Kathleen Kane announces she will not seek re-election.

Kathleen Kane, Pennsylvania’s indicted attorney general who’s been operating with a suspended law license, announced Tuesday in her hometown of Scranton that she is not seeking re-election.

She gave a meandering statement that started five minutes early and included a litany of her accomplishments in the office and a few maternal moments — how old her sons are, when she hopes they’re going to college — and then she dropped out of the race the day nominating petitions were due.

True to Kane form, what was billed as a “press conference” did not include the ability of the press to ask her questions.

Kane, who was indicted on charges of leaking secret grand jury information in order to embarrass her political foe, had her law license stripped and the Pennsylvania House of Representatives is currently holding proceedings that could lead to impeachment. Separately, but not unrelated, Kane continues to wage her war against “the old boys’ network” in Harrisburg that she started when she first released pornographic emails shared by officials in the Office of the Attorney General before she took office in 2012. Since then, her efforts to stave out inappropriate communications between attorneys, judges and others has been dubbed statewide as “Porngate.”

Didn’t know this was coming? Not near a TV or a computer when it went down? Here’s what you missed:

1. She isn’t good at actually conferencing with press

We’ve said this before about Kane. On multiple occasions, this figure paid by Pennsylvania taxpayers has held “press conferences” with frustrated reporters and then refused to answer their questions after she’d already briefed them on whatever she wanted to talk about that day.

And again, Kane held her press statement-making ceremony in a place not convenient for most of the reporters who cover her (they’re in Harrisburg), then made them angrier by not actually engaging with them. Today was at least the fourth time Kane has made such a move.

“It’s my job to ask questions,” one of the reporters who covers her told us last time around. “I’m not there to be her audience.”

2. Time for some weird quotes (again)

Remember: She’s not campaigning. But that won’t stop Kane from using campaign-style rhetoric to blast her enemies! We particularly favorite was when she talked about knocking down the “the old boys network” and said she sleeps well at night knowing “we marched into hell for an unheavenly foe and we won.”

Here are a few others:

3. It’s still unclear what this means for her Porngate investigation

Back at the end of November, Kane announced in front of press at the National Constitution Center in Philly that she would name former Maryland Attorney General Doug Gansler to serve as a special prosecutor as her office continued to investigate emails sent and received by law enforcement officials throughout Pennsylvania. The investigation would cost Pennsylvania taxpayers some $2 million.

“We’ve reached a point in Pennsylvania where some government leaders have lost their sense of dignity, duty and civility,” Kane said at the time, after playing a slideshow of racist emails about black teenagers at prom, as well as others making light of domestic abuse and sexism.

Gansler’s team will comb through thousands of emails, flagging unethical or illegal communications, and once the review is completed, a final report will be drawn up, and any corresponding criminal charges will be filed by Gansler. He didn’t give a timeline for how long the review would take.

Now, that review is in question. At the time, Gansler indicated that he was charged by Kane, so continuing his efforts would be up to her. Since she didn’t take questions, it’s unclear what her decision on his review might be.

4. We need a drinking game for these press events

Here are my thoughts on this:


Let’s make it happen.

Anna Orso was a reporter/curator at Billy Penn from 2014 to 2017.