We are the 99%

September 29, 2006

The P-G doesn't like Rick Santorum Much

Take a look at this editorial from today's paper.  It slams him on BOTH the residency issue and the cyberschool issue.

Poor Ricky.
Sen. Rick Santorum must rue the day he decided to out-source himself to the Washington, D.C., area in order to do Pennsylvania's business. The residency issue is one that refuses to go away -- and for good reason.

The latest example is small in dollars but large in significance. In an attempt to put an end to a controversy about his residence in Virginia, Sen. Santorum has sent a letter to Allegheny County property assessment officials formally requesting that they remove the homestead exemption on the house he owns in Penn Hills.
We've written about this recently here.  It's good to know (heh-heh) that the P-G isn't that far behind us.
That Sen. Santorum should turn down the exemption is, of course, the right thing to do. Unfortunately, this is not a case of the senator leveling with his constituents. His letter insists that he is entitled to the exemption but he chooses not to take it because of the political furor.

"My home in Penn Hills is my only residence in Pennsylvania and it has always been my primary residence or domicile," he says. That would be news to the neighbors in Penn Hills or, for that matter, those in Virginia where he has settled. After all, where he lives is not in serious dispute. Indeed, the famous campaign ad featuring his children opens with one of his sons innocently confirming the obvious: "My dad's opponents have criticized him for moving us to Washington so we can be with him more."
But even that's a lie - as we wrote about here, the Santorum's don't live in "Washington."  They're about an hour outside of DC.  As I wrote back then, "a minor lie, but a lie nonetheless."
Regular Pennsylvanians can only marvel at how the commonsensical meaning of primary residence or domicile is mocked here, but it isn't about plain meaning and all about maintaining a legal fiction. Sen. Santorum is pulling a Bill Clinton, who once parsed the meaning of "is" -- only the senator strains the definition of what a primary residence is. Surely it is something more than a place of occasional visits when the Senate is not in session.
Let's take a look at that Rick's website has to say about all this.
• I heard around the water cooler that Rick Santorum doesn't live in Pennsylvania.

When Senator Santorum was elected to the U.S. Senate, he made a pledge to visit all of Pennsylvania's 67 counties each year. Pennsylvania is geographically-large and politically-diverse, and Rick Santorum has met that pledge every year for the twelve years he has served in the U.S. Senate, staying in close touch with every corner of the state. He is the first Senator in Pennsylvania's history to make and honor this pledge. Often times, Senator Santorum makes multiple visits to each county; he's been to Philadelphia 243 times, traveled around Allegheny County to over 300 events, and visited the Harrisburg area 142 times, just to cite a few examples.
Notice that this paragraph has nothing to do with the question, a sure sign of a BS artist at work.

Continuing:
When Rick Santorum served in the U.S. House of Representatives, his family lived in Pittsburgh and occasionally traveled with him to Washington, DC. This worked well in the House, which is in voting session Tuesday afternoon through Thursday afternoon about 30-35 weeks a year. But the Senate is very different. Typically, the Senate is in voting session from Monday afternoon to late Thursday night or Friday morning 35-40 weeks a year. Given that schedule, and at the time having three very young children, the Santorums decided it was best for their family to live in Washington, DC those 35-40 weeks out of the year. Since DC is close to Pennsylvania, even when the Senate is in session, Rick always spends Mondays and frequently Fridays and Saturdays in the state on official business. [emphasis added]
So he admits to spending between 9 and 10 months of the year someplace other than Penn Hills, PA.  Can someone explain it to me (and to Ricky, I guess) how he still thinks he can get away with saying that his "primary residence" is in Penn Hills?

- Just where does he live?  And where does he say he lives?  And why are they different places?

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bob Casey, Jr. says Santorum lives in Pittsburgh.

His latest attack ad calls the P-G Santorum's "hometown newspaper."

http://www.bobcasey.com/multimedia/video/13.aspx

EdHeath said...

I interned for Doug Walgren in ’82, I think, and I liked him as much as you can like a politician you barely know. That said, I can’t help thinking that Santorum is on the right side of this one issue, residency, at least in a larger sense. If Santorum was wrong about Walgren in ’90, then democrats shouldn’t push the residency thing now. Even more, I agree with the notion (advanced by Fred Honesberger and Santorum’s website, if not others) that there is a difference a Representative and a Senator, and that a Senator may not be able to spend much time in his/her house in the state he “lives” in. Pennsylvania is in close proximity to DC, though Pittsburgh is pretty far, and Santorum boasts about how much he travels the state. Well, he really would be remiss if didn’t, given the proximity. And certainly Santorum has been a putz about school and tax issues. No much a statesman when dealing with (democrat controlled) local government, is he?

Maybe the residency issues will resonate with voters, maybe not, but my sense is that Santorum’s real problems are that he is a victim of the republican parties attempt to be a populist party when they feel (at least partly) that the people should help themselves, instead of the government helping them. The 1994 revolution promised a tide of reform by citizen politicians who would leave after a term or two, to allow other reformers to come in. Even if you blame Clinton and Al Qaeda, 12 years later it’s clear the republicans have no reforms left to make (if they ever did). But they must be amazed that the democratic party establishment doesn’t seem to care. If the democrats do take congress, it will be in spite of their party.
Grumble.
Ed

Anonymous said...

I cannot wait to quote Dayvoe by saying:

"Democracy in action" this come November when the Dimorats lose yet another election. Remind me to purchase him a gallon container of Ben and Jerry's ice cream so he can wallow in it after election day. ;-)