Obama campaigned that his “good judgment” made up for his lack of experience. He promised a new style of politics that was transparent and ethical. He insisted that Hillary Clinton and those in her political circle of influence were not the solution but rather they were part of the problem in Washington. And finally he told us that he was fired up and ready to go, ready to lead and deliver change we can believe in on day one!
Here’s the Change Agent explaining his vetting process…..
Obamas pick for Health and Human Secretary Former South Dakota Senator Tom Daschle has just upped the ante in Washington’s tax-avoiding/evading game of “Can you top this?”
Yes recently confirmed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner served up a smooth Capitol Hill Cocktail that consisted of $40,000 in back taxes for unpaid Social Security and Medicare taxes, retirement plan penalties and illegally deducted overnight summer camp expenses. But now the man who Rush Limbaugh used to call “Puff” Daschle during his Senate days has upped to ante to six figures.
Yes Puff Daschle (not to be confused with Puff Daddy) owes $100,000 in unpaid taxes!
After being defeated in his 2004 re-election campaign to the Senate, Daschle in 2005 became a consultant and chairman of the executive advisory board at InterMedia Advisors.
Based in New York City, InterMedia Advisors is a private equity firm founded in part by longtime Daschle friend and Democratic fundraiser Leo Hindery, the former president of the YES network (the New York Yankees’ and New Jersey Devils’ cable television channel).
That same year Daschle began using the services of Hindery’s car and driver.
But not to worry folks, just as President Obama explained that Timother Geithners tax evasion was nothing more than an “honest mistake” Daschle spokeswoman, Jenny Backus assures us that Daschles $100,000 tax boo-boo is nothing more than Daschle “naively” believing the car service was a “generous offer from a friend,” and he discovered only last summer that it is considered reportable income.
And Obamas new ethical, transparent government is coming to the rescue. White House and Democratic allies are coming to Daschle’s defense.
Typical “no big deal” Democratic claims, with White House Deputy Secretary Bill Burton leading the charge, along with Jim Manley, a spokesman for Harry Reid. Republican Congressman Eric Cantor of Virginia counters by saying that “The pattern is solidified. … It’s easy for the other side to sit here and advocate higher taxes because — you know what? — they don’t pay them.”
White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs said in an e-mailed statement last night. “We are confident the committee is going to schedule a hearing for him very soon and he will be confirmed.”Daschle brought the matter to the attention of the Senate Finance Committee “when he submitted his nomination forms.”
So why this became a story during the traditional Friday night news dump, when fewer people are paying attention to what’s going on (and Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity have to wait almost 72 hours before they can pounce on their radio shows)? How long have any senators known about this, and if it’s more than about 24 hours, why didn’t this break once it was known?
Best question: Is six figures the limit before a tax problem becomes important enough to stop a nomination? Do I hear seven? Can you say “Secretary Daschle”?
btw…has anyone heard how Governor Richardson is doing after dropping out of consideration to be Obama Administration ‘Commerce Secretary’ amid a grand jury investigation over how state contracts were issued to political donors. (sounds like the obama stimulus plan, giving money back to his big campaign donors).
So far……that’s 3 that have slipped through Obamas grueling vetting process. Stay tuned!
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