DePasquale calls Trump’s Russia request ‘Looney-Tunes’

Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale addresses Pennsylvania delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27.
Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale addresses Pennsylvania delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia on Wednesday, July 27.

BY DONALD GILLILAND  dgilliland@tribweb.com

“The world of crazy land, Looney-Tunes, Bugs Bunny,” said Pennsylvania Auditor General Eugene DePasquale at a luncheon for Pennsylvania delegates to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia as he informed them of the latest Donald Trump statement.

DePasquale recounted how during a press conference earlier in the day, the Republican presidential candidate looked into the cameras and asked Russian officials, who American security experts believe to be behind the hacking of Democratic party computers, to look for Hillary Clinton’s emails.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” Trump said.

Clinton’s senior policy advisor Jake Sullivan responded: “This has to be the first time that a major presidential candidate has actively encouraged a foreign power to conduct espionage against his political opponent. That’s not hyperbole, those are just the facts. This has gone from being a matter of curiosity, and a matter of politics, to being a national security issue.”

The Associated Press reported members of the Republican Party leadership denounced Trump’s statement.

Former CIA director Leon Panetta told CNN Trump’s statement was “totally outrageous.”

“Asking Russia to engage in American politics,” he said, “that’s beyond the pale.”

“I wish I was making this up,” DePasquale said, characterizing Trump’s campaign as “a world of conspiracy theories and hate mongering.”

“It is up to all of us not to just be against Donald Trump – in my opinion, that’s easy – it’s also about being behind Hillary Clinton because it’s about moving the country forward,” he told delegates.

DePasquale said “it’s easy to forget January 2009 and January 1993,” when Democratic presidents had to begin cleaning up “major messes” left by Republican presidents, but cleaning up after a Trump presidency would be monumental.

“I just can’t imagine it,” he said.

This story was first posted Wednesday, July 27, 2016 at 2:11 p.m.

 

What Kathleen Kane can learn from Ryne Sandberg

Kathleen KaneBY MELISSA DANIELS  mdaniels@tribweb.com

Back in late May, Public Policy Polling took a wide-ranging survey of Pennsylvanians’ opinions on politics and – because why not? – major league sports.

At that time, Attorney General Kathleen Kane had a favorability rating of 21 percent, with 41 percent saying they weren’t sure. The poll also said 65 percent thought Kane should resign if she were indicted.

Ryne Sandberg, then manager of the worst-in-baseball Philadelphia Phillies, had a 34 percent favorability rating among self-identified fans – 13 points higher than Kane – with 48 percent unsure.

Sandberg resigned in late June.

He said he “did not want to be in the way of anything happening and progress going forward.”

That seems like the same advice Democrats are giving Kane after she was charged Thursday with various crimes including perjury and obstruction of justice.

About 30 minutes after Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman announced the charges, Kane released a statement saying she would “vigorously” defend herself, while continuing to run the office she was elected to serve.

“A resignation would be an admission of guilt and I’m not guilty,” she said.

At least one hounded Pennsylvania figure knew when it was time to cut bait.

Democratic Governor Tom Wolf called on Kane to resign, saying “She cannot do what she has to do as the top law enforcement officer in Pennsylvania while she’s facing these serious charges.”

Democratic Auditor general Eugene DePasquale said Kane should step aside.

Other Democrats joined the chorus… to no obvious effect.

“Every corner of this state seems to be currently affected with some type of alleged or confirmed public corruption,” DePasquale said. “This must end.”

DePasquale makes a point.

But given the fact the Phillies are 16-19 since Sandberg’s exit, maybe even resignations don’t change underlying problems.