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Old Dirt: Santorum included in “Most Corrupt Congressmen Report” of 2006

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Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum was blacklisted in 2006 by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), a non-profit legal watchdog group dedicated to holding public officials accountable for their actions.

Illegal tax-paid school for his children

Reasons for the blacklisting included evidence of Santorum enrolling his children in Pennsylvania State-paid online classes while the were actually registered in Virginia, a political slight-of-hand that cost Pennsylvania tax-payers over $70,000.

AccuWeather bill

Santorum received $2,000 from a private weather information service two days before introducing a bill that would bar the tax-paid National Weather Service from distributing its information directly to the public. Santorum’s bill would have the National Weather Service use tax money to collect weather data, like it does today, but then mandate that it route the information to various private weather information companies, which would then presumably sell the same information to the public.

To add insult to injury, Santorum accused the National Weather Service of poorly predicting Hurricane Katrina, using the disaster as fodder for his palm-greased weather bill.

US Tobacco bill

Santorum received $3,000 from U.S. Tobacco Corporation a day after he voted against an amendment to a bill that would allow the Food and Drug Administration to regulate the tobacco industry.

Beer companies

Santorum received $6,000 from the Miller Brewing Company six months after Santorum introduced a bill that would cut federal excise tax that large brewing companies have to pay on beer in half.

Puerto Rico

Santorum received $48,765 from donors in Puero Rico. $34,500 was from hospital executives, administrators, and healthcare industry workers. Months prior, Santorum introduced a Puerto Rico hospital bail-out bill to coincide with the reform package Congress enacted that same year.

In April of the same year, Santorum introduced the Puerto Rico Medicare Reimbursment Equality Act of 2005, and has since raked in $44,750 from Puerto Rico, $10,000 confirmed from healthcare executives and administrators.

Energy interests

Santorum received at least $16,400 for his campaign committee and at least $8,500 to his PAC “America’s Foundation” after crafting a provision in the National Energy Security Act of 2000 to federally subsidize construction of a $612-million coal-to-diesel plant in Pennsylvania.

The legal watch-dog group concluded their report of Santorum by stating,

Federal law prohibits public officials from directly or indirectly demanding, seeking, receiving, accepting, or agreeing to receive or accept anything of value in return for being influenced in the performance of an official act. It is well-settled that accepting a contribution to a political campaign can constitute a bribe if a quid pro quo can be demonstrated.

“Value conservative” indeed!

Watch-dog Report PDF


Written by Jonathan Mark

January 2, 2012 at 6:21 pm