What Fresh Hell Is This?

February 2, 2010

Oh Please Run! PLEASE!

I think I missed this a few weeks ago.

From CNN in mid-January:
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum confirmed to his supporters Friday what pundits have been speculating for months - the conservative Republican is actively considering a run for president in 2012.

In an e-mail and letter to supporters of his Political Action Committee, America's Foundation, Santorum writes, "After talking it over with my wife Karen and our kids – I am considering putting my name in for the 2012 presidential race."

"I'm convinced that conservatives need a candidate who will not only stand up for our views, but who can articulate a conservative vision for our country's future," Santorum also writes. "And right now, I just don't see anyone stepping up to the plate."

"I have no great burning desire to be president, but I have a burning desire to have a different president of the United States," said Santorum, who lost his re-election bid in 2006 after two terms in the Senate.
CNN has a copy of the letter he sent to his supporters. Notice the PAC's name? We've touched on America's Foundation before.

As a reminder here's what The American Prospect wrote about Lil Ricky and America's Foundation back in 2006:
According to one expert, Santorum appears to reap personal benefits from America's Foundation, the so-called leadership PAC controlled by Santorum, which has raised some $5 million from wealthy donors and business PACs over the last five years. The stated purpose of America's Foundation is to support other GOP candidates, but the Prospect found that the committee spends considerably less on direct candidate aid than comparable PACs, and considerably more on operating expenses -- declaring hundreds of small- to medium-sized meals and purchases by Santorum or his political staff to be “campaign-related.”

Since the beginning of Santorum's term in 2001, America's Foundation has paid for some 66 trips to Starbucks -- almost all in Santorum's hometown of Leesburg -- and close to 100 small purchases from another Washington area coffee vendor, along with purchases at Arby's, Burger King, Wendy's, Ben and Jerry's, and a vast array of retail and food outlets. Santorum spokeswoman Davis said that every listed expense was related to the PAC's mission, including “routine expenses such as office supplies including furniture, travel for staff, meals, and grocery items for various functions such as fund-raisers and planning meetings.”

However, a comparison to five other senators' leadership PAC expenses shows that those PACs do not list expenditures on items such as convenience stores or coffee shops, with a couple of exceptions for out-of-state travel. Different leadership PACs maintain records differently, but America's Foundation appeared to spend more heavily on credit-card payments, for example, than similar PACs. The $463,378 spent by Santorum's PAC on credit-card payments from 2001 through 2005 constituted 8.6 percent of all cash taken in, while comparable numbers for Kentucky's Mitch McConnell, his partner in the GOP Senate leadership, were $29,524 and 1.6 percent. All this leads experts to say that those expenditures appear highly unusual.
So please run, Rick, please!

I can't wait to dance the ricky dance again.


EdHeath said...

Palin, Santorum? Santorum, Palin?

They do seem kind of made for each other.

Gloria said...

I want whatever Rick's smoking, for medicinal purposes.

Clyde Wynant said...

I want to use this opportunity to discuss the "tres grand vitesse" nature of our current media/political system, because it seems appropriate.

It wasn't but a few months ago that numerous obits were being written for the GOP. The party was "dead in its tracks" while the Democrats were ascendent.

However, in the course of a seemingly few short news cycles, the GOP is now seen as gathering strength, like a hurricane spinning through the Caribbean -- threatening the mainland.

It's in this milieu, where the wind changes constantly and where the Severe Weather Center can hardly keep pace, that someone like Santorum can exist and even thrive.

Rick is a hard line ideologue, but he's also a politician. In fact that's pretty much all he's ever been. Don't be too quick to count him out...