Murphy v. Kane: Judging Pa. attorney general primary via campaign videos

Still from one of Kane's campaign ads.

Pennsylvania’s primary elections are today and the attorney general race for a Democratic candidate to face off against the unopposed Republican contender – Cumberland County District Attorney David Freed – is probably the hottest ticket in town.

A detailed analysis of both of the candidates, Patrick Murphy and Kathleen Kane, can be found here, compliments of the Associated Press. I also discussed their ideologically similar “not-Tom-Corbett” campaign platforms in a previous article.

This time, however, I’m going to make a character judgment through the method favored by most Americans: television. Or the social media generation’s version of television, at least. Here are some YouTube shorts from both camps and what they say about each candidate.

Patrick Murphy according to Murphy’s camp


He prosecuted terrorists in Iraq, guys. TERRORISTS!

Murphy’s got lots of influential political players stumping for him in fancy suits, but he still retains that whole blue collar I-know-how-to-use-power-tools-and-don’t-look-half-bad-in-a-hard-hat quality – just look at how seamlessly he transitions from construction site to boardroom!

He’s from a neighborhood. And he talks with his hands. He’s just like you – except he prosecuted terrorists. In Iraq.

Kathleen Kane according to Kane’s camp

Did she mention she’s a prosecutor, not a politician? And apparently, she gets a lot of flak at the doughnut shop, where she regularly runs into people she’s prosecuted – you know, criminally prosecuted – because she’s a prosecutor. With a population of 200,000, Lackawanna County is a one-doughnut shop town, and Kane is the sheriff of that doughnut shop.

Kane has her own influential politician in a suit. And he’s never been known to tell a lie. Certainly not under oath or anything.

She’s tough. She faces down death threats. She puts away rapists and murderers – those guys suck. And she’s a prosecutor.

Patrick Murphy according to Kane’s Camp

Murphy hasn’t tried any criminal cases in Pennsylvania, as he admits in this video released by Kane’s campaign, but shh – don’t give the Republicans any fodder! We’re all in this together. … Until we’re vying for the same seat. Then I’ll take out TV ads calling you a pro-Republican, anti-union millionaire (the unholy triad of Things Philadelphians Hate).

Kane opposes Corbett, Murphy gave money to “political pals” instead of paying taxes! Kane has powerful endorsements, Murphy was caught breaking campaign finance laws once! Kane prosecuted 3,000 criminal cases in Pennsylvania, Murphy prosecuted none (he’s not a prosecutor, he’s a politician)!

Kathleen Kane according to Murphy’s camp

Per this spot from Murphy’s campaign, Kane is an anti-union “trucking millionaire” (the most nefarious kind of millionaire!) who once wrote Gov. Tom Corbett a check and has actually tried closer to 24 cases. Eh, what’s 2,900 cases between friends?

In fact, the trucking baroness supports all kinds of Republicans!

Murphy is a corrupt, inexperienced cog in Philadelphia’s political machine. Alternately, he is a pro-worker, eco friendly veteran-patriot who understands the needs of the average American family.

And Kane is a disingenuous, Republican-supporting anti-union elitist. Or, depending on who you listen to, she’s a prosecutor who’s tough on crime and equally unyielding when it comes to city and state officials who are part of the corrupt political establishment.

By now you’ve probably realized that these videos are more a reflection of the candidate whose campaign created them than of the candidate they’re attempting to smear. And no one’s hands are clean here.

Wait – we have a tiebreaker: Murphy sings Whitney. Though enthusiastic, he’s not a particularly talented karaoke performer. But he sure can command a room.

Sold.


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