose work have you admired most and why?

JM:  Not thought in those terms.  Not a pantheon hall of auditors.  Each brought life experience to job.  I think it’s time to bring an auditor to the job.  I have a passion for auditing.

BS:  I could not say that any of them have inspired me.  I have read so much about people finding something out but guy doesn’t go to prison.  I would be hard-hearted and heavy-handed.  We have this massive pension mess, welfare spending.  We are in deep trouble.  We need to stop waste and mismanagement.  Put stops on spending.  Voting libertarian will do that.

ED:  The last three had guts, integrity and leadership.   Those are the most important characteristics you can bring as auditor general.  Keep asking tough questions.  Never quitting.  This comes from a personal passion.  My kids are in public schools.  If they don’t spend money well it affects me and people all over the state.  Same with drinking water.

JM:  Had 5 seconds to think about this.  Barbara Hafer.  She hired me.

Eric Boehm:  Audit General Jack Wagner recommended consolidate state pension plans.  Should auditor general make recommendations?

BS:  In Wilkes-Barre part-timers have voted themselves a pension.  Makes me nervous thinking oversight of that would go to state level.  Want to keep it local.  State officials should not get a pension.  Ds and Rs have voted themselves a pension, gave themselves a 50% raise but only 24% to state employees. 

ED:  Very important for Auditor General to make recommendations.  Auditor General cannot compel any elected body to do anything but can help guide decisions.  When Jack Wagner found mistakes at PHEAA it helped correct those.  PA has more pensions that any other state combined.  Administrative costs alone burdensome.  Some municipalities with 3 or 4 employees have own pension plans.  We have to figure out a comprehensive solution to legacy pension costs.

JM:  Interesting when put globally.  But look locally.  PA has too many pension plans.  Some municipalities have behaved responsibly.  Others did not pay as they went and now have legacy costs.  If solution for those who did poorly is to consolidate with those who did well punishes those who did well.  Look at PSERS.  I have audited pension plans I know how to do it.

Closing Remarks

JM:  We have talked a lot about what auditor general ought to be doing.  I have a real passion for auditing and over 30 years’ experience in auditing.  If you were going to a doctor would you pick the one with training or the one with a nice smile?   I want the real doctor reading my test results.

ED:  I’ve talked about it before and will continue.  I was the first to post expenses online and lowest costs of any rep in the state.  Same approach to all departments and agencies across state.  I want to make sure the environment is protected and job protection programs working for middle class Pennsylvanians, schools working for kids.

BS:  I have a passion for being a watchdog for taxpayer.  Voteforbetsy.com, [this link doesn't work, I think she meant www.betseysummers.comlppa.com.  Most important aspect is independence. I’m the only candidate who can claim real independence.  Most representatives represent parties not people.  We can send a clear message to Harrisburg [the recording ended].

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mark Your Calendars: Auditor General Debate Airing Live

PCN will air a debate between the candidates for Auditor General next Friday, Sept. 21 at 7 p.m.
Democratic candidate and state Representative Eugene DePasquale; Republican candidate and state Representative John Maher and Libertarian candidate Betsy Summers will take questions from a panel of Pennsylvania Legislative Correspondents Association representatives during the debate hosted at the Widener University School of Law.   PCN President and CEO, Brian Lockman, will moderate for the evening.

You have seven days to get the popcorn ready.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Thank You Message from Kathleen Kane Campaign

from the inbox:



We did it!
I want to personally thank everyone for helping to make Tuesday night's historic Primary victory possible for our campaign.  Your unwavering support was truly the difference, and my family and I are incredibly appreciative for everything you did.   

Our fight, however, is not over and we all must remain focused on the end goal of electing the first-ever Democrat to the Office of Pennsylvania Attorney General.  I am truly honored to represent the Democratic Party in this fight and will continue to work hard every day to ensure our victory in the fall. As your next Attorney General, I promise to safeguard our families from crime, continue to defend women’s rights, ensure the protection of our environment, and make certain our elected officials know that no one is above the law. I can’t thank you enough for your support.  Together, we are going to make history once again this fall!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Math and Polls

Kathleen G Kane, one of the Democratic candidates for Attorney General, released a poll today.  John Micek posted the full poll memo on his Capitol Ideas blog.  It doesn't have cross tabs so I can't drill down very far, but there are some interesting points.  The Kane campaign says the poll puts her ahead 42% to 33% (as reported by politicspa).  Math is not my strong suit but I'm not sure where those numbers come from.  Kane is listed as having a very favorable rating of 30%, her primary opponent Patrick Murphy 33%, for favorable it is 24% for Kane and 25% for Murphy.  That doesn't add up to 42/33 to me. 

The poll was a robocall poll, with recorded questions not live operators.  The poll memo states that only home phones were called, so those with only a cell phone would not be included.  It also states that results for the over 55 age range was overrepresented.  I hope they all have photo ids. 

Monday, April 09, 2012

Axelrod Campaigns for Patrick Murphy

from the inbox:

Senior Obama Campaign Advisor David Axelrod campaigned today in Philadelphia for Patrick Murphy, giving a boost to his run for Pennsylvania Attorney General.

In a strategy meeting with key supporters at a Philadelphia law firm, Axelrod said Patrick Murphy has the experience, leadership and vision to be a great Attorney General for the people of Pennsylvania.

He also noted Murphy's ardent support of the President during some of his tougher fights including ending the war in Iraq, repealing Don't Ask, Don't
Tell and protecting women's rights.

“President Obama has never had a better friend in politics than Patrick Murphy.  He was with us early, he was a great supporter of the election, but more importantly he was a leader we could count on to help end the war in Iraq and repeal Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. Patrick has taken up fights for people, not for special interests, but for people who needed a voice,” Axelrod said.

“There are the people who run for public office because they want to be something, and then there are people who run for public office because they want to do something, because they want to serve and they see it as a way of making our community stronger. There is nobody I know who exemplifies that ethic more than Patrick Murphy, who has served his country so honorably, served his community so honorably. I’ve never met anyone who impressed me more than Patrick in terms of that commitment and that sense of service. This is a guy who represents a better future for Pennsylvania,“ he added.

Friday, March 30, 2012

The Specialties of Kathleen Kane

I learned several things today.  A few of them are applicable to current political races.  Here goes:

The American Bar Association has a Code of Ethics, as many professional associations do.  For a non-blog project I've looked at several such codes but not the ABA's.  Today I did.  Like others the ABA's spells out confidentiality rules, behavioral expectations and so on.  Another common feature is a list of guidelines for how someone in that profession presents themselves.  Occupational groups tend to have their own terminologies or jargon.  For example, point 7.4 of the ABA Code of Ethics states:



(d) A lawyer shall not state or imply that a lawyer is certified as a specialist in a particular field of law, unless:
(1) the lawyer has been certified as a specialist by an organization that has been approved by an appropriate state authority or that has been accredited by the American Bar Association; and
(2) the name of the certifying organization is clearly identified in the communication


That seemed odd since many law firm advertisements that I'd seen mentioned they worked with a particular issue or part of the law, but, as in all things, it is the wording that counts.  This is why, kids, you really need to have a firm grasp of a large vocabulary.  Those small differences in meaning can be important.  Lawyers and law firms will talk about "practice areas" or will say "with a focus on."  I checked out about half a dozen law firms in the area whose URLs or names I knew and they all used words like that.  My standard reference point for lawyers is Martindale and looking at their search interface, it also uses the phrase "practice area."  Where I did find the word "specialize" used on a firm's site, there would be a note of the certifying organization.  To double check I googled a few key phrases, such as "specializes in child abuse law" and "specializes in elder abuse law."   There were remarkably few results and most of those were not law firms but articles that use those terms. 

So it was odd to see that Kathleen Kane, a Democratic candidate for Attorney General, uses that phrase on her campaign website: 
As an Assistant District Attorney for Lackawanna County, Kathleen began in the child abuse/sexual assault unit spending several years prosecuting gruesome cases of physical and sexual abuse of children and adults. Simultaneous to the duties of this unit, Kathleen specialized in cases involving elder abuse, prosecuted white-collar criminals, and exposed abuses in Orphans’ Court.


The National Elder Law Foundation states that:

The National Elder Law Foundation is the only national organization certifying practitioners of elder and special needs law. NELF's Certified Elder Law Attorney designation is itself certified by the American Bar Association.


You can search for a certified lawyer by state.  Kathleen Kane is not listed, not under Kane or Granahan, on the PA list.   

This may be significant.  It may not.  In the law, as in many things, the devil is in the details.  This seemed like a detail.


Kathleen Kane, Patrick Murphy, and Bill Clinton

There are two Democratic candidates for Attorney General in Pennsylvania, Kathleen Kane and Patrick Murphy.  Former Pres. Bill Clinton has talked about both of them.

Bill Clinton on Kathleen Kane, March 26, 2012:

“The first elected office I ever held was Attorney-General, so it’s a job I know something about. The Attorney General can have an enormous positive impact, so it’s important to elect someone who understands how to use the office and the legal system to protect and advance the lives of Pennsylvanians.  Kathleen Kane would make a great Attorney General. She’s smart and tough. She’s prosecuted more than 3000 cases, protected senior citizens, and put child molesters and violent criminals behind bars,” remarked President Clinton.  “Kathleen is a great Democrat who understands that an Attorney General’s job is to stand up for consumers and people. I’m proud to endorse my friend Kathleen Kane and I hope she’ll become the first woman ever elected Attorney General by the people of Pennsylvania.”


Bill Clinton on Patrick Murphy (then running for Pennsylvania's 8th congressional district), Oct 11, 2006:

"Do we got a great candidate or what?" (source:  Scheid, Brian.  "Clinton stumps for Murphy," Intelligencer 10/12/2006)


Murphy supported Obama in the 2008 presidential election; Kane supported Hillary Clinton.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Attorney General Candidate's Debate at PA Progressive Summit


Attorney General Debate
Pennsylvania Progressive Summit
February 10, 2012n
Arch St. United Methodist Church

Democratic Candidates Kathleen Granaham Kane (former Assistant District Attorney in Lackawana County) and PatrickMurphy (former Congressman from Bucks County).  Moderator:  Michael Morrill of Keystone Progress.

Two minute opening and closing statements.  Questions alternate between candidates, with a 1.5 minute response and a 30 second rebuttal (note:  there wasn’t always a rebuttal).

Caveat:  I was scribbling notes using a book as a desk.  My handwriting is not especially neat at the best of times and after a few days can be tricky even for me to interpret.  Should you see anything that looks out of place, please confirm with the campaign.  As always, I apologize in advance for any errors or misconceptions.

Blogger’s note:  The catch(phrase) of the day seemed to be, from the Kane campaign:  I’m a prosecutor not a politician.  From Murphy:  I’m a leader who will fight the big fights.  Murphy is a more relaxed campaigner, no doubt due to experience.  Kane seems a little stiff but that might improve over the course of the campaign.  A straw poll vote was taken at the debate; results were announced the next morning, with Murphy the winner.

Opening Statements:

K:  The AG is the chief law enforcement officer of the Commonwealth.  As the Assistant District Attorney of Lackawanna County I prosecuted child sexual abuse, elder abuse.  We need a prosecutor not a politician in the AG office.  The AG needs to know the laws of the Commonwealth.

M:  This is our 4th debate.  We’re at a crossroads.  Our progressive values are at stake.  Some AGs push a right wing agenda, some don’t do much, others do everything possible to make people’s lives better, take on the fights, the right to choose, environmental issues, fight wherever – the street, boardroom or Harrisburg.  Integrity and guts.

Q1:  What have done to help working people organize?

M:  Supported rights of workers every day of my life.  Grew up in NE Philly, father a police officer for 20+ years, have fought for workers’ rights, Free Choice Act, fight for living wage, need a leader to fight for working men and women.

K:  Growing up father worked for Loudon Hill, lost job, then worked as a janitor, became shop steward (?) for AFSCME, spent time in courtroom not Congress, good wages for good people.

Q2:  [quoting specific law], vouchers?

K:  Public school education funding cut, brother is a teacher, crime will go up, between 3:30 and 6:30 crime goes up if kids don’t have something to do, public / private partnership, link education to law enforcement.  Education is cornerstone of community.

M:  The PA Constitution forbids it unless there is a 2/3 vote, need leaders to stand up for education.  Taught at West Point, sister teaches 6th grade.

Q3:  raise social justice issues?
 
M: Absolutely important to go after crime where it happens, also need to be consumer advocate.  That is my background, fought for Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, especially protect seniors, most vulnerable.   
AG is consumer advocate for PA.

K:  AG has 700 employees, 17 offices in 6 regions, crime biggest section.  Consumer protection another part.  Not rhetoric, needs to be reality.  Consumer protection is theft.  Have prosecuted many cases, head of insurance fraud unit.  Need to do more, been a prosecutor.

M:  Co-sponsored CFPB, added amendment to protect seniors

K:  Murphy done well in introducing bills.  I was in the courtroom.  Have the laws but they’ve been dormant.

Q4:  Art 1 Sec 1 Constitution, what does it mean?

K:  All people are equal, justice for all.  Because a prosecutor, because believe in law, right over wrong.  AG last line of justice in that courtroom.  Doesn’t matter if you are rich or poor, justice for all.  Prosecuted judges.

M: Treat all equally.  I too have prosecuted cases, in the military and in federal cases.  My opponent thought Corbett did such a good job she wrote him a personal check.  Can give speeches but records needs to be clear. 

K:  Did write a check for Corbett when he was running for re-election as AG.  At least I didn’t vote for George Bush.  I’ve practiced in PA courtrooms.

M:  You wrote a $10K check to Lackawanna Co DA, not the same as an absentee ballot 12 years ago while in the military.

Q5:  Art 1, Sec 28 PA Constitution, pertains to same sex marriage?

K:  I believe in same sex marriage.  Legislator made it political.  19 year career as an attorney, fought for all those years.  Supported Republican as DA because the Democratic candidate had never been in the courtroom.

M:  Need an AG who will fight.  Either believe in values and fight for them or not.

K:  Protect kids against abuse, those are big fights over values.  Office for prosecutor.

Q6:  fracking and HB 1950, local control.

K:  Fracking needs to have full disclosure.  Close loopholes.  No reason chemicals pumped in ground and we don’t’ know what they are.  We need regulations.  Make sure legislators propose right regulations.

M:  HB 1950 set aside that says people have to apply for redress to Public Utility Commission.  Corbett a disappointment on environment.  If put safety in jeopardy should go to jail.  Cases where people intentionally put fracking water in to water.  Should go to jail.  I will be a fighter.

K:  That’s what happens when politics takes over.  Need a prosecutor not a politician.

M:  My opponent supported Corbett for AG re-election.  My record is clear.  Two Democrats in the House supported the Frack Act – Sestak and me.

Q7:  PA constitute vague about AG duties.  Define..

M:  PA AG is people’s protector.  Tough on crime and fight for values we believe in.  Environmental crime.  Consumer protection.  An active AG can make a different in everyday people’s lives.

K:  [cites law on AG duties]:  chief law enforcement officer.  Need to know PA law.  I have practiced them.  Patrick wants to say I’m a bad Democrat.  If you want a politician vote for Patrick.  If you want a prosecutor vote for me.

M:  Not just Corbett.  You can give money to anyone you want but you can’t say one thing and do another.

K:  [jab at Murphy on immigration, referring to a previous debate]

Q8:  women’s health

K:  In courtroom not Congress, protect women who have been raped, found justice for them.  They didn’t care what my politics were or who I wrote checks to.  I’m a pro-choice candidate.

M:  Women have a right to choose, right to privacy.  My actions will reflect that right.  I was invited to speak at NARAL a few days ago.  PA passed a bill that will close 20 out of 22 clinics.  You have to be willing to fight every step of the way.

Q9:  1200 people shot and killed in PA each year.  Illegal handguns.

M:  Fight big fights – take on special interested.  I believe in the 2nd amendment, own a gun.  But not an AK47.  I’ve seen what an AK47 can do to the human body.  It’s not pretty.  In Philadelphia 236 people murdered last year.  Need a leader who will take on special interests.

K:  Been with police, FBI, been to murder scenes.  Make sure programs continue, like Handgun [task force?].  Have a permitting problem in PA.  Need to make sure systems speaking to each other.  Need to know PA laws.  Patrick voted against DC handgun law.

M:  That law wasn’t constitutional.  Have to be consistent.  1 handgun a month.

K:  It only takes one handgun.  Need practical solutions from people have been on the street.

Q10:  Proposed law, NRA can sue localities

K:  need lost and stolen laws to stop straw purchases.  Not an infringement on 2nd amendment.  Bound by law to report a theft.

M:  That bill was outrageous.  Lets NRA sue and get triple damages.  Cities won’t take on NRA.  I’ve been on the streets.  My dad, uncle, cousins are cops.  Been a Judge Advocate General in military.  Prosecuted criminals here and overseas. 

K:  Respect Patrick’s work.  Issue is need to know PA laws.

M:  Went to law school in PA.  Practiced law here for years.  Not just knowing law but fighting laws under attack now. 

Q11: Sandusky.  What would you have done differently?

M:  As a prosecutor took out a high level Navy commander who molested a 7 year girl.  If elected will do a top to bottom review.  If anyone slow-walked that investigation they will have to answer for it.  Need to make sure have secure statewide database and strengthen mandatory reporting and get rid of time limits. 

K:  Testimony of one victim is enough.  Corbett said one victim not enough to bring charges.  I would have investigated promptly.  Have never put a sexual abuse case before a grand jury.  Takes too long.

M:  At 15th and Chestnut St. there is a child advocacy center.  Need more of those.

K:  Would have more if then if there was a $5 fee [missed this] to employ trained doctors and [missed this].  Bill held up.

Q12:  been part of [missed this, but I think it is the case against the Affordable Health Care Act] suit?

K:  No, purely politically motivated.  If elected will take PA out.

M:  I agree

Q13:  HB 934, voter ID

M:  Bill is wrong.  Takes away rights of elderly, college students and others who don’t have ID.  Should fight against voter fraud.  But this basically disenfranchises people.  Extreme right wing agenda.

K:  Violation of civil rights of everyone in PA.  Patrick is right that it’s a suppression.  Affects elderly the most.  Their id isn’t valid or they don’t know where it is.  Who’s next?

Q14:  A Democrat has never been elected in PA.  How to defeat a Republican?

K:  Go toe to toe with the Republican nominee.  He has a law and order record.  Need a Democratic 
candidate with a law and order record.  Even Democrats are voting for the Republican law and order candidate.  Need most qualified.  I’m the only qualified prosecutor in the Democratic primary.

M:  Critically important.  Will put my life and prosecutorial experience against R candidate.  We will take the fight to the GOP.  R candidate is Dave Freed.  Environmental crime, budget cuts, need to let people know.  Fight for progressive values.

K:  Voters want to know how often you’ve been in PA courtrooms.  My record can stand up to Rs.

M:  Four years ago we had a county DA who stood up to Corbett.  Kathleen supported Corbett.  I have a large number of Facebook and twitter followers.  Need grassroots support.

Q15:  Support legislation to prevent AG from running for governor

M:  yes, should have had it four years ago.

K:  yes AG should be the destination not the journey.  Will pledge not to run for governor.

Q16:  Protect citizens from corporate malfeasance. 

K:  Limits on campaign spending and special interest.  I’ve self-funded my campaign $2million.  Shows independent, not beholden.

M:  Process now completely tainted.  Not taking corporate money, supported DISCLOSE ACT.  Can’t self-fund though, but did receive $1.5 million from 2500 donors.  If elected will do everything to change process.

K:  I didn’t take $170,000 in PAC money.  Time to elect Democratic AG, only candidate qualified.

M:  I’m also qualified.

Q17:  Protect non-US citizens.

M:  Immigration a problem, secure borders.  Employers exploit illegal immigrants.  AG cracks down.  Of the 19 soldiers in the 82nd Airborne killed in Iraq, one was not a citizen, here on green card.  Need to do what is right. 

K:  Immigration laws need to be reformed.  I will enforce all of the laws.  Strengthen borders.  Can’t deport everyone.  Need a career path to citizenship.  AG enforces the laws.

M:  Don’t deport everyone.

Q18:  limits on local government, especially environmental regs

K:  If local governments given regulations they wouldn’t have to make their own.  But a farm might be in multiple municipalities.  Need laws and regulations to protect air and water.  State government has regulations needed to protect people.

M:  It is broken.  Marcellus shale is “big footing.”  Now people have to go through PUC.  Need to do what is take sot keep environment safe.  Need an AG who will fight.

K:  Need to make sure any bill passed prevents municipality from complaining.

M:  Justice system gives a voice to everyone.

Q19:  AG serves on pardon board.   What are your qualifications for this?

M:  Case by case basis.  In PA 78% of inmates don’t have a high school diploma.  Now a 2 year wait to get GED.  Need a leader who makes sure legislators understand what bill will do.

K:  Qualification is chief law enforcement official.  Worked with law enforcement.  Need to know PA laws of parole and pardon.  Need to now what crimes have high recidivism rate.

M:  Important to have an AG who understands what works and doesn’t, who will fight.

K:  being on the street with police officers is protecting them.

Q20:  non-violent drug offenders

K:  Usually a possession charge.  Addicts.  Treat root of the problem.

M:  Simple possession in non-violent sense should go to drug court, heroin and meth are serious issues.  Partner with law enforcement and community leaders.  Be proactive, alternative courts. 

K:  time to walk the walk.  Sat through drug court.  Make sure every county had resources for drug court. 

Q21:  AG duty on environment

M:  rights to clean air and water under attack.  Over 3300 violations, over 2000 have direct impact on environment.  Must do everything possible to fight special interests.  Need a leader and fight big fights.

K:  AG’s office has an environmental office, understaffed and under utilized.  Need to be a proactive. 

M:  Let’s look at record.  Zero prosecutions.  Why do they continue to look the other way?

Q22:  If opponent elected how would you feel?

K:  Hope we elect a Democrat.  I believe I’m the best candidate.   Hope we all turn out to vote.

M:  Democrats need to win this race.  Campaigning is not easy.  I believe my skillset is better.  But must come together after the primary.

Closing Statements

M:  Same points used against Bobby Kennedy – too young and inexperienced.  Don’t just prosecute but set priorities for office.  That’s why for first time civil rights laws enforced.  First to admit I’m no Bobby Kennedy.  Ask who will fight the big fights.

K:  next AG will try Sandusky case.  Now you have a choice.  Who will you choose?  Choose a prosecutor who has experience prosecuting sex offenders.  Not just leadership, but need prosecutorial skills.