$antorum Watch

News in Brief

Home
GOP Platform
Contributors
Challengers
Links
Voting Record
May News
April News
March News
February News
January News
Jan 8 Photos
December News
Dec 12 Photos
November News
Nov 16 Photos
October News
September News
Sep 24 Photos
Sep 16 Photos
August News
Aug 4 Photos
Aug 3 Photos
July News
June News
Jun 14 Photos
May 05 News
April 05 News
March 05 News
February 05 News
January 05 News
News in Brief
2000 Election
Contact Us

Selected Excerpts

Global Gag Rule
 
Santorum votes against Boxer amendment, which passed 52-46 [vote #83], allowing foreign non-profits to receive US aid even if they seek to overturn their own countries restrictions on women's rights.  Specter voted with Boxer.
 
“We are a country that believes in fairness, democracy, free speech, and improving the health and lives of people all over the world,” Boxer said. “But instead of promoting these values, the Global Gag Rule enforces a dangerous code of silence.”

The Boxer-Snowe Amendment repeals the Global Gag Rule, which President Bush established by executive order on his first working day in office in 2001. Also known as the Mexico City Policy, the Global Gag Rule denies U.S. international family planning assistance to organizations that use their own privately raised funds to counsel women on the availability of abortion, advocate for changes to abortion laws, or provide abortion services.

Boxer said, "At a time when we are trying to promote the best of our democracy abroad, the last thing we need is to export unconstitutional restrictions on free speech. It is not only hypocritical, but it is bad foreign policy."

 

GOP's Health Savings Accounts  Mar 15, 2005  
 
Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Penn Hills, and U.S. Reps. Melissa Hart, R-Bradford Woods, and Tim Murphy, R-Upper St. Clair, told the audience that using a health savings account in tandem with a high-deductible health plan will make Americans more aware of how health care dollars are spent -- because they will be paying more of the bill -- and thus help hold costs down. 
By Rick Stouffer, Pittsburgh Tribune Review
 
"I believe it is necessary to get the consumer back involved in their health-care decisions,'' said U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum ... "[The current system] buffers people from the true cost of health care.''  Santorum, R-Pa., argued that the prospect of out-of-pocket expenses will prod consumers to make more informed decisions about health-care costs and which treatments to seek...  By James O'Toole, Pittsburgh Post Gazette   
What's a fair price for a stitch?  It's a question that Michelle Boxer would like to answer...  Understanding the logic behind a health plan's discounted price for a particular service can be difficult. Rates are usually negotiated in terms of overall payments to a hospital, not line-item by line-item. It all adds up to a confusing picture -- and not just for stitches...
 
[Health Saving Accounts] typically couple high deductible insurance policies that cover the cost of large health care bills with tax-free savings accounts from which individuals buy other medical services. They have been promoted by the Bush Administration as a solution to runaway health costs. But Boxer's story suggests the health system isn't ready for these changes.  The Post-Gazette contacted five hospitals to get comparison prices on the six services for which Boxer was billed by UPMC. Mercy Hospital, St. Clair Hospital and Ohio Valley General Hospital could not provide price quotes within 24 hours...  Only Butler Memorial Hospital provided full information...  While it's difficult to make a price comparison after the fact, it might be even harder in advance...  By Christopher Snowbeck, Pittsburgh Post Gazette

Santorum joins Hillary on proposed $90 million for research on kids' media use [S.579]

..."Multi-tasking is a growing phenomenon in [kids'] media use and we don't know whether it's good or bad or both," said Drew Altman, Kaiser's president and chief executive officer. "I do believe that kids' media use is one of the big public health issues of our time."

Altman and others who spoke during a morning news conference focused on the report's call for more research on the impact of media on kids. A few hours later, a bipartisan group of senators, including Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., attempted to oblige, as they re-introduced legislation that would target $90 million in federal funds over five years to develop more research on kids' media use.

"In effect, by exposing our children to so much unchecked media ... is like conducting an experiment...," said Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. "We have to be more aware of what children are exposed to, and encourage media habits that allow kids to be kids."

By Karen MacPherson, Pittsburgh Post GazetteMar 10, 2005

Minimum wage may get a boost  Mar 4, 2005

Minimum-wage workers would get a $2.10 hourly boost under an amendment offered yesterday by Sen. Edward Kennedy, D-Mass.  People who earn the current minimum wage of $5.15 an hour "work as hard as any American - often even harder," Kennedy said.

Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., immediately responded by saying he would offer an alternative. It is widely believed his amendment would raise the wage to $6.25 an hour and include tax breaks for affected businesses.

On Monday, the Senate will vote on the competing amendments to a bankruptcy-reform bill being debated on the floor.

Philadelphia Daily News

Current yearly minimum wage:             $10,712

Santorum proposed yearly min. wage:  $13,000

Dem proposed yearly min. wage:         $15,080

Letter to the Editor, Feb 14, 2005
 
Santorum should return money
 
No doubt, Sen. Santorum and other conservative Republicans will chide Democrats for electing Howard Dean, a supporter of equal rights under the law through civil unions, as their party chairman. However, I would like to warn the Republicans that they really ought to be looking at their moral priorities rather than those of the Democrats.

ABC News is now reporting that Adelphia Communications, which has contributed $166,000 to Republican Party committees and $12,000 to Sen. Santorum, is starting to offer hard core pornography to its viewers. Sen. Santorum and the Republican Party should return the money they have received from Adelphia or simply come out and say they are hypocrites on moral values issues and really only care about big business.

Mindy Jennings,  Springettsbury Township

York Daily Record

Lawsuit Limits  Feb 8, 2005
 
Companies seek a quick payoff for their support of GOP
 
General Motors Corp., Pfizer Inc. and Allstate Corp. are among companies joining forces to seek a quick payoff for their support of Republicans in the last election: congressional passage of limits on lawsuits.  On Monday, the Senate began debating legislation to move most class actions against companies from state to federal courts, the first of three measures designed to reduce the cost of litigation.
 
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and other business groups, which spent more than $116 million to support Bush and congressional Republicans in the last election, are backing up face-to-face lobbying of lawmakers with advertising targeted at drumming up public support.
 
 
All of the above mentioned companies have contributed to Santorum.  Go to Contributors.

Amtrak Cuts  Feb 8, 2005
 
Santorum Treading Lightly, Specter Says "Unacceptable"
 
Specter, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, singled out the elimination of federal operating subsidies for Amtrak and cuts in veterans' benefits as programs he would work to restore. He also said that the GEAR UP education program for low-income students, created by Rep. Chaka Fattah (D., Pa.), was worth saving, and decried what he said was an overall cut of $500 million in education programs.
 
"These cuts are unacceptable," Specter said. "We have a tremendous deficit we have to deal with, but the deficit is created by costs in Iraq and Afghanistan and an increase in the military budget and so all of this has to be very carefully considered...

In a statement, Santorum said he understood how important Amtrak was to Pennsylvania and said the President's request represented the beginning of the budget process.

"While I support the administration's disciplined efforts to cut the federal deficit in half within five years, I also support the careful review by Congress of each of the budget programs," Santorum said. "I will continue to support funding that ensures the safety and security of our men and women in uniform, promotes economic growth and job creation, expanded educational opportunities and improved access to health insurance and health care."

By Steve Goldstein, Philadelphia Inquirer

Santorum's Letter to the Editor, Feb 6, 2005
 
Is he for or against teaching Intelligent Design in Biology?
 
On Christmas Day, Santorum wrote a letter to the Inquirer editor describing the lawsuits against the Dover Area school district as being over Intelligent Design, defending Intelligent Design as a scientific theory and saying "I commend the Dover Area School District for taking a stand and refusing to ignore the controversy." 
 
More than a few letters and columns took him to task for endorsing teaching religion in the science curriculum.  Santorum now says he didn't mean to advocate teaching Intelligent Design in Biology class and has backed down to  "What I do believe should occur in the science classroom is a discussion of the scientific controversies regarding neo-Darwinian evolution."
 

Letter to the editor, Feb 1, 2005

Tariffs greatly aided steel 

The American steel industry has been revitalized through significant restructuring and consolidation, making the industry more competitive and efficient (Post-Gazette, Dec. 29, 2004.) But your article failed to mention the integral role of the Section 201 steel tariffs in the turnaround.

Faced with massive, below-cost dumping of cheap steel by foreign competitors, many of them state-owned or subsidized, President Bush enacted tariffs in 2002 that gave our industry a chance to recover from illegal trade practices. Those measures would not have been taken without the advocacy of Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum, both R-Pa., and Rep. Phil English, R-Erie.

These individuals and many others worked tirelessly with the many congressional supporters of America's steel industry to craft trade policies that would strengthen domestic steel. The 201 steel tariffs were instrumental in our recovery.

John P. Surma Jr., President and CEO, United States Steel Corp.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Santorum Watch editor's note:  US Steel Corp. PAC gave $10,000 to Santorum since 1998, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Iraq Death  Jan 20, 2005
 
Contractor Slain in Iraq, Alleged Graft
 
An American contractor gunned down last month in Iraq had accused Iraqi Defense Ministry officials of corruption days before his death, according to documents and U.S. officials.

Dale Stoffel, 43, was shot to death Dec. 8 shortly after leaving an Iraqi military base north of Baghdad, an attack attributed at the time to Iraqi insurgents.

The killings came after Stoffel alerted senior U.S. officials in Washington that he believed Iraqi Defense Ministry officials were part of a kickback scheme involving a multimillion-dollar contract awarded to his company, Wye Oak Technology, to refurbish old Iraqi military equipment...

Stoffel, of Monongahela, Pa., made his allegations in a Dec. 3 letter to a senior Pentagon official and in a meeting with aides to Sen. Rick Santorum.

Read more

Pittsburgh Speech  Jan 17, 2005
 
Santorum in cross hairs for 2006 election
 
Baker said, "The activity of the 527s was the great innovation of the last election. Barring some Congressional action to reel them in, I can't imagine that they won't be active in [Santorum's] election.''  And without the preoccupation of a presidential race, those 527s will have the potential to focus resources on races such as Santorum's to an unprecedented degree.

Santorum's speech last week was an endorsement of religion as an active force in politics, coupled with a recital of his battles against abortion on the floor of the Senate... His flailing of the left sparked a protest from one member of the audience of about 300.  "I am tired of this 'left' and 'right' destroying this country,'' a woman cried out from the back of the auditorium.  "I would agree with you on half of that,'' said an unapologetic Santorum.

Seeking his third term, Santorum will have the advantage of incumbency. To the consternation of many fellow conservatives, he is closely allied with his colleague, Sen. Arlen Specter, who is positioned to help Santorum both with the senior senator's political base in Eastern Pennsylvania and through his senior positions on the Appropriations Committee, which will allow him to aid Santorum in delivering the kinds of federal dollars and projects that incumbents love to take credit for.

Santorum also hopes to nurture and preserve the grass-roots volunteer base that boosted Presidents Bush's vote total in the state compared to 2000, even though it fell just short of delivering Pennsylvania's electoral votes.

But Santorum will be a prime Democratic target not because of his leadership position and swing state constituency, but because of perceptions of him as a combative, conservative ideologue. It is an image that brings passionate opposition countervailing his passionate support, and one that is at odds with the more moderate strain of Republicanism that still thrived in Pennsylvania even as the national GOP shifted to the right.

Read more

C-130 Cuts  Jan 16, 2005
 
Senators urge Bush to void Pentagon plan
 
U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., and Rick Santorum, R-Pa., have joined 22 senators in calling on Bush to reverse a proposal to end production of the C-130 military transport airplane in 2008 to save $5 billion...
 
Lockheed Martin builds the aircraft in Georgia, but about 120 workers in Johnstown manufacture components worth $15 million in contracts.
 

 
Federal flu plan may help Aventis Pasteur
 
Congress may include $10 million for Monroe project in health bill.
 
The $10 million would be part of a $40 million package to fund the sewer project, vital to plans by Aventis Pasteur to expand its flu vaccine plant in Pocono Township...
Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum have spoken over the last week with a number of federal officials, including Health and Human Services Secretary Tommy Thompson...
 
Note from Santorum Watch editor:  Aventis Pasteur, Aventis and the Pharmaceutical Research & Manufacturers of America lobby group to which they belong, have all contributed to Santorum.
 

Cuts for Veterans  Jan 12, 2005
 
Will Santorum stand up for veterans?
 
The Bush administration is preparing a budget request that would freeze most spending on agriculture, veterans and science...
 
Veterans programs are also expected to be pinched, with flat funding, higher deductibles and co-payments for health care and a squeeze on benefit eligibility, aides said.
 

Religion  Jan 12, 2005
 
Santorum defends role of religion in political decisions

Santorum was heavily criticized, including by some in his own party, in April 2003 for remarks to The Associated Press about homosexuality, which he compared to incest, bigamy and adultery...

Members of the Association of Pittsburgh Priests attended Santorum's speech. They distributed an open letter to the senator that calls for his pro-life stance to encompass more than the abortion issue.  The letter also admonishes the senator for his support of the war in Iraq and the death penalty.  "We shouldn't give someone a free pass because they're good on one or two issues," said the Rev. Jack O'Malley, an association member who is chaplain for the state's AFL-CIO.

2006 Race  Jan 10, 2005
 
Speculation for '06
 
Speculation about which Democrats would be willing to challenge U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, and which Republicans would stand up to take on Gov. Rendell, began heating up in 2004 and is certain to intensify this year in the absence of more immediate political news...
 
Democrats and Republicans each saw six-digit gains in membership during last year's hotly contested presidential campaign. Now the challenge is to turn those new members into activists.
 

Inquirer Column  Jan 7, 2005
 
Politics infects Social Security
 
Conservatives believe changing Social Security is not only the quickest way to shrink the federal government; they also think it will make future generations of seniors less receptive to Democratic candidates. 
 
This isn't some dark secret being whispered over political hotlines; Republican leaders such as U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania have said as much openly.
 

Specter Questions Patriot Act in Hearing

Specter ... questioned extending some of the police powers in the Patriot Act passed by Congress after the Sept. 11 attacks, particularly language requiring judges to issue warrants without making police or prosecutors justify them.

"Why can't we have that traditional probable cause requirement on the obtaining of those records?" asked Specter. The law comes up for renewal by Congress this year.

Laurie Kellman, Associated Press, Jan 6, 2005

Santorum defended the Patriot Act in his weekly column, "Unnecessary Controversy: The Truth About the Patriot Act," Oct 29, 2004.

Cyber schools  Jan 2, 2005
 
No law broken in Cyber school enrollment
 
The district paid more than $100,000 for the three years that Santorum's five school-age children attended the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School, headquartered in Midland... The Penn Hills school board contends it should not have had to pay the Santorum children's tuition because the family actually lives in Virginia, even though the senator and his wife also own a house in the district... In November, amid publicity about a school board member's criticism of the arrangement, Santorum agreed to withdraw his children from the cyberschool and resume homeschooling them. 
 

Letters to the editor on "Intelligent Design"

Jan 2, 2005

Real violations of academic freedom

Contrary to what is stated by Sen. Rick Santorum ..., the real violation of academic freedom is requiring someone to teach, as science, something that has not been scientifically validated. No matter how reasonable or appealing a hypothesis is, it should be taught as science only if it has been tested and validated by accepted scientific standards.

Public opinion is not a measure of scientific validity, nor is personal endorsement. In fact, such opinions are often wrong. After all, at one time almost everyone, including prestigious scholars and politicians, believed that the sun revolved around the Earth. Believing this did not make it scientifically correct...

Jan 1, 2005

Real disinformation

The senator also argues that evolution should be "open to scrutiny" and should be "questioned." Indeed, that is the basis of the scientific method and that is the problem of introducing religion into science class. Science flourishes by peer review and continuous scrutiny. Religion doesn't...

Dec 28, 2004

Santorum seems to misunderstand scientific theory

I was surprised to read the Dec. 25 Weekend Perspectives piece by our junior senator, Rick Santorum...He argues that the religious theory called intelligent design should be taught in the public schools and cites a York County school district for its courage in challenging evolutionary theory...

Mr. Santorum seems to lack an understanding of what a scientific theory means. The key points of any scientific theory are that it be testable and also be falsifiable. Intelligent design says that the natural world is too complex to have evolved on its own and thus benefited from some external design... The problem with intelligent design as a scientific theory is that it is not falsifiable or testable. Thus, like any other religious construct, belief in it is a matter of faith... Evolution is a constantly changing theory that has been tested and verified again and again. Intelligent design, as this newspaper pointed out, is just religion cloaked in scientific language and belongs in our educational system no more than astrology and other matters of faith.

Read more

Letter to the editor Dec 20, 2004
 
Failure of abstinence

Pennsylvania recently completed an evaluation of its four-year abstinence-only initiative and found it was "ineffective in reducing sexual onset."...

After the evaluation of the state program, the Rendell administration stopped the state funding. However, U.S. Sens. Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum stepped in with more than $6 million in federal funds. Due to the state government's lack of involvement, these programs now operate in Pennsylvania with very little oversight.

Read more

DSCC Commentary  Dec 6, 2004

Delaware County GOP scuffle 

Delaware County GOP activists demanded an apology from Senator Rick Santorum because he plainly pointed to their county as a source of weakness in President Bush's election night performance. After another presidential election that showed further erosion of GOP dominance in the Philly suburbs... PA Republicans nonetheless say their sticking with their strategy."We are going to keep doing what we are doing." (Philadelphia Inquirer, 12/2) ...

His far-right politics, refusal to report for jury duty and scandalous treatment of the PA school system and taxpayer funds show that he is out of touch with Pennsylvania.

Read more

Letter to the editor  Dec 5, 2004
 
Flawed AIDS fight
 
Sen. Rick Santorum wants President Bush to get credit for leading the fight against AIDS , but while he's long on global AIDS statistics (42 million people are living with HIV/ AIDS , reduced life expectancy in southern Africa, etc.), he's short on meaningful solutions...
 
Santorum says we "cannot afford to stand silent," but for programs that work against this deadly crisis, he has nothing to say.
 
 
 

Jury Duty Letter  Jan 12, 2005
 
Jury system is strengthened when every citizen answers the call
 
U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer recently answered a summons and appeared in court in Massachusetts as a potential juror...  Justice Breyer recognized that not even his membership on the highest court of the land exempted him from his civic duty. This was a lesson Sen. Rick Santorum grudgingly learned after finally reporting for jury duty last November, following several postponements and a failure to respond to an earlier summons. Even then, Sen. Santorum complained about his service: "If this is what people think is a good use of their United States senator's time ..."  
 
 
Jury Duty Article   Nov 24, 2004
 
Senator, wife are jury pool washouts
 
U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, who suffered some embarrassment this past summer when local news media reported his failure to respond to a jury summons, made amends yesterday, reporting for jury service...

Court records show that Santorum had obtained three deferrals in the past two years and had failed to respond to a fourth summons. His wife had obtained eight deferrals since 2000... Under any circumstances, the senator would have been unlikely to make it onto a jury, if only because he is an attorney.

Read more

OpEd  Nov 19, 2004
 
Santorum, R-Va?
 
...The two-bedroom house that the Santorum children called home for education purposes and that gives Mr. and Mrs. Santorum the right to vote in Pennsylvania lacks an occupancy permit. And the property tax break from the homestead exemption claimed by the Santorums on the Penn Hills house is allowed under law only if the dwelling is their "permanent home."

It's a strange case of political turnabout. In his initial House race against Rep. Doug Walgren in 1990, challenger Santorum attacked the incumbent from Mt. Lebanon for buying a house and raising his children in McLean, Va. Now Rick Santorum of Leesburg, Va., is saying that he is and he isn't a resident of Pennsylvania.

Read more

Santorum flip-flops on stem cells
 
Yesterday Republican Senator Rick Santorum said he was pleased by President Bush's threat to veto a House bill to loosen restrictions on stem cell research.  Santorum, one of the Senate's staunchest opponents of abortion, said he was "disheartened" by the House's approval but pleased by Bush's veto threat. [AP, 5/25/05]

But in 2001, Santorum said that the president should defer to Congress on the stem cell issue:  "I think this is an issue that should be worked out in the Congress, and the president should defer," said Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who opposes research on embryonic stem cells. [Washington Post, 7/17/01]

by Phil Singer, DSCC, May 25, 2005

Raising money in Florida
 
Increasingly, the seasonal migration of the very rich to Palm Beach means that the professional fund-raisers looking to extract money from them are not far behind. The Philadelphia Orchestra is catching on...
 
Board members aid in fund-raising not just with their monetary gifts and their hosting of parties, but also by bringing in their friends and acquaintances, who might become generous donors. Such networking comes with a quid pro quo. One orchestra board member was happy to snag a big potential new donor to the Palm Beach weekend, only to get hit with an invitation to a Rick Santorum fund-raiser.
 
By Peter Dobrin,  Philadelphia Inquirer,  Apr 3, 2005

Santorum outside FL hospice, Mar 30, 2005 

Shortly after 9 p.m., Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) arrived and told Bobby Schindler and Suzanne Vitadamo, Terri Schiavo's sister, that "it's not right what's happening here." Santorum told reporters he had come to Florida for a conference on Social Security. Asked whether he was still trying to intervene in the case, he said: "I've been making a lot of calls," but added, "I'm not particularly hopeful."

Column  Feb 21, 2005

On Specter

Speaking of what lies ahead, even though U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., says he's fine and will go on working with Hodgkin's disease, state pols, circling like buzzards, list possible candidates if (a) Specter resigns and Ed appoints a replacement and (b) there follows a special election.

Dems say appointees could be Bob Casey Jr., Midge Rendell or Joe Hoeffel. Republicans say their candidate in a special election would be Tom Ridge, Pat Toomey or Melissa Hart.

John Baer, Philadelphia Daily News

 
Santorum talks up fight he'd relish

Sen. Rick Santorum (R., Pa.) said yesterday that he would welcome running for reelection next year on the issue of Social Security, regardless of whether Congress acts between now and then.  Santorum made his remarks at a Social Security conference hosted by the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank that has been pushing for personal accounts for years.

"I am someone who's up in '06 - in one of the oldest states in the country - and who relishes the opportunity to take on any opponent who says Social Security is not a problem and we don't need to fix it," he said. "By November 2006, no one is going to believe that."

Santorum praised President Bush for taking on the issue of revamping Social Security and said the President was offering younger workers hope that they would be able to receive total benefits at least equal to those now promised. Without personal accounts, he said, no such hope exists.

Under Bush's voluntary plan, workers eventually would be allowed to contribute up to 4 percent of their wages into an account that they would own and control. Their guaranteed benefits under traditional Social Security would be reduced by a corresponding amount.

In addition, the senator credited the administration with political savvy in fashioning a proposal intended to have no impact on people 55 and older.

"This is designed correctly from a political point of view," he said. "Those most likely to oppose it aren't affected. Those most likely to support it are."

And he said that Democratic leaders were making a mistake in denying that the retirement system was in need of repair, thereby risking being seen as obstructionists.

"The Democrats believe we have stepped in it," he said. "They are as outdated in discussing Social Security as on any other issue."

Democratic leaders, including Sen. Edward M. Kennedy of Massachusetts, have said the system was not facing a crisis and that personal accounts would be an unnecessary gamble.

After Santorum left the conference, several experts on public opinion offered their views of the political landscape.

Pollster John Zogby confirmed Santorum's analysis of the age breakdown of support for the concept of personal accounts. According to a poll Zogby took last month, before Bush's State of the Union speech, 61 percent of voters under 30 like the idea, while the figure drops to 32 percent among those 65 and over.

But another pollster, Scott Rasmussen, said that the problem for Republicans was that older people were the only ones paying attention to this issue.

"How can you get the under-40s involved?" he asked. "The answer is: You can't."

Rather, he said, supporters of personal accounts will have to woo older voters, by assuring them that the system will not change for them and by asking them to talk to their children and grandchildren.

Santorum, who has advocated such accounts for more than a decade, said he did not believe it necessary for the White House to present a detailed proposal, certainly not at this point. He said Bush should keep doing what he had been doing - talking about the problem and about making accounts part of the solution.

Bush is likely to do so again this afternoon when he visits Montgomery County Community College in Blue Bell. Santorum plans to be with him.

By Larry Eichel,  Philadelphia Inquirer

DSCC News  Feb 7, 2005
 
Will Santorum Break With The White House to Support Pennsylvania?
 
Either he supports Bush’s budget plan to eliminate Amtrak and continues to walk in lock step with Bush or he breaks with Bush over Amtrak funding and risks angering the White House.
 
Amtrak employs over  3,000 Pennsylvania residents. 

Amtrak operates approximately 120 daily trains through Pennsylvania, including Acela Express, Keystone, Metroliner, and Regional service.

 
 
Corzine, Lautenberg, Codey ask Bush not to cut funds to Amtrak.
 

Social Security Town Halls  Feb 6, 2005
 
Bush's Social Security plan could be risk for Republicans
 
In Pennsylvania, where 2.3 million people receive Social Security benefits, any changes could touch off a firestorm.

"The question is how far lawmakers are willing to go ... putting their political safety on the line," said Amy Walter, an analyst who tracks House elections for the Cook Political Report.

Many Republicans, including Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa., have reacted cautiously. He has said he opposes cuts in Social Security but hasn't said what he supports. "I am not committed one way or another," Specter said...

Santorum remains outspoken on an issue that nearly cost him his election in 1994, when he drew the ire of Pennsylvania seniors by suggesting an increase in the retirement age.

"I'm going to be one of the players in making this happen," said Santorum, the chairman of the Senate Finance subcommittee with jurisdiction over Social Security reform.

Santorum plans to hold 10 town-hall meetings across the state the week of Presidents Day in an effort to educate people on the problems facing Social Security and to sell them on the president's plan.

Bush, who campaigned across the country for his plan Thursday and Friday, might also hold an event in eastern Pennsylvania this week.

While many Republicans, including Bush and Santorum, oppose raising Social Security taxes or insist on the personal investment accounts, Santorum conceded nothing should be ruled out. "Obviously, in my mind, I have the best way to get there. But I understand that I'm not going to get the best way in my mind," he said.

The fate of changes to Social Security remains questionable.

By Brett Lieberman, The Patriot News

 
Money Spent in Secret
 
Emergency planners say giving details is dangerous. Advocates of disclosure say it would prevent waste.

With little or no public scrutiny, emergency planners across Pennsylvania are spending tens of millions of dollars in federal counterterrorism money on a wide array of equipment, from RV-size command centers, SUVs and boats to protective gear, cell phones and biohazard detection devices...

Yet as emergency wish lists are being checked off, the public is getting little information on how the money is being allocated - even as the pipeline of federal money flowing into Pennsylvania has grown to more than a quarter-billion dollars.

Arlen Specter and Rick Santorum ... said through aides that they understood the general need to withhold information for security reasons..
 

Funding PA inaugural party
 
Twenty-two companies are underwriting the unofficial inaugural Pennsylvania Gala at the National Museum of Natural History. Gala organizers declined to reveal the contribution amounts reflected by the sponsorship categories:

PLATINUM SPONSORS
Sunoco Inc., Exelon Corp.

GOLD SPONSORS
Comcast, Greenlee Partners LLC, Hershey Foods Corp., Lockheed Martin Corp.
Merck & Co. Inc., National Association of Broadcasters, PPL Corp., Washington Strategies LLC, Wyeth

SILVER SPONSORS
Air Products, The Bond Market Association, Brabender Cox, Cigna, General Motors Corp., GlaxoSmithKline, Hospital & Health Systems Association of Pennsylvania, Public Affairs Management, Rohm and Haas Co., U.S. Steel Corp.
Verizon

Pittsburgh Post Gazette,  Jan 19, 2005

 
Santorum's Congressional Working Group on Religious Freedom
 
The Alliance for Democracy in Iran is cooperating with the Congressional Working Group on Religious Freedom to end religious intolerance and persecution in Iran.
 
Jan 13, 2005
 
Sy Hersh on Covert Operations in Iran
 
The Administration has been conducting secret reconnaissance missions inside Iran at least since last summer... The Pentagon’s contingency plans for a broader invasion of Iran are also being updated. Strategists at the headquarters of the U.S. Central Command, in Tampa, Florida, have been asked to revise the military’s war plan, providing for a maximum ground and air invasion of Iran. Updating the plan makes sense, whether or not the Administration intends to act, because the geopolitics of the region have changed dramatically in the last three years. Previously, an American invasion force would have had to enter Iran by sea, by way of the Persian Gulf or the Gulf of Oman; now troops could move in on the ground, from Afghanistan or Iraq. Commando units and other assets could be introduced through new bases in the Central Asian republics...
 
The hawks in the Administration believe that it will soon become clear that the Europeans’ negotiated approach cannot succeed, and that at that time the Administration will act...

The immediate goals of the attacks would be to destroy, or at least temporarily derail, Iran’s ability to go nuclear. But there are other, equally purposeful, motives at work. The government consultant told me that the hawks in the Pentagon, in private discussions, have been urging a limited attack on Iran because they believe it could lead to a toppling of the religious leadership...

"The idea that an American attack on Iran’s nuclear facilities would produce a popular uprising is extremely ill-informed," said Flynt Leverett, a Middle East scholar who worked on the National Security Council in the Bush Administration...

Under Rumsfeld’s new approach, I was told, U.S. military operatives would be permitted to pose abroad as corrupt foreign businessmen seeking to buy contraband items that could be used in nuclear-weapons systems. In some cases, according to the Pentagon advisers, local citizens could be recruited and asked to join up with guerrillas or terrorists. This could potentially involve organizing and carrying out combat operations, or even terrorist activities.

Jan 17, 2005

Read more

AP Interview  Apr 7, 2003
 
I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts.
...We have laws in states, like the one at the Supreme Court right now, that has sodomy laws and they were there for a purpose. Because, again, I would argue, they undermine the basic tenets of our society and the family. And if the Supreme Court says that you have the right to consensual sex within your home, then you have the right to bigamy, you have the right to polygamy, you have the right to incest, you have the right to adultery. You have the right to anything.  Does that undermine the fabric of our society? I would argue yes, it does. It all comes from, I would argue, this right to privacy that doesn't exist in my opinion in the United States Constitution...
 
Rick Santorum interview 
published in USA Today, Apr 23, 2003
 

 
... Santorum helped create tax breaks for self-insured health plans and leads crusades to ban partial-birth abortion, define marriage constitutionally as heterosexual-only and allow Social Security private investment.  He threw himself into the fight to help Dover School District in York County defend its decision to teach alternate theories to evolution.

And he has come under fire for moving his family to Virginia but letting his neighbors in Pennsylvania pay $100,000 for his five children to take lessons from a cyber charter school. Santorum has since withdrawn his children from the school.

Critics contrast his proposals for lawsuit award limits with his wife's $500,000 suit -- she ultimately won $175,000 -- in a personal-injury case...

That election [2006], according to Santorum's friends, is the next stepping-stone on the road to running for U.S. Senate majority leader in late 2006 or president in 2008 or 2012... 

Santorum blames the media for a controversy that still haunts him. In April 2003, during a taped interview, he likened gay sex to bestiality and child sexual abuse...

Santorum is still stumping for a constitutional amendment allowing only heterosexual couples to marry.

And he vowed to keep speaking out...

By Peter L. DeCoursey, The Patriot News, Mar 6, 2005
 
 
..."The Democratic National Committee would really like to take him down," said William J. Green, a Pittsburgh-based Republican media consultant.  Santorum is still a formidable fund-raiser, so it is unclear how vulnerable he would be... But Hershey acknowledged that Santorum can be a polarizing figure.

Santorum is point man for the constitutional amendment to ban same-sex marriage, calling wedlock between a man and a woman the glue that holds society together. He is remembered and reviled by gay-rights groups for comments in April 2003 when, in speaking about a Supreme Court case involving a Texas sodomy law, he compared homosexuality to bigamy, polygamy, incest and adultery.

Recently he drew unwanted scrutiny for enrolling his children in Internet-based school paid for by Pennsylvania taxpayers while living mainly in Virginia.

But the most negative attention seems to be coming from conservatives, who feel betrayed by Santorum's support for Specter... A leader of the religious right, the Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney of the Christian Defense Coalition, told a Catholic magazine that his group would work to see that Santorum "is not reelected in 2006."

Inquirer, Dec 9, 2004

 

For most denizens of Washington, politics is a living, perhaps a way of life. For Rick Santorum, it is a bruising crusade. As a student in the dissolute 1970s, he smoked his share of pot at Penn State and was, by his own account, somewhat casual about his Roman Catholic faith...

Santorum is close to the White House, operates one of the largest personal campaign funds and is a point man on hot-button issues ranging from gay marriage to Social Security...

Evolution, he says, should be taught in public schools, but only as a still-controversial scientific theory that "has holes." There is no constitutionally based right to privacy, he says, arguing that it is a phony legal concoction foisted on the country by liberal judges. As it happens, the 1965 case which declared the existence of privacy rights legitimized contraception. He calls that case, and others that followed it, a "massive usurpation of power by the judiciary." "Would I ban contraception in the states as a state legislator? No way. Would I do it as a federal official? No way." Even so, he said, each state should be free to legislate the matter on its own. If that means the banning of contraception (or, presumably, adultery or premarital sex), then so be it. "It should be the same with sodomy laws," he said. "Texas should have had the right. People should have had the right."

Santorum's high regard for states' rights doesn't extend to the question of who can marry legally. He favors a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of a man and a woman.

Newsweek, Dec 27, 2004 

Read more

Marriage Amendment Jul 14, 2004
 
Defeat of Federal Marriage Amendment
 
..."Why, in this election year, are we debating an amendment to the Constitution designed to restrict the rights of gay Americans?" asked Senator Frank R. Lautenberg, Democrat of New Jersey. "It's clearly not a legitimate legislative debate, as there are nowhere near enough votes to pass this amendment."...

"You can say I'm a hater," said Senator Rick Santorum, Republican of Pennsylvania and a leading proponent of the amendment. "But I would argue I'm a lover. I'm a lover of traditional families and children who deserve the right to have a mother and father."...

Senator Edward M. Kennedy, Democrat of Massachusetts, said the split resulted partly from the fact that the Judiciary Committee was bypassed to bring the proposal directly to the floor.

"Trying to write discrimination into the Constitution is bad enough," he said. "But throwing the Senate's rules out the window and proceeding with a discriminatory amendment that the majority of Americans don't want and a majority of senators don't support - solely for the purpose of trying to score points in a presidential election campaign - demeans this institution and all who have served in it."

Read more

Blog, email us at:  SantorumWatch@verizon.net