Embattled Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane told labor leaders at the Pennsylvania AFL-CIO’s convention on Tuesday that it’s important to support elected officials in good times and bad.
Kane, who has a criminal trial set for the summer, told union members she never had plans to seek another term in office.
Kane said organized labor has the ability to “control” elections, and she said the members’ political might shouldn’t be forgotten by those seeking office.
She spoke about efforts in courting labor unions during the run-up to her own election for the state’s top attorney post. That support, she said, helped propel her to victory.
In particular, she recalled one scene in Pittsburgh involving AFL-CIO Secretary-Treasurer Frank Snyder.
“I met Frank in the back of an SUV,” she said, laughing. “Oh yes, I know, it’s a tawdry story. It is true. We picked him up off the street, a dangerous street, mind you, in the streets of Pittsburgh,” she said. “I will never forget this day on the campaign trail, I have a union leader in the back of an SUV and we locked the doors, and I said to him, ‘I’m not letting you out until you support me for attorney general.'”
Kane faces criminal charges for allegedly lying under oath about leaking confidential information to a newspaper to strike back at a rival who she thought wronged her.
For her part, Kane maintains she did nothing wrong. She told labor leaders on Tuesday that not seeking a second term is, in a way, liberating.
“You’re not worried about how you’re going to look in the next election. I have the freedom now to say exactly what I think. Not that I didn’t before. And maybe that’s part of the problem,” Kane said.
After her short speech, Kane posed for pictures, signed autographs, but wouldn’t take questions from reporters.
Later this week, Democratic Presidential candidates Hilary Clinton and Bernie Sanders are scheduled to address the more than 700 union members at the convention held at the Sheraton Downtown Hotel.