by Bill Keisling
What a difference an election makes!
Republican candidate for Pennsylvania Attorney General David Freed for months has been nothing but complementary and supportive of Gov. Tom Corbett’s role in the long-running Jerry Sandusky case.
Ever since Freed was personally installed by Corbett as the GOP’s pick for AG, Freed has been effusive and full of praise for his political patron’s handling of the growing Sandusky scandal.
In a press release on June 22, Freed complemented former AG Corbett and his glacial non-handling of Sandusky’s case by saying:
“Today’s verdict represents why Pennsylvania must always have a criminal justice system that works, that is blind to special interests and must do the right thing for the right reasons, every time. I commend the numerous public servants of law enforcement and the Attorney General’s office….”
And, four days later, on June 26, the Harrisburg Patriot-News ran an article titled, “Pa. attorney general hopefuls say justice was served by Jerry Sandusky verdict.”
“‘I was pleased for the victims, pleased for the justice system,’” Freed, the Cumberland County district attorney, told a crowd gathered on Monday for the Pennsylvania Press Club luncheon at the Hilton Harrisburg. ‘I think everybody involved in the case deserves to be commended.’”
This of course includes Tom Corbett, to Freed’s way of thinking.
But lately Freed’s poll numbers have been down, at the same time there’s been growing public awareness that AG Corbett didn’t play straight with Sandusky and his many young victims.
So it comes as no surprise, two months after Freed’s glowing praise for Corbett at the Harrisburg Hilton — and two months out from a very high-stakes general election — that Freed has changed his tune, no less in the pages of the same Republican-leaning Patriot-News.
In an August 30 article titled, “State attorney general candidates want to review Sandusky case,” Freed now tells the Patriot’s editorial board something apparently was lacking in the AG’s office, and he now wants to “take a closer look” at the Sandusky case.
” ‘It wouldn’t be a thorough review if you didn’t talk to the people in the case,’ said Freed, the Cumberland County district attorney,” Freed told the Patriot’s editorial board.
One imagines how this “talk,” and the intensive questioning between AG Freed and Gov. Corbett, will go:
“You did a great and commendable job with Sandusky, didn’t you, Tom?”
“That’s right, I did.”
The Patriot, in its latest story, didn’t even bother to hold Freed to account for his contradictory previous statements, or try to reconcile them.
But at least, we’re led to believe, a chastened Freed now is thinking about “talking” to his embattled political patron, Tom Corbett, about why a well-connected serial pedophile wasn’t convicted for thirteen or fourteen years.
Freed’s opponent in the race, Lackawanna County prosecutor Kathleen Kane, has said all along she’d investigate the attorney general’s office handling of the Sandusky matter.
“In response to a question about whether she would try to use her office’s powers if Corbett didn’t cooperate, (Kane) said, ‘According to the rules of the grand jury and the law, it’s possible to compel testimony unless there’s a right against self-incrimination,’ ” the Patriot reported on August 30
So there you have it. Kane is, and has been since the primary, Tom Corbett’s worst nightmare.
Kane’s position, the potency of the Sandusky issue, and Freed’s closeness to Corbett are all obviously having an effect on what Freed now thinks he must say to win election.