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Thursday, January 17, 2019

Biography inspires many a presidential campaign, but exploiting the candidate’s life story is never without risk. While Rick Santorum uses his coal-mining roots to draw a striking contrast with the awkward one-percenter Mitt Romney, he can hardly claim to be the tribune of the working class. Indeed, he insists that “there are no classes in America” and accused Romney of indulging in “class warfare” merely for mentioning the “middle class.” He boasts of his low ratings from labor and vows to outlaw public employee unions.

Santorum now portrays himself, with no small assistance from the campaign press corps, as the candidate of the Republican common man, the white working class conservative, who pays his taxes (however grudgingly) and seeks to save manufacturing jobs. But during all his years in Congress, his scores on labor and job issues rarely scored above 14 percent, since he usually rejected increases in the minimum wage or cutting tax breaks for companies that sent American factories offshore. Although his Republican adversaries now correctly accuse him of casting a few votes in favor of higher wages, he explains those as unavoidable political compromises with his deep ideological aversion to unions.

There is no reason to assume that Santorum is any less a servant of big money than Mr. Big Money himself, Mitt Romney. While still in the Senate, he maintained a “leadership PAC” that he rather misleadingly named “America’s Foundation,” which served as a conduit for large contributions from corporate donors who wanted him to grease legislation for them. Most leadership PACs make donations to other politicians as a means of securing power and influence for their sponsors, but America’s Foundation served as a blatant slush fund for Santorum, with a huge proportion of its funds spent on personal expenses, restaurant bills, and credit cards. This operation was staffed by lobbyists and financed by companies that benefited directly from legislation pushed by the senator – sometimes sending big checks within days of passage of their pet bills.

As a Senator, he cultivated close relationships with the same kind of financiers with whom he now seeks to contrast himself. For instance, the suburban Virginia McMansion that the Santorums call home, subject of his recent complaints about its diminished value, was purchased with the help of a “private bank” in Philadelphia, against the bank’s own rules for providing mortgages solely to its investment clients. That was a curious deal, but not nearly as curious as the dubious “charity” that Santorum operated alongside his PAC – or the bills he pushed for tobacco and liquor interests while receiving large donations from their lobbyists. The most intriguing of all these deals was a coal-to-diesel plant for which Santorum helped to obtain $100 million in Energy Department subsidies – the same kind of “socialist” legislation he now denounces as a reborn Tea Party conservative.
All of that is why the watchdogs at Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington listed Santorum as one of the four most corrupt Senators in 2006 – and why the Washington Post editorially mocked his role as chair of a “lobbying reform” effort for the Senate Republicans that same year, from which he quickly stepped down.

When Santorum lost his Senate seat in 2006, the most salient issue was his support of the Bush plan to privatize Social Security, in an ambitious scheme that would have siphoned a trillion dollars away from retirees, widows, and orphans to Wall Street bankers. Pennsylvania voters understood why that was a raw deal – and why any Senator who backed it was no friend of working families.

 

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3 responses to “Rick Santorum: The ‘Blue-Collar’ One-Percenter”

  1. barbaraespinosa10 says:

    Posted: 13 Feb 2012 12:17 PM PST http://www.americanfreedombybarbara.com
    Rick Santorum FACTS…
    Father: (psychologist)
    Mother: (nurse)
    AKA Richard John Santorum
    Born: 10-May-1958
    Birthplace: Winchester, VA
    Gender: Male
    Religion: Roman Catholic
    Race or Ethnicity: White
    Sexual orientation: Straight
    Occupation: Politician
    Party Affiliation: Republican
    Nationality: United States
    Executive summary: US Senator from Pennsylvania, 1995-2007
    In his short career as a lawyer before going into politics, Rick Santorum’s most notable client was the World Wrestling Entertainment, then called the World Wrestling Federation. He worked to shield WWE from federal regulations on the use of steroids, arguing that since wrestling was not a sport the rules should not apply.
    Santorum ran for Congress in 1990, four years after getting his law degree, running ads criticizing the incumbent for representing Pennsylvania while owning a house in Virginia and living there most of the year. By law, of course, legislators must live in the state they represent, but Virginia is within easy driving distance of Washington DC while Pennsylvania is two hours further north on the highway. Santorum won the election, and held his seat in the House for two terms before being elected to the Senate in 1994.
    In two terms in the Senate, he became best known for his stalwart stand against gay rights and, more broadly, gayness in general, although Santorum prefers the words ‘homosexual’ or ‘sodomites’. In a 2003 interview he likened sodomy to adultery, polygamy, and incest as “antithetical to a healthy, stable, traditional family”. He has compared the idea of homosexual marriage to “man on child, man on dog, or whatever the case may be,” and said, “If the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual [gay] sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.”
    These and other anti-gay statements infuriated sex columnist Dan Savage, who held a contest in 2003 asking readers to suggest degrading meanings for Santorum’s name. The winning entry defined santorum as “the frothy mix of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the byproduct of anal sex,” and even years later an on-line search for “Santorum” yields information about anal sex before any results mentioning the former Senator. Santorum, an announced candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination in 2012, has referred to this as his “Google problem.”
    Deeply concerned about sexual acts between consenting adults, Santorum has argued that the government can regulate private consensual sexual acts, and he has specifically complained that the 1966 Supreme Court decision in Griswold v Connecticut, which established Americans’ right to privacy, was wrong. The Griswold case was not about gay rights, but overturned state laws prohibiting the use of contraceptives, so Santorum’s argument against Griswold amounts to an argument against legalized contraception.
    In a 2002 article about the controversy over Catholic priests molesting young children, Santorum wrote, “It is startling that those in the media and academia appear most disturbed by this aberrant behavior, since they have zealously promoted moral relativism by sanctioning ‘private’ moral matters such as alternative lifestyles.” In Washington, he led a weekly devotions session for other Catholics in Congress, but Democrats were not allowed to attend. In 2001, he tried to attach an amendment to the No Child Left Behind Act that would have mandated that public schools teach “intelligent design” alongside evolution.
    Santorum has always opposed abortion, although he prefers to use the word ‘infanticide’, and his arguments seemed to be very deeply felt. When his wife suffered a second trimester miscarriage in 1996, they named the dead fetus Gabriel after the Biblical archangel, and presented its lifeless body to his family. Their children, including three kids under seven, spent several hours cuddling and kissing Gabriel, singing lullabies in his ear, because Santorum wanted them to “absorb and understand that they had a brother.” Santorum’s wife wrote a book of Letters to Gabriel, a collection of prayers and anti-abortion arguments, including a stirring call for Gabriel’s support of anti-abortion legislation, and Santorum read from the book in debate on the Senate floor.
    In 2005, Santorum proposed legislation that would have blocked the National Weather Service from providing information about weather to the general public. His intent was apparently to help AccuWeather, a Pennsylvania firm, drive viewers to their web pages and away from the Weather Service’s site. The legislation did not pass, but later that year when New Orleans was devastated by Hurricane Katrina, Santorum said that the National Weather Service had given “no warning, or not sufficient warning in my opinion” about the storm’s path. In reality, the Weather Service had issued loud and accurate warnings days in advance about what was to come from Katrina.
    Santorum once said that “the ultimate homeland security issue” is making sure sodomites and homosexuals cannot marry each other. As communist North Korea announced its nuclear weapons program, Santorum said that Iran was a bigger nuclear threat, because Korean dictator Kim Jong Il “doesn’t want to die; he wants to watch NBA basketball”. Santorum used the auspices of J. R. R. Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings to explain the Iraq war: “As the hobbits are going up Mount Doom, the Eye of Mordor is being drawn somewhere else. It’s being drawn to Iraq and it’s not being drawn to the U.S. You know what? I want to keep it on Iraq. I don’t want the Eye to come back here to the United States.”
    Numerous times, Santorum has claimed that Saddam Hussein’s alleged weapons of mass destruction were found in Iraq, alluding to small quantities of decades-old chemical weapons which were found during the 2003 invasion of Iraq and announced at that time with little fanfare. After a Defense Department spokesman flatly told Fox Newsthat these vastly degraded weapons, left over from Iraq’s 1980s war against Iran, were “not the WMDs for which this country went to war”, Santorum replied that he would “wait and see what the actual Defense Department formally says.”
    Early in the George W. Bush administration, along with Dick Armey, Tom DeLay, and Grover Norquist, Santorum was at the center of the Republicans’ tactic of pressuring lobbying firms to hire only Republicans. At regularly scheduled once-weekly meetings held since Republicans took Congress and in 1994, Santorum and other leading Republicans were provided with a list of job openings at lobbying companies, and literally told the lobbyists who to hire — always well-connected Republicans. Called the “K Street Project” because most lobbying firms have offices on Washington’s K Street, the idea backfired when the lobbyists’ “freeze-out” of Democrats became so successful that all the legislators on the take from crooked lobbyist Jack Abramoff were Republicans. When the arrangement was first reported in 2006, Santorum denied it was true and claimed to not even know Abramoff. When it was proven that Abramoff had been involved, Santorum announced that the “K Street” meetings had been ended. Months later it was reported that the meetings between lobbyists and Republicans were still being held weekly at the same time, place, and day. In 2006, the non-partisan Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington named Santorum one of the twenty most corrupt US legislators.
    He lost his Senate seat to Bob Casey, Jr. in 2006, losing 41% to 59%, and in an ironic finale to his public career, a major issue in the campaign was that Santorum was living in a house he owned in Virginia — not in Pennsylvania. Further, he had taken a second mortgage on his Virginia home from a private bank that serves only “affluent investors and institutions”, a bank which requires that borrowers have assets far in excess of anything Santorum reported in his public financial disclosure reports.
    Sister: (older)
    Brother: Dan Santorum (younger)
    Wife: Karen Garver (former nurse, m. 1990, 7 children)
    Daughter: Elizabeth Anne Santorum
    Son: Richard John Santorum, Jr.
    Son: Daniel James Santorum
    Son: Gabriel Michael Santorum (d. 11-Oct-1996, prematurely after 20 weeks in utero)
    Daughter: Sarah Maria Santorum
    Son: Peter Kenneth Santorum
    Son: Patrick Francis Santorum
    High School: Carmel High School, Mundelein, IL (1976)
    University: BA Political Science, Pennsylvania State University (1980)
    University: MBA, University of Pittsburgh (1981)
    Law School: JD, Dickinson School of Law, Carlisle, PA (1986)
    Eckert Seamans Cherin & Mellott LLC
    US Senator, Pennsylvania (1995-2007)
    US Congressman, Pennsylvania 18th (1991-95)
    Pennsylvania State Official Asst. to State Sen. J. Doyle Corman (1981-86)
    The Philadelphia Inquirer Columnist (2007-)
    Evolution Skeptics
    Global Warming Skeptics
    Eponyms santorum
    Italian Ancestry Paternal
    Risk Factors: Homophobia, Marijuana, Toupee
    Source

  2. freethinker says:

    Wow! Widows, retirees and orphans and Wall Street bankers, oh my! Like to see you prove that statement. But isn’t it the old, sick and disabled people being hit by having the Medicare program siphoned for Obamacare. And, isn’t it the widows, retirees and orphans having their monied siphoned by the ‘Payroll Tax Cut’ championed by the Democrats? Would you still say that any Senator (or President) who backed those is no friend of working families?

  3. anahwake says:

    i cannot stop the santorum people from sending me messages, i have not to my knowlege ever gone to his site nor have i in any way come in contact with any of his supporters. i have emailed them to please stop this,then because i got no answer and it continued , i started sending them the worst message i could think of which was simply the quote from santorums interview where he used the disgusting phrase ,”man on dog”, thinking that would explain why i could never want any contact with such a person much less be mistaken for a supporter.
    long story short, they persist, i have mentioned privacy, permission to contact, my rights, on and on. the only thing i get back is a plea for money. what can i do , i am terribly offended, i am 72 and i do not have to stand for this, OR DO I ?

    anahwake

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