Looks like PA might get its very own Elizabeth Warren. John Micek talks to AG-elect Kathleen Kane:
Q: It’s been said that you plan to beef up the office of consumer advocate to make it a more effective voice for consumers. Do you see yourself joining in more multi-state prosecutions, such as the ones that led to settlements with the mortgage industry and tobacco industry? What will be your barometer for joining those suits?
A: I think that consumer protection, on a larger scale, has been dormant for a number of years. First we need to look at mortgage fraud crimes, student loan fraud crimes and crimes against our veterans.
Where it’s appropriate we’ll be joining with other states or leading the other states. But this must be a very fair process. It’s a process meant to protect consumers. But it’s an economic issue also. There are good companies in this state and we need to make sure that good companies are able to compete. Nobody should cut corners. That’s a crime against consumers and an economic crime against fair business practices.
Q: Past occupants of your office have been faulted for not being proactive enough in getting in front of these large multi-state lawsuits. Do you envision yourself taking the lead on such efforts, or would it be case-specific?
A: It is case specific. I think Pennsylvania should be more of a leader. But it does have to be case-specific. If the people of Pennsylvania are being deprived of hundreds of millions of dollars, they deserve to have it returned to the commonwealth. If we find that it’s happening, we will proceed in a prosecution to have it restored. I won’t walk away from issues like that.