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Daschle Withdraws Nomination

Discussion in 'Political Zone' started by Dallas, Feb 3, 2009.

  1. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Tom Daschle has withdrawn his nomination for health and human services secretary, after fielding mounting criticism over his failure to pay more than $130,000 in taxes.

    President Obama stood by Daschle Monday, telling reporters that he "absolutely" supports the former South Dakota senator. But the president accepted Daschle's withdrawal Tuesday morning.

    It was unclear whether Daschle, with his deep network of ties in the Senate stemming in part from his time as majority leader, would have been able to weather the criticism in confirmation.

    Senators were reluctant to state publicly any opposition to Daschle's nomination in recent days. But that started to crack Tuesday morning, as Republican Sen. Jim DeMint called for Obama to withdraw the nomination -- becoming the first senator to say that the former majority leader's tax problems are disqualifying.

    DeMint told FOX News that Daschle's failure to pay $134,000 in federal taxes reflects a "problem with integrity" that the government cannot afford to tolerate. DeMint spoke out against Daschle as a number of prominent newspapers, including The New York Times, called for the South Dakota Democrat to drop his bid.

    DeMint said he came to that conclusion after it became "obvious" that Daschle knew about the tax problems long before his nomination and did nothing to make it right.

    "The average American would likely face criminal charges with tax evasion of this size, yet he did not address the issue until he was nominated," he said.
    Daschle has since paid $146,000 in back payments and interest, and apologized on Monday for what he called income tax errors.

    The New York Times, in its editorial, complained that Timothy Geithner was already confirmed as treasury secretary despite his tax problems.
    "It would send a terrible message to the public if we ignore the failure of yet another high-level nominee to comply with the tax laws," the Times wrote.

    Several other newspapers, including the Chicago Tribune, Philadelphia Inquirer, Boston Globe, and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, also have called for Daschle to withdraw.

    But Democratic Sen. Chuck Schumer earlier said Daschle's own admission that he had failed to pay the taxes was reason enough to forgive his sin.
    "Clearly it was a bad mistake, and Daschle was the first to come up with this in June 2008," Schumer said. "It wasn't discovered by the administration's vetting team but rather by Daschle himself much earlier and he brought it to the attention of the administration's vetting team when he was chosen as a potential nominee for HHS."

    Obama's pick to be the White House's first performance officer, Nancy Killefer, also withdrew her nomination on Tuesday because of her own tax liabilities, namely a $946 tax lien imposed by the D.C. government for failure to pay $298 in unemployment compensation tax on household help.

    Noting the importance of the post, Killefer wrote in her withdrawal letter to the president that "my personal tax issue of D.C. unemployment tax could be used to create exactly the kind of distraction and delay those duties must avoid."
  2. Dallas

    Dallas Old bulletproof tiger

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    Income Tax errors.

    130k dollars of Income Tax Errors.

    Riiiiiight !!!!

    Hey Trick. If I ever owe you $130k dollars, I am going to be a few years late in paying it.

    Errors n all. You know how it is.
  3. Duane

    Duane Active Member

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    I think this is great news for most people on the left and right. His lobbyist ties never sat right with me.
  4. zrinkill

    zrinkill Diamond surrounded by trash

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    Do these people really believe that?

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Hey Duane,

    Good to see ya posting. However, this forum is no place for a stand up guy like you.

  6. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Is it so hard to find people with expertise in their respective fields who actually pay their taxes like the rest of us?

    Here's your teaching moment, Mr. President.

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    No, I think they hope you believe it because it may be only a matter of time before they themselves are trying to explain away a simular situation in their own personal state of affairs.
  8. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Good...that guy should not even be in DC and that is not even considering this tax situation.
  9. Sasquatch

    Sasquatch Lost in the Woods

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    Mother Jones Blog on the Daschle debacle:

    As the Senate Finance Committee reviewed \Tom Daschle’s financial records on Monday, Daschle himself apologized for “the errors that required me to amend my tax returns.” But that apology didn't turn out to be enough. On Tuesday, Daschle withdrew his name from consideration as the Obama administration's Health and Human Services nominee.

    Throughout all this, however, he offered no apologies for the riches he reaped quite legally by serving the interests of private health care companies.

    There are plenty of things in Daschle’s financial history that should have alarmed the White House and his former Senate colleagues a lot more than a car and driver he forgot to report to the IRS. (Some of them are well documented by others here at Mother Jones.) But no one seemed much concerned about such matters--a fact that in itself reveals the inherent weaknesses in President Obama’s restrictions on former lobbyists serving in government.

    Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was one of several leading Democrats who defended Daschle on the Sunday morning news shows. Kerry declared that Daschle’s tax issues were an “innocent mistake” that would not affect his ability to perform his job ”one iota.”

    Yes, it’s probably true that being driven around in a Cadillac and not paying taxes on it won’t compromise Daschle’s capabilities or independence as HHS secretary or "health czar." The same cannot be said about all the income that Daschle did report to the IRS. As described by the New York Times:

    As a politician, Mr. Daschle often struck a populist note, but his financial disclosure report shows that in the last two years, he received $2.1 million from a law firm, Alston & Bird; $2 million in consulting fees from a private equity firm run by a major Democratic fundraiser, Leo Hindery Jr. (which provided him with the car and driver); and at least $220,000 for speeches to health care, pharmaceutical and insurance companies. He also received nearly $100,000 from health-related companies affected by federal regulation.

    Mr. Obama has instituted rules requiring former lobbyists in his administration to pledge not to deal with former clients...As a strategic adviser to companies, Mr. Daschle did not have to register as a lobbyist, and is not technically covered by those rules.

    "He's never lobbied, therefore he’s not in violation of the pledge," [Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs said. "The president is comfortable with Senator Daschle’s variety of experiences and backgrounds. It's why he believes he’s best suited to the efforts to reform our health care system."

    The Washington Post offered further details on how "exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington":

    Daschle's expertise and insights, gleaned over 26 years in Congress, earned him more than $5 million over the past two years, including $220,000 from the health-care industry...

    He also has been a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. For part of the $2 million he received from the law firm Alston & Bird over the past two years, Daschle also reported that he gave "policy advice" to United Health, a conglomerate that sells insurance, helps the government administer Medicaid, advises drug companies and physicians and dispenses prescriptions.

    The 12 organizations or companies that paid Daschle speaking fees, ranging from $12,000 to $30,000, included the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and America's Health Insurance Plans, an influential trade group.

    The Health Industry Distributors Association, a trade association representing medical product distributors, wrote to Daschle last week to express concerns about proposed Medicare changes and reminded him of the $14,000 speech he delivered at its conference last year.

    Daschle had pledged that for a year following his confirmation he would not have participated in any matters where "a former client of mine is a party or represents a party." But he never enumerated who all of those parties might be. It appears, in fact, that InterMedia Advisors, the private equity firm that provided him with the car and driver, may be one of the few sources of Daschle’s income that presented no possible conflict of interest (although it does own a few questionable properties, including the magazines Guns & Ammo, Handgun, and Shooting Times.)

    An earlier story in the New York Times illustrates just how far former officials can go without ever acquiring the status of "registered lobbyist." The Times described Daschle's role at the law and lobbying firm of Alston & Bird, which "represents dozens…of pharmaceutical companies, health care providers, and trade groups for nurses and nursing homes":

    Although not a registered lobbyist, Mr. Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat who was party leader in the Senate, provides strategic advice to the firm’s clients about how to influence government policy or actions. The firm’s Web site declares, "Our health care legislative and policy team has the significant advantage of including two former U.S. Senate majority leaders–Senators Bob Dole and Tom Daschle–both resident in our Washington office and champions of many health care issues in their Senate Finance Committee and leadership roles."

    As examples of the firm’s achievements the Web site lists matters involving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, approvals of federally regulated drugs and medical products, fraud investigations, medical waste disposal, privacy and other compliance issues.

    Daschle, of course, is no different from hundreds of other high-stature elected officials who use their political influence to provide what Alston & Bird calls "significant advantage" to private corporations dealing with the federal government. Few of them ever become registered lobbyists—so few would be disqualified or impeded by Obama’s pledge.

    The future of health care reform depends largely on the Democrats’ ability to stand up to the drug companies and insurance companies who drive up costs and drive down access and benefits. If he'd become HHS secretary and health czar, Daschle would have led this reform effort. Personally, I was less concerned about his tax-free car rides than I was about his work on behalf of the very industries he would have been charged with reigning in for the good of the American public.

  10. JBond

    JBond Well-Known Member

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    That should free up some of his time to so he can concentrate on not paying this years tax bill.
  11. BrAinPaiNt

    BrAinPaiNt Backwoods Sexy Staff Member

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    Word is he is taking a turbo tax correspondence course and invited Timmy to join him. :laugh1:
  12. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament...

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    Withdrawing was the right thing to do... at least he got something right...

    Now pay your taxes...
  13. Heisenberg

    Heisenberg That gum you like. Zone Supporter

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    I mean, I don't have tons of different income sources nor anything too complicated to deal with when I do my taxes, but really, is it that difficult to just pay your damn taxes?

    ABQCOWBOY Moderator Staff Member

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    Presidential Nomination Form - Administrative Cabinet

    Check yes if member of the Demcratic Party. Yes

    Check yes if far left political stance. Yes

    Check yes if no aversions to questionable political practices. Yes

    Check yes if you can not stand the sight or sound of Rush and would support any effort, legal or otherwise, designed towards the removal of Rush from any and all media forums. Yes

    Check yes if you have cheated on your taxes. Yes

    Applicants Name: Tom Daschel

  15. Joe Rod

    Joe Rod When Keeping it Real Goes Wrong

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    Good news and thank you Sen. DeMint
  16. sbark

    sbark Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    Mark Steyn reported Dachle went thur a IRS Audit in 2006........brings to question the competence of IRS....or the amount it takes to pay them off...:eek:

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