Monday, November 22, 2004

School for Scandal

This one is political but not local, at least not local for most of the readers of this blog.

When I was a younger adult, Rick Santorum moved onto my parent’s street in Mount Lebanon, PA. Sometime later he ran against the incumbent U.S. Representative, pointing out that then-Rep Walgren did not even live in a house in the district he represented (he had one, but he parents lived in it). Much was made of this during the campaign, and Santorum won the seat.

Those of you who have read my comments about local carpet-baggers know what happens next – Santorum moved OFF my parent’s street, moved to Washington, and pretty much ignored the hypocrisy as he moved his career forward.

Now time wounds all heels, and this popped up a few days ago on the several media radars. The Virginia-based, now-Senator Santorum DOES own a house in Penn Hills, though he doesn’t live there. But he does claim it as his primary residence for the purposes of educating his kids. His kids attend an on-line charter cyber-school, but since he has a primary residence in Penn Hills, the Penn Hills school district is responsible for covering the bills, to the tune about 40 grand a year, or about 100 grand to date – both numbers are accurate. Either way, the house has proved to be a nice investment, even if the Senator does not live there (It is currently occupied by a niece and nephew, according to one report).

So this ties up a couple themes here in one nice little package – carpet bagging, leaving the constituents in the lurch, and the messy nature of charter schools. The cyber-school has offered to cover the Senator’s kids, but that would probably then create another ethics problem, and Santorum has pulled his kids out of cyber school and returned them to home schooling.

It is as yet unknown if ethics is on the curriculum.

More later,