PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — On the anniversary of women’s suffrage, Attorney General Kathleen Kane sat down for an exclusive interview with KDKA political editor Jon Delano, who asked her about breaking the glass ceiling as the state’s first elected woman AG.
Delano: “Do you think that’s made a difference?”
Kane: “Yeah, I do think it’s made a difference. Women offer so much to government and to business and to health care organizations, and we have to have our voice.”
But Kane knows she’s charting new ground.
Delano: “You are a women in law enforcement.”
Delano: “Traditionally a male bastion.”
Kane: “That’s right.”
Delano: “And you are in charge of lots of men.”
Delano: “Has that made a difference to the operation of the office?”
Kane: “Yes. It has made a difference. When I first came in I wanted people — I wanted to remind them of why we are in law enforcement, why we do what we do, why we go into the drug world, and why do we go and catch child predators. And I think I’ve inspired them to do that. My philosophy — because I am a woman and I see things differently — was to inspire everyone to do their job, and their performance has been unbelievable.”
Kane cites success with drug busts and child predator cases, but she knows there was criticism for her comments on the Sandusky review she authorized and for failing to pursue corruption cases against some black Philadelphia legislators.
Kane’s reaction: “If there’s been a bad press day, shake it off. Go back and do your job. Do what you do best. Go out and catch those child predators. Go out and take down those drug organizations. Do what we do best. Make sure those consumers are treated fairly in Pennsylvania.”
“Just keep doing what you’re doing because you can’t get sidetracked by criticism,” she adds.
As to whether she thinks the media and the public hold her to a different standard because she is a woman, Kane responds, “I think there are certain people who do that. I wouldn’t say the public or the media as a whole.”
And she’s comfortable she’s doing the job.
“We do good things and we make a difference in every day people’s lives,” she said.
But the second year in office has been tougher than the first year when she blocked the governor’s privatization of the Lottery, stood up for marriage equality, and charged Turnpike officials with corruption.
Delano: “How have you taken that criticism?”
Kane: “Well you know it comes with the territory, quite honestly. I’m an elected official. I’m a public servant. It comes with the territory, and what goes up must come down a little bit.”
In June, when she released her Sandusky report, she said delays in prosecuting Sandusky meant two boys were abused. She later backtracked on that.
Delano: “Did you make a mistake at the Sandusky press conference in Harrisburg?”
Kane: “No. There’s some times when you get into a press conference and everyone is talking at once, sometimes things, you hear a question different. We have certain… and I’m very technical, so I think I either misheard the question or there were two separate things we were talking about or we had a miscommunication. But no, and if I do make a mistake you know me well enough, Jon, that I will say, made a mistake.”
Delano: “Well, have you made any mistakes as attorney general?”
Kane: “(LAUGHS) I Guess that’s up to you to decide. I mean that’s up to the public to decide. I can tell you we follow the law.”
Kane has also been criticized by the state’s District Attorneys Association for criticizing prosecutors.
Delano: “Does that bother you since you have to work with them?”
Kane: “Ah, it bothers me for maybe five minutes. If somebody has a criticism, that is perfectly within their purview. But I know that everything we do we do for the right reason. We follow the law, and I sleep very well at night.”
And Kane gives no sign of moving on.
“I love my job. I really do. You know there’s been a lot of talk about whether I’m going to run for senate or governor or anything else. I love my job. I get up every morning and cannot wait to go to work.”
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