On the campaign trail, Rick Santorum says his career since the Senate has been a paid commentary role at Fox News and as a fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center. But a mandatory disclosure requirement for presidential candidates reveals something new: Santorum has maintained his lifestyle through a well-paid consulting gig with Consol Energy Inc and a lobbying firm called American Continental Group.
The disclosure, revealed earlier this week, comes as a surprise because Santorum has never mentioned the fact that he works for a lobbying firm, nor do any state and federal lobbying disclosures have him listed as a lobbyist or contractor to such a company.
Consol Energy is one of the country’s largest coal mining companies that also has substantial involvement in hydraulic fracking in Pennslyvania. According to the company’s website, it is “the leading eastern U.S. gas producer and our future growth is centered in the Marcellus Shale.” ThinkProgress has attended multiple Santorum campaign stops, and the former senator almost always spends a few minutes extolling the virtues of fracking in the Marcellus Shale region:
— During a campaign stop in Iowa in July, Santorum said: “You know what the Marcellus Shale is? It’s the largest natural gas found in the history of the country, the second largest natural gas field in the world! Its under Pennslyvania, and we are drilling, baby, drilling. Everywhere. “ The remarks are typical of a Santorum stump speech. He never discloses that the “we” when he says “we are drilling, baby” might refer to his employer, Consol Energy.
One of his other moonlighting jobs, his “consulting” position with American Continental Group, reveals more questions about Santorum’s political positions. American Continential Group is a corporate lobbying firm long associated with pushing industry friendly legislation and earmarks. This year, the firm has a client roster including Comcast, the Association of Mortgage Investors, Credit Suisse Group, Monsanto, Toyota Motors, and General Electric.
— Santorum’s jobs plan appears more as a wish-list for corporations, including clients of his firm American Continental Group. Santorum calls for cutting the corporate income tax to zero and allowing for companies to bring earnings made overseas back to the United States and only taxed at five percent. Both positions would amount to a bailout for already super-profitable companies, including his lobbying firm clients like Monsanto.
According to the disclosure, Santorum is paid more than $330,000 for his work on behalf of Consol Energy, American Continental Group, and a public relations firm called the Clapham Group. He was paid $217,000 from the Ethics and Public Policy Center, and $239,000 for his contributions to Fox News in 2010 and the beginning of 2011.