Tuesday, February 21, 2006



Today Will Bunch has a "must read" at THE AMERICAN PROSPECT called "With A Little Help From His Friends," the beginning of the end of Pennsylvania's extreme right wing, extremely corrupt Senator, Rick Santorum. The story sounds disturbingly like the early days of Cunningham's political demise!

The irony, of course, is that the politically inept and always tone deaf Dr. Frist-- himself still being investigated for Insider Trading and using his office to make hundreds of millions by aiding Big Pharma--appointed Santorum to craft a corruption reform bill for the embattled Republican Party, of late caught with far too many hands in far too many cookie jars. This was considered off at the time because it was Tom DeLay and Rick Santorum who were the masters of the ultimate in systematic Republican corruption, the infamous K Street Project.

Some thought it odd that Santorum, who has no other income-- at least no reported income-- aside from his $162,100 Senate salary, bought a (somewhat tacky suburban) McMansion-- they call it an "estate"-- in a northern Virginia development (cost $643,361). People who watch Santorum (aka- Man-on-Dog-Santorum) have long been aware that he's a slimy little crook who cheats on his expenses, charging all kinds of household items and little luxuries to his political Action Committee, which is, at best unethical and, at worst, illegal. The real problem for Santorum is that he re-financed his half million dollar mortgage from a shady private bank for the very wealthy (Philadelphia Trust), campaign contributors of his and it is clearly in the form of the kind of bribe that landed Duke Cunningham in the situation he's in now-- dickering with the judge whether he deserves 6 years or 10 years in federal prison for accepting bribes.

According to the AMERICAN PROSPECT, "government ethics experts said that even if Santorum didn’t take any action on Philadelphia Trust’s behalf, the mortgage deal carries the appearance of special treatment, which would violate the Senate ethics rules that Santorum is now charged with reforming. 'Anytime he gets something that a regular person couldn’t get, that’s an improper gift,' says Melanie Sloan, a former federal prosecutor who now heads the Washington-based Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). Sloan said the senator’s unconventional mortgage is the latest in a series of actions -- including his role in the so-called K Street Project to place Republicans in lucrative lobbying jobs -- that show 'he’s seriously ethically challenged.'” The whole article is well worth a read if you have any interest in all the little ways powerful Republican senators cheat and cheat and cheat and become completely and utterly immersed in a sea of corruption and deception and wind up with a life utterly out of alignment with that of the people they are supposed to represent. There is only one conclusion: Santorum must be retired from public life and his financial shenanigans need to be thoroughly investigated. I would very much like to recommend that progressives consider the candidacy not of the theo-con, Santorum-lite Democrat that the Inside-the-Beltway power elite is pushing to replace Santorum (anti-choice candidate Bill Casey) but Chuck Pennacchio. If you're a Democrat and live in Pennsylvania, you can vote for Chuck in the primary. If you're a progressive anywhere in the U.S., you can donate to Chuck's grassroots campaign right here. Even small contributions help-- and are very much appreciated. People give $5 and people give $500; it all adds up to Check being able to unseat one of the worst senators in the United States!

On top of all this mortgage fraud business, by the way, Santorum's wife launders more than just the family's dirty underwear. She's the bag-man for payoffs and kickbacks from a Pittsburgh political consulting firm that handles all Santorum's media ad buys (approximately $10 million). Mrs Dog-on-Man was paid $4,000 a month for... um... well, for being Mrs Dog-on-Man. She was also paid thousands of dollars by some whacky far right "think tanks" for writing a couple of extremely mediocre children's books.


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