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Santorum's Close Ties With Larry Craig And Larger Gay Circle

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Copyright: Wayne Madsen

Presidential candidate Rick Santorum, along with two other former U.S. Senate Republicans who WMR identified as using their Senate offices to farm out young male staffers to House Republican members, received donations for their failed re-election bids in 2006 from Senator Larry Craig, the Idaho Republican. The three senators were Santorum, Virginia's George Allen (who is currently running to regain his old seat), and Missouri's Jim Talent. Craig was arrested at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport in June 2007 for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in the men's toilet.

Like Santorum, Craig was generous in his support for "troubled youth" diversion programs, having donated thousands of dollars to the Idaho Youth Ranch. Santorum nominated accused serial pedophile, former Penn State assistant football coach Jerry Sandusky, for the Congressional Angels in Adoption Award in 2002. Santorum's citation to Sandusky read: "Its philosophy is simple: It is easier to develop a child than to rehabilitate an adult." In 2002, Sandusky had been witnessed by graduate assistant Mike McQueary engaged in anal sex with a young boy in the university's athletic center's shower. Sandusky was also alleged to have committed sex acts with minors at least four times before the 2002 incident.

Santorum's record of gay associates is also causing a stir, especially in light of Santorum's obsessive public derision of homosexuality. In June, CNN reporter Don Lemon, who is openly gay, interviewed Santorum and the GOP presidential candidate revealed that he had many gay friends and that he had gay people work for him. Santorum also stated, "I was with a gay friend of mine just two days ago." Santorum's long-serving Senate communication director, Robert Traynham, is openly gay and continues to support Santorum politically. Traynham is also rumored to be the replacement for the suspended Pat Buchanan on MS-NBC. Last summer, MS-NBC hired former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell as a commentator. Rendell, along with former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge and current Governor Tom Corbett, the commonwealth's former Attorney General, have been accused of conspiring to cover up the pedophile scandal at Penn State. In addition, Rendell, according to news reports in Pennsylvania, covered up an underage prostitution scandal in Harrisburg involving not only the Supreme Court but his own executive office of governor.

Pennsylvania investigative journalist Bill Keisling doggedly pursued top-level corruption and sex scandals in the Ed Rendell administration in Harrisburg and within the state's court system. He also investigated the murder of Assistant U.S. Attorney for Maryland Jonathan Luna. In retaliation, Keisling was hit with a series of politically-motivated law suits.

On December 27, 2011, the National Memo website carried a story about how out of all the possible offices then-Senator Santorum could have chosen for his constituent office in Scranton, he decided to locate his office at 527 Linden Street, conveniently located one door away from the Silhouette Lounge, a gay leather bar in a blue collar city not known for a preponderance of gay bars. Scranton/Wilkes-Barre was also the location of the infamous "kids-for-cash" scandal involving two state judges, Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan. The judges were sentencing juveniles convicted of even minor infractions to long terms at two for-profit juvenile centers in return for cash kickbacks. There were charges that some of the youth sentenced to the facilities were sexually abused during their incarceration.

In 2005, Santorum defended the Catholic Church amid the pedophile scandal in the Boston archdiocese. Santorum blamed the scandal on liberal Boston, stating: "it is no surprise that Boston, a seat of academic, political, and cultural liberalism in America, lies at the center of the storm."

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Just. Bend it.