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Top 20 reasons to vote against Rick Santorum 

After months of political ads and campaigning, it's easy to forget why anyone goes to the polls at all. So as a public service to voters who want to put aside the partisanship and bickering of Washington, City Paper offers this partial list of highlights from Sen. Rick Santorum's career.

20) Santorum on the pedophile priest scandal: "Priests, like all of us, are affected by culture. ... [I]t is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm." -- Catholic Online, July 12, 2002

19) "It's the equivalent of Adolf Hitler in 1942 saying, 'I'm in Paris. How dare you invade me? How dare you bomb my city? It's mine.'" -- Santorum in 2005, responding to Democrats who were pondering a filibuster of a judicial nominee

18) In 2001, after Robinson Township's Ronald Reagan Atrium I nursing home failed three inspections by federal health officials, Santorum lobbied to keep the center open so it could have one more try at passing inspection. In 2005, a federal jury convicted the nursing-home operator of fraud; patients' families testified that poor care resulted in patients falling and breaking bones, being dehydrated, and sitting in their own waste.

17) Santorum's voting record gets a 27 percent rating from the National Education Association, but it's not just teachers he has a problem with -- it's all those whacked-out students. "Mass education is really the aberration," he wrote in It Takes a Family. "It's amazing that so many kids turn out to be normal considering the weird socialization they get in public schools."

16) Santorum has proposed a $250,000 cap on the amount victims of medical malpractice can sue their doctors for. Yet his wife sought twice that much from a chiropractor she said treated her negligently. "The court proceedings are a personal family matter," said Mr. Privacy Rights, in answer to queries from reporters.

15) Santorum, who has accepted numerous campaign contributions from the weather forecasting firm Accu-Weather, has sought to prohibit the National Weather Service from sharing its forecasts with the public. After Hurricane Katrina, Santorum insisted the National Weather Service warnings about the storm were "not sufficient" -- despite agency warnings deeming it "a most powerful hurricane with unprecedented strength."

14) "My primary residence will be in suburban Pittsburgh -- unlike the incumbent, who lives full time in Virginia and maintains no residence in Allegheny County." Rick Santorum, 1990

13) In March 2005, he voted against restoring $565 million in cuts made to emergency-responders, port-security programs -- and border-patrol agents. In February 2006, he voted against increasing funding by $47 billion for the Iraq-strapped military, preferring to spend the money on tax cuts for the wealthy instead.

12) In March 2005, voted against a plan to increase funding for college-aid and other educational programs by closing corporate tax loopholes.

11) That Santorum home in Virginia? According to the American Prospect, Santorum paid for it with a sweetheart low-interest mortgage financed by the Philadelphia Trust Company -- whose executives have been heavy contributors to the Santorum campaign. Santorum sits on the Senate Banking Committee.

10) Santorum to WTAE-TV on Katrina victims: "[Y]ou have people who don't heed those warnings and then put people at risk as a result of not heeding those warnings. There may be a need to look at tougher penalties on those who decide to ride it out and understand that there are consequences to not leaving."

9) Social-security privatization

8) "As the decline of true science has been a major factor in the decline of Western culture, so too the renewal of science will play a big part in cultural renewal." -- Santorum in the forward to Darwin's Nemesis, a 2006 book honoring Philip Johnson, an evolution skeptic who advocates for the pseudo-science "intelligent design"

7) "We have found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, chemical weapons." -- Santorum in a June 21 press conference.

"[A] senior Defense Department official pointed out that the chemical weapons were not in useable condition. 'This does not reflect a capacity that was built up after 1991,' the official said, adding the munitions 'are not the WMDs this country and the rest of the world believed Iraq had, and not the WMDs for which this country went to war.'" -- FOX News, reporting on Santorum's claims, which were based on long-buried shells left over from the early 1990s.

6) "I have no problem with homosexuality. I have a problem with homosexual acts," Santorum, in his famous "man on dog" Associated Press interview. (Actually, he clearly does have a problem with homosexuality: He voted against a bill to prevent workers from being fired just for their sexual orientation.)

5) Santorum's lifetime rating from the League of Conservation Voters: 10 percent

4) Santorum's lifetime rating from pro-choice group NARAL: 0 percent.

3) Just after making a televised visit to Terri Schiavo's Florida bedside -- and just after canceling a forum on Social Security "out of respect" for the Schiavos -- Santorum attended a series of Sunshine State fund-raisers. He raised $250,000 in contributions -- including several made by executives at Outback Steakhouses. (Days before, Santorum had proposed excluding restaurant workers from a hike in the minimum wage.) The sponsor of the jet that chauffeured him from one event to the next? Wal-Mart.

2) From Sept. 3, 2006 Meet the Press:

Tim Russert (moderator): When President Clinton took troops into Kosovo, you said, "President Clinton is once again releasing American military might on a foreign country with an ill-defined objective and no exit strategy. He is yet to tell Congress how much this operation will cost. And, he has not informed our nation's Armed Forces about how long they will be away from home." Do you believe you should have the same standard for President Bush? ...

Santorum: No. Because Kosovo and [Serb leader] Slobodan Milosevic were never a security threat to the U.S.

1) "Privacy. [Religious] neutrality. Free Expression. None of these terms is in the Constitution. ... [T]hese 'philosophical' tenets are pure abstractions." -- Santorum, It Takes a Family

Back to other races.

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