Post-Senate career has seen Santorum's income soar
Sunday, January 8, 2012
WASHINGTON (AP) — Losing his Senate seat might have been the best thing that ever happened to Rick Santorum's bank account.
In 2006, the Republican presidential hopeful earned about $200,000 from his Senate salary and book royalties. From January 2010 to August 2011, he earned at least $1.3 million as he cashed in on his 16 years in Congress by working as a corporate consultant, political pundit and board member.
The financial disclosure report Santorum filed last August shows how his income has changed. Many voters are taking their first hard look at the former congressman and two-term senator from Pennsylvania following his near-win in the Iowa caucuses.
Santorum's resume contrasts with campaign rhetoric that casts him as an outsider who would shake up Washington. It also appears at odds with the image that Santorum stresses as a candidate with hardscrabble roots in blue-collar Pennsylvania and as the grandson of an Italian immigrant coal miner.
Much of the money Santorum earned in recent years was for his work as a board member for a large health care company and consulting for a Pennsylvania energy company and a Washington lobbying firm.
Santorum earned a $165,200 Senate salary and $32,245 in book royalties, according to his 2006 disclosure report.
At one time the No. 3 GOP leader in the Senate, Santorum was of comparatively modest means during his two terms. He has followed the same revolving-door path that many former members of Congress pursue when they move to the public sector, trading on his knowledge and political connections as a congressional insider with groups that advocate for corporations and other interests. He was not a registered lobbyist but served as a corporate consultant.
"It's a well-worn path of former members of Congress using their former position in Congress to cash in," said Melanie Sloan, director of Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington. "It's ironic that he portrays himself in his campaign as a Washington outsider. He's a quintessential insider. He's an incredibly rich, highly paid consultant."
A Santorum campaign spokesman did not return messages Friday seeking comment.
Santorum's service on the board of a hospital conglomerate provided much of his income in recent years.
Santorum reported receiving $395,414 in director fees and stock options from Universal Health Services Inc., a hospital management company. He left the board last year as he launched his presidential bid. Santorum listed between $100,001 and $250,000 in Universal Health stock.
Santorum's consulting work earned him six-figure fees in recent years, his disclosure form showed.
Consol Energy, based in Pennsylvania, paid Santorum $142,500 for his consulting services.
Santorum reported that the American Continental Group, a Washington lobbying group, paid him $65,000 in consulting fees. The firm's lengthy client list includes Microsoft Corp., Comcast Corp. and the American Gaming Association.
"The senator did general consulting and provided his advice and opinion on which way the Senate may go, based on his record in the Senate and his history in leadership," said David Urban, president of American Continental Group. "He's very smart tactically."
Santorum left the firm last June when he formally began running for president.
Santorum also reported earning $125,000 for consulting work for The Clapham Group, a Virginia-based consulting firm that works with faith-based groups, among others. Clients include the American Bible Society and The Poverty Forum, according to its website.
Santorum's earnings included payments from a conservative think tank and media outlets.
The Ethics and Public Policy Center in Washington paid Santorum $217,385 as a senior fellow.
News Corp. in New York paid Santorum $239,153 for his appearances on Fox News Channel. Salem Radio paid Santorum $83,999 for his work as a radio talk show host. Santorum was guest host for "Bill Bennett's Morning in America" radio show. The Philadelphia Inquirer paid Santorum $23,000 for columns he wrote for the paper.
Santorum's income after he left the Senate helped him increase his investments and savings for his family. The disclosures don't show specific amounts invested, but instead offer a range of values of investments.
The most recent form shows a series of new investment accounts, including college savings funds for five of his seven children with investments valued between $25,000 and $375,000; individual retirement accounts with investments ranging between $173,000 and $720,000; and a brokerage account with investments valued in the range of $10,000 to $150,000.
When he left the Senate, he reported retirement accounts with investments valued between $21,000 and $140,000.
His disclosure also shows more than $52,000 in cash in checking accounts.
Associated Press writer Brett J. Blackledge contributed to this report.
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