The Square Circuit

Academia, parenthood, living in a bankrupt city, and what I read in the process.

Monday, February 20, 2006

santorum's house

THE AMERICAN PROSPECT currently has a very interesting investigation into the finances of Pennsylvania's junior senator, the self-proclaimed man of modest means Rick Santorum. Although he reports an income not much over his Senate salary of $161,100, he seems to live beyond that stratum. But, as Will Bunch points out,

"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."

What Bunch uncovers that's even more iffy is Santorum's house--a nice, three-quarters-of-a-million dollar place that was financed with a mortgage coming from a new private bank called the Philadelphia Trust Company--whose directors gave $24,000 to Santorum's campaign.

This from the guy who the Republicans have named to head their ethics housecleaning project. Oy.


  • At 12:07 PM, Blogger zp said…

    Interesting story, I hope it goes somewhere. And it warms my heart that it came from Will Bunch, a Daily News reporter. I miss the crazy, cranky Daily News . . .

  • At 8:43 PM, Blogger mantooth said…

    Philly has a great journalistic tradition. I'm hoping that the big-city tabloid (NY Daily News, Boston Herald, LA Daily News) doesn't die out like the Philly Daily News did.


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