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Santorum’s Mortgage: Is This the Best Liberals Can Do?

Republican Sen. Rick Santorum, locked in a tough re-election fight with Democrat Pennsylvania Treasurer Bob Casey Jr., came under attack this week for his home mortgage.

Yes, you’re reading this correctly, the hot-button issue that Democrats hope will sink Santorum is the $500,000, five-year interest-only balloon loan he received in 2002.

Has it gotten that bad for Pennsylvania Democrats? Santorum is known for his late comebacks, and if this episode is any indication, he could be well on his way to another.

The story was only a day old when the reliably liberal Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Senate Ethics Committee—something not terribly surprising given CREW’s propensity to target Republicans.

CREW’s complaint asserts that Santorum shouldn’t have been able to receive the mortgage because Philadelphia Trust Co., the bank that gave Santorum the loan, services only high-end clients (of which Santorum is not) and, therefore, the loan would fall under the Senate’s ban on gifts.

If this whole story isn’t suspicious enough, one needs to look no further than the story’s author, Will Bunch, who couldn’t get enough exposure publishing it in one outlet, so instead chose three—the left-wing rag American Prospect, unfit-for-wrapping-fish Philadelphia Daily News and his personal blog Attytood.com.

(I’m beginning to wonder if Bunch should disclose how much he’s making off this story. Talk about an ego-maniac—this reporter is so desperate to break news, he needs to write three articles for three publications about the same topic.)

But this brings us back to CREW’s involvement, which, according to its own press release, was inspired solely by Bunch’s story. So much for an independent investigation to at least verify the facts.

Anyone from the liberal press reading this might enjoy these key facts about CREW’s leadership:

  • CREW’s executive director, Melanie Sloan, previously worked for Democrat Rep. John Conyers (D.-Mich.) and Senators Chuck Schumer (D.-N.Y.) and Joe Biden (D.-Del.).
  • CREW’s board members include Mark Penn, President Bill Clinton’s former pollster; Daniel Berger, a wealthy Philadelphia trial lawyer and Clinton fundraiser; and Louis Mayberg, president of a mutual fund company.

Had enough?

Let’s get this straight: 1) a liberal political hack reporter writes a story bashing Santorum; 2) a liberal “ethics watchdog” in Washington files a complaint with the Senate; 3) the liberal press bites on the story when it smells Santorum’s blood.

Had it not been for Casey’s own revelation of his mortgage, which is similar to Santorum’s, this story might have had legs. But the Pennsylvania Democrat adored (surprisingly) by MoveOn.org managed to squash it with his own disclosure.

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Written By

Mr. Bluey, a contributing editor to Human Events, is director of the Center for Media & Public Policy at The Heritage Foundation. He maintains a blog at RobertBluey.com.

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