Santorum Snorts at the Trough…

The mighty reformer Rick Santorum turns out to have greatly enjoyed the cozy earmarks for donations trade during his time in the Senate.

A review of some of his earmarks, viewed alongside his political donations, suggests that the river of federal money Mr. Santorum helped direct to Pennsylvania paid off handsomely in the form of campaign cash.

Earmarks, long a hallmark of a pay-to-play culture in Washington, have become largely taboo among lawmakers of both parties. But that element of Mr. Santorum’s record has mostly gone unexplored, in part because transparency rules governing earmarks did not go into effect until after he left office.

In just one piece of legislation, the defense appropriations bill for the 2006 fiscal year, Mr. Santorum helped secure $124 million in federal financing for 54 earmarks, according to a tally by Taxpayers for Common Sense, a budget watchdog group. In that year’s election cycle, Mr. Santorum’s Senate campaign committee and his “leadership PAC” took in more than $200,000 in contributions from people associated with the companies that benefited or their lobbyists, an analysis of campaign finance records by The New York Times shows.