Thursday, March 02, 2006

Patron Saint of the Ethically Challenged

Donate to his charity, get an earmark.

The largest known giver to a controversial charity founded by U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum made its $25,000 donation as the senator was working to win as much as $8.5 million in federal aid for the donor's project in Delaware County.
Federal tax records show that Preferred Real Estate Inc., the developer of the Wharf at Rivertown project in Chester, wrote the check to Santorum's Operation Good Neighbor Foundation in 2002.
On his campaign Web site, Santorum boasts of winning $8.5 million in federal aid for the riverfront redevelopment of an abandoned Peco Energy plant - an effort that culminated in the earmarking of $6 million in highway money last year.
But good-government experts were troubled by the appearance of a developer giving money to the senator's charity at the same time it was lobbying for federal dollars. Unlike a campaign contribution, checks to a charity can be written by a corporation and are not subject to any limit.

Remember that on the payroll of Santorum's charity is the treasurer of his leadership PAC, his finance director, and one of his fundraisers.