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Blue-collar roots aside, Santorum cashed in after Senate

 

The latest in an occasional First Read series on the candidates’ financial disclosures.

On the campaign trail, Rick Santorum emphasizes his working-class roots. But since leaving the U.S. Senate, that grandson of an immigrant coal miner hasn’t done so badly for himself.

Though Santorum may not be the wealthiest candidate running, he is still a millionaire. And he made that money in ways that were undoubtedly in large measure because he was a senator -- a common practice for former members of Congress.

From January 2010 to August 2011, Santorum made between $1.4 million and $1.6 million, according to a review of his financial disclosure. His total net worth is between $526,000 and $2.3 million, far lower than many of the candidates running, including his chief rival Mitt Romney. Romney is worth between $190 million and $250 million. (FULL PDF OF FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE HERE.)

The single-largest source of Santorum's income was $395,414, for sitting on the board of Universal Health Services, a Pennsylvania-based hospital-management company. He joined the company’s board in April 2007, just months after losing his battle for reelection in 2006 and leaving the Senate in January of that year.

In January 2007, he joined a Washington-based conservative advocacy group, the Ethics and Public Policy Center, where, as a senior fellow in the last year and a half, he made $217,385.

A month later he joined FOX News as a contributor. In 2010 and half of 2011, Santorum made $239,153 from NewsCorp, which owns FOX. (He also made more than $100,000 for other media contracts, including $83,999 from Salem Radio as a radio host, and $23,000 from the Philadelphia Inquirer as a columnist.)

Newt Gingrich faced criticism for taking between $1.6 million and $1.8 million for giving Freddie Mac “strategic advice” after he left Congress. Santorum didn’t engage in the pile on. Other candidates said Gingrich should give the money back. But on a radio show in Iowa in mid-December, Santorum gave Gingrich a pass.

“Newt was a private businessman who went out and engaged in a contract and I’m sure he earned that money and if he earned the money, I don’t see any reason he should give it back,” he said. “That’s just gotcha politics. I’m not going to play that game.”

That could be because Santorum himself had several such contracts. In the last year and a half, Santorum took more than $300,000 for “consulting,” including with a Washington-based lobbying firm.

Six months after he left Congress, Santorum -- who grew up in Western Pennsylvania and represented a district in Congress there in the early 1990s -- joined Consol Energy as a “consultant.” Consol bills itself as “the leading diversified energy producer headquartered in the Appalachian basin” and also has its name on the Pittsburgh Penguins hockey arena. It paid Santorum $142,500 in the last year and a half for “energy policy consulting services.”

He made $65,000 from American Continental Group, a DC-based lobbying firm, for “legislative policy consulting services.” And he made $125,000 from a DC-based public-relations firm, the Clapham Group, also for “consulting services.”

Much of the rest of his money comes from five rental properties in State College, PA. Those, valued between $500,005 and $1.3 million, brought in between $75,005 and $250,000 in the last year and a half for him.

He doesn’t have much in the way of an investment portfolio. He has between $100,001 and $250,000 in stock with Universal Health Services, as well as 10 E-Trade accounts valued at between $10,010 and $150,000. He has a checking account valued at between $50,001 and $100,000, 36 IRAs valued at between $211,000 and $1.1 million, and 18 529 plans valued between $18,000 and $270,000.

Santorum also has liabilities totaling between $365,00 and $800,00, including two mortgages on his State College rental properties ($350,000 to $750,000) and a Ford auto loan that isn't paid off yet ($15,000 to $50,000).

NBC’s Adam Perez contributed to this report.