Monday, October 16, 2006

Losing Election Could Be Costly for Santorum

Could Rick Santorum lose his McMansion if he loses the election?

Close followers of the ethical trainwreck that is Rick Santorum will recall the infamous special interest loan he received from the exclusive Philadelphia Trust Company on his Virginia residence.

The ethical issues surrounding this questionable deal were carefully researched and explicated in a great piece of writing by Will Bunch and in the ethics complaint filed by CREW.

A brief recap. As everyone knows, when Santorum first ran for the Senate, he blasted his incumbent opponent for living in Virginia and not Pennsylvania. When Santorum was elected, he promptly moved his family to Virginia, which has been his principle residence ever since. (The law provides that elected representatives don't lose their legal residency in their home state because they move to DC during their terms. But, two issues still arise -- the law says nothing about Virginia and, more important, instead of fessing up about living in Virginia, he lies about living in Penn Hills.) In any event, eventually he bought a 5,700+ square foot home in Virginia. In 2002, he refinanced the mortgage on the home with Philadelphia Trust. The problem is that Philadelphia Trust is a private banking institution servicing only the very wealthiest clients and, according to the reports he filed as Senator, Santorum doesn't qualify. Will Bunch's research pretty clearly demonstrates that Santorum trashed ethical rules to pull down favorable treatment on his mortgage. Check out the Will Bunch story and CREW complaint for the details.

What I find intriguing is that the mortgage calls for a balloon payment on November 1, 2007. The Santorums took out a five-year mortgage on their cottage home, presumably amortized over a longer period of time.

I guess Santorum figured he'd be re-elected in 2006 and and running for President in 2007. In that event, he likely planned on calling in another chip from Philadelphia Trust. But, since he will not be reelected and will not even be a Pennsylvania resident in 2007, what's going to happen when the (self-described) cash-strapped Santorums have to make that big payment in November, 2007?

Maybe Karen Santorum will have to take a part-time, minimum wage, no benefit job working the cash register at a Virginia Walmart to make ends meet.

One could wish.

In reality, Santorum is likely headed to a high-six-figure job with Haliburton or some lobbying firm, when he can put his connections and disregard for ethical considerations to work for some real coin.

[Oops. I forgot -- hat tip to Santorum Cybergate for the pictures, which I believe are their originals.]

1 comment:

LVDem said...

6 figure? Between the job he'll get as a commentator ripping the left and the lobby job and his book deal that will describe how the left was out to get him... the guy will be rolling in the 7 figures. I wish I could lose my job and get rich.