How Corrupt Was Santorum?


And so the vetting gets more serious. Matthew Mosk and Brian Ross remind us that Santorum was ranked, in 2006, as one of the three most corrupt Senators in Washington, mostly for doing things like this:

Perhaps the most jarring detail from his tenure in office is the unorthodox $500,000 mortgage that Santorum and his wife secured on the home in rural Virginia they had purchased for $643,361. According to a series of reports in the Philadelphia Daily News, the mortgage came from Philadelphia Trust Company, a fledgling private bank catering to "affluent investors and institutions" whose officers had contributed $24,000 to Santorum's political action committees and re-election campaign.

In advertising, the lender said it only offered its preferred rates to well-heeled borrowers who also used their investment services. But Santorum's public disclosure forms showed he did not have the required minimum $250,000 in liquid assets and was not an investor with Philadelphia Trust. His ability to secure the five-year loan led [Melanie] Sloan to file a complaint under a Senate ethics rule that specifically prohibits members from accepting a loan on terms not available to members of the general public. At the time, a Santorum spokeswoman told the Daily News that the mortgage terms were set at "market rates," but did not provide further comment.

You can read Sloan's press release from 2006 (via her organization, the Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) about the complaint here. CREW also has [pdf] an extensive report on Santorum's misbehavior justifying his top three corruption ranking. One particularly odious nugget:

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Compassionate conservatism redux.

(Photo: Republican presidential candidate, former U.S. Sen Rick Santorum speaks during a 'Faith, Family and Freedom' Town Hall at Merrimack Valley Railroad on January 5, 2012 in Northfield, New Hampshire. By Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)