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Daily Santorum: Digging the past

Published by Tim McNulty on .

Rick and Karen Santorum

Charlie Riedel / AP, Daily Beast photo

Since Iowa, Rick Santorum has been getting the media attention he's long craved, but that's not always a good thing.

The NYT ran a tough piece tracing the flow of earmarks out of his Senate office (and the inflow of related campaign donations). The WashPost has another looking critically at his "Operation Good Neighbor" charity. Less than 40% of what it raised went to the poor:

But homeless families and troubled children were not the biggest beneficiaries of Operation Good Neighbor. Instead, the foundation spent most of its money to run itself, including hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees for fundraising, administration and office rental paid to Santorum’s political allies.

The most brutal piece, though, concerns Karen Santorum's past in Pittsburgh. Before she met the senator (and wrote a book and gave speeches about her devout Catholicism), she had a 6-year, live-in relationship with a doctor 40 years her senior, Tom Allen, who was and is a liberal, pro-choice activist. From Nancy Haas at the Daily Beast:

“Karen was a lovely girl, very intelligent and sweet,” says Allen, who at 92 uses a walker but retains a sly smile. A wine aficionado who frequented the Pittsburgh Symphony and was active in the local chapter of the ACLU, he lives with his wife of 16 years, Judi—they started dating in 1989, soon after he and Garver split—in the same large detached row house where he lived with the woman who would become Santorum’s wife. He and Garver also lived for several years in another house a few blocks away. “Karen had no problems with what I did for a living,” says Allen, who helped start one of the first hospital-sanctioned abortion clinics in Pennsylvania. “We never really discussed it.” (The Santorum campaign did not return repeated requests for comment on the relationship.)

Back in South Carolina, Santorum is feeling the heat from criticisms from his GOP foes, many of them in ads airing across the state. He held a press conference this morning saying Mitt Romney and Ron Paul were lying about his record, and promising to attack them in return.

Might the criticism be mounting because of the seriousness of his candidacy, particularly after the endorsement by evangelical leaders over the weekend? It can only help him, writes Nate Silver at the NYT, though he's still trailing Romney, Gingrich and Paul in S.C.

The first debate of the week is on Fox News at 9 p.m. Eastern. The next one is Thursday at 8 p.m. on CNN.

His schedule for the day is after the jump:

Monday, January 16:

7:30am ET: Senator Santorum will hold a "Faith, Family and Freedom" Town Hall in Columbia, SC.

 

Location:

Lizzard's Thicket

818 Elmwood Avenue

Columbia, SC

9:30am ET: Senator Santorum will appear on the Laura Ingraham Nationally Syndicated Radio Show.

3:05pm ET: Senator Santorum will address the South Carolina Tea Party Convention in Myrtle Beach, SC.

 

Location:
Springmaid Beach Resort

3200 South Ocean Boulevard

Myrtle Beach, SC

 

4:15pm ET: Senator Santorum will address the Faith & Freedom Coalition in Myrtle Beach, SC.

 

Location:

Myrtle Beach Convention Center

2101 North Oak Street

Myrtle Beach, SC

 

9:00pm ET: Senator Santorum will participate in the FOX News Republican Presidential Debate in Myrtle Beach, SC.

 

Location:

Myrtle Beach Convention Center

2101 North Oak Street

Myrtle Beach, SC

 

11:00pm ET: Senator Santorum will appear on "Hannity" on FOX News.

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