Santorum: I Cashed Out Because I Care

Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.<a target="_blank" href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/gageskidmore/6633658635/sizes/m/in/photostream/">Flickr/Gage Skidmore</a>

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During Saturday’s GOP Primary debate, Rep. Ron Paul accused Rick Santorum of being a “big government person” who exploited his beltway connections with lobbyists to get wealthy after losing his Senate seat in 2006. Santorum insisted that he only took a series of high paying “consulting” jobs because he believed in the causes. 

“I’m known in this race and I was known in Washington, DC, as a cause guy. I am a cause guy. I care deeply about this country and about the causes that make me —that I think are at the core of this country,” Santorum said. “And when I left the United States Senate, I got involved in causes that I believe in.” 

Santorum was one of the less wealthy members of the Senate during his tenure, though as the main gatekeeper for the “K-Street Project,” the attempt to place Republicans in influential positions in DC lobbying firms, Santorum developed plenty of key connections with lobbying firms and trade associations. After leaving Congress those connections proved financially beneficial. Financial disclosure forms filed last year indicate that Santorum went from making around $200,000 a year to more than a million dollars in 2010.

As part of the board of directors of Universal Health Services, Santorum made $395,000 in 2010 from a company that was sued by the Justice Department over Medicaid fraud for allegedly billing the government for psychiatric services to children it never provided. As a “consultant” for Consol Energy, Santorum was paid $142,500 in 2010. Santorum has had a long and beneficial relationship with Consol, who also donated $73,800 to his campaigns over the years. Santorum also made $65,000 from American Continental Group, a high-powered lobbying firm that largely gives money to Republicans. While Santorum might not have been a lobbyist in the strictest legal definition of the term, these groups generally hire old Washington hands like the former Pennsylvania senator because they help open doors in Washington.

Whether Santorum really cares deeply about the issues he was paid to work on is anyone’s guess. But he certainly got paid well for it. 

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

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Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

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SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

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