Prosecute the torture.

February 20, 2006

More trouble for Rick Santorum

Via attytood, I learned of some new problems for our junior senator, Rick "Man-on-Dog" Santorum. The blog post links to an article at American Prospect Magazine. The teaser at the magazine article is:
An investigation into the private and public finances of Rick Santorum suggests that the Senate GOP might want to reconsider making him its ethics czar.
Interesting - I wondered what exactly it was about. Seems that Lil Ricky's maybe got some ethics issues to deal with. Take a look:
The Prospect decided to heed Santorum’s advice by taking “an honest look at the family budget” -- his family budget. What we found is that Santorum’s exurban lifestyle is financed in ways that aren’t available to the average voter back home in Pennsylvania -- namely a political action committee that lists payments for such unorthodox items as dozens of trips to the Starbucks in Leesburg, a number of stops at fast-food joints, and purchases at Target, Wal-Mart, and a Giant supermarket in northern Virginia. Although a Santorum aide defends those charges as legitimate political costs, good-government experts say the expenditures are at best unconventional, and at worst a possible violation of Senate rules, and the purchases appear to be unorthodox when compared with other senators’ filings. Santorum’s PAC -- a “leadership PAC,” whose purpose is to dispense money to other Republican candidates -- used just 18.1 percent of its money to that end over a recent five-year period, a lower number than other leadership PACs of top senators from both parties.
Uh-oh.

The financing of the Senator's house is at issue:
Initially, according to Loudoun County property records, the purchase was financed with a $405,000 mortgage from a conventional lender, Westminster Mortgage Company. But a year later, the couple refinanced for $500,000. That was not unusual in the fall of 2002, when many homeowners were refinancing to take advantage of plunging interest rates, while also cashing in on the rising equity in their homes. What was curious was the source of the increased mortgage. It was a new private bank catering to “affluent investors and institutions” -- whose officers have contributed $24,000 to Santorum’s political action committees and re-election campaign -- called Philadelphia Trust Company.
Now we're getting to the nitty-gritty.
While bank executives and directors have donated to Santorum’s campaign or his political fund since the firm’s founding in late 1998, and Crofton is the chairman of a charity run by Santorum, there is no evidence that the senator -- who sits on the Senate Banking Committee -- took any official actions on its behalf.

But government ethics experts said that even if Santorum didn’t take any action on Philadelphia Trust’s behalf, the mortgage deal carries the appearance of special treatment, which would violate the Senate ethics rules that Santorum is now charged with reforming. “Anytime he gets something that a regular person couldn’t get, that’s an improper gift,” says Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who now heads the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Sloan said the senator’s unconventional mortgage is the latest in a series of actions -- including his role in the so-called K Street Project to place Republicans in lucrative lobbying jobs -- that show “he’s seriously ethically challenged.”
That's a bad thing, right?

And then there's this:
Around the same time that the couple became Virginia homeowners, Karen Santorum entered into an unusual working arrangement with the Pittsburgh political consulting firm that has provided all of her husband’s media work. From 1995 through 1998, Brabender Cox -- the company that handled nearly $10 million in media buys for his two Senate campaigns -- paid a retainer to the senator’s wife. John Brabender, a firm principal who is godfather to one of the couple’s children, told reporters that he paid her roughly $4,000 a month for “client development,” although the exact amount was never disclosed.
John Brabender is usually the guy John McIntire talks to when he's interviewing someone from the Santorum campaign. I've even called in when Brabender was on once. Perhaps John can ask Mr Brabender about the $4000/month "client development" deal he's made with the Senator's wife. By the way, four grand a month turns $48,000 per year. If the Senator's already a client, what's the four grand for?

The rest of the article describes "questionable" trips (on PAC money) to Starbucks and Burger King. The rest of the article is a good read.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't include this paragraph. Talk about a flip-flop!
But Santorum the conservative social critic is merely the latest incarnation of a political survivor. His views on abortion were once somewhere between pro-choice and ambivalent, and in 1990 campaign literature he noted that he had “returned to my Church after a period of absence.” Santorum has also written that his view on abortion was influenced by his 1988 marriage to then-law student Karen Garver. Last year, the Philadelphia City Paper revealed that when Garver met Santorum, she had been living with the founder of Pittsburgh’s first abortion clinic.
Rick Santorum...Seriously Ethically Challenged.

IMPEACH

9 comments:

Shawn said...

Taxpayer subsidies for fast food?

Where's Morgan Spurlock when you need him?

Braden said...

Alright....my comment here has nothing to do with Rick Santorum, but I have to say this. I viewed this video:

http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-2023320890224991194

It definitely has some interesting "points" about what happened on 9/11. All I can say is please watch the video. I can't help but wonder if indeed there are others "powers" at work here. I don't know, but based on what I watched on the video contained in the link above, how does one rebuke this? Interestingly enough, George W. Bush comes to my mind. One of his brothers has interesting ties to the WTC. I don't want to say that I am on the wrong side here, but gee whiz, after watching this documentary, I can't help but wonder what really did happen.

Also, interestingly enough, I never thought about this before: How come the people that were in the "plane" that hit the Pentagon are never mentioned like those that were in the planes that hit the twin towers and the plane that went down in Somerset? You don't hear a single thing about those people involved at the Pentagon. Perhaps I didn't research it enough? I don't know. Seriously, watch the video, and then share your views. I am quite "ticked" off after watching this. How come GWB is for the UAE keeping "watch" of our ports? Talk about things that make you go hmmmmm.....

corporatemedia said...

Great post, but you still got his name wrong.

According to the Philadelphia Daily News, it's

"Tricky Rick"

Tricky Rick(y) makes the front page!

Although there is a dog on the cover, too. :)

Shawn said...

Perhaps the reason that Pentagon isn't mentioned, or remembered, as often has to do with the fact that the Twin Towers were two of the world's tallest buildings and one of the most prominent parts of the world's most famous skyline. A skyline which symbolizes not only the U.S.A. but "the West" as well.


I'm not saying this is right, only that as explanations go, it's the one that fits Occam's Razor.

Jonathan Potts said...

Barbara Olsen, the wife of former U.S. Solicitor General Ted Olsen, was on Flight 77, the plane that crashed into the Pentagon. I am aware of all the conspiracy theories about this, including one that claims she is still alive.

Maria said...

Olsen came to mind for me too. I may be wrong, but I think her husband has since remarried.

Olsen was a well-known GOP talking head who had appeared regularly on numerous TV programs.

It is difficult for me to belive that she would agree to vanish from public view.

Maria said...

Here's her entry in Wikipedia.

Shawn said...

Back to Ricky: I'll admit it, I'm a sucker for the ol' Java m'self, soooooo, the idea of El Senador Ricardo being plied by Seattle's most famous export this side o' St. Cobain is something with which I can empathize. Having said that, however, I would have pushed the lobbyists to a.) buy me a hotub and b.) buy enough coffee to fill said hotub. That way, I could then lower myself into it AT LEAST once a week. That way I could just let the caffiene just be absorbed through my skin. Aaaaaaaaahhhhhh.

Rick, OTOH, was bought on the cheap. Dummy. Oh well, he's his J.D. I'm sure someone will hire him once he's done in the Senate.

Maria said...

My needs are small. I just wish some one would keep me in Crackuccinos® ...errr...ummm... Frappuccinos.®