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Sen. Santorum: The GOP ethics "point man" no more

Philly journalist Will Bunch's reporting nailed him.
 
 
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Will Bunch delivered a major blow to the standing of Sen. Rick Santorum with his American Prospect March cover story detailing the senator's sweet heart mortgage and other money trickery. And the repercussion is that now, Santorum is no longer the frontman for GOP Senate ethics campaign:

WASHINGTON -- Though Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, R-Tenn., charged Sen. Rick Santorum with the task of spearheading Republican efforts to tighten rules on lawmakers' contact with lobbyists, Pennsylvania's junior senator is taking more of a backstage role as that legislation begins moving through the chamber this week.

"What I was asked by the leader to do was to start a process to see if we could get a bipartisan bill," Mr. Santorum said yesterday after the Senate Rule Committee voted 17-0 to approve new restrictions on members. "I understand the game here; I understand that they [Democrats] don't want Santorum's name on anything that's going to pass. So I'm not worried about getting my name on a bill that's going to pass; I'm worried about making sure we do the right thing from an ethics point of view."

Yeah, right.

The expose on Santorum's charity Operation Good Neighbor, which donated only 40% of its $1.25 million to good causes, can't have helped either.

Jan Frel is an AlterNet staff writer.