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Santorum’s Finances Draw Questions

Posted on Feb 21, 2006
Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)

Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)

American Prospect: Santorum’s exurban lifestyle is financed in ways that aren’t available to the average voter back home in Pennsylvania—namely a political action committee that lists payments for such unorthodox items as dozens of trips to the Starbucks in Leesburg, a number of stops at fast-food joints, and purchases at Target, Wal-Mart, and a Giant supermarket in northern Virginia. Although a Santorum aide defends those charges as legitimate political costs, good-government experts say the expenditures are at best unconventional, and at worst a possible violation of Senate rules, and the purchases appear to be unorthodox when compared with other senators’ filings. Santorum’s PAC—a “leadership PAC,” whose purpose is to dispense money to other Republican candidates—used just 18.1 percent of its money to that end over a recent five-year period, a lower number than other leadership PACs of top senators from both parties.

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