Welcome to Obamas “change & new style of government”….aka [Obullshit]

Republican Senate Finance Committee members are preparing to grill President Obamas pick for Health and Human Secretary;  former Senate majority leader Tom Daschle about his failure to pay more than $128,000 in taxes for 2005 to 2007. And Republicans are interested in hundreds of thousands of dollars that Daschle earned for consulting and speaking to health-care companies and groups in the years after his left the Senate in 2005.

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Though not a “registered lobbyist”, the South Dakota Democrat over the past two years earned more than $2.1 million as a “special policy adviser” at Alston & Bird, a law firm with more than 50 lobbying clients in the health-care industry.

Remember this? (“you have to use shame”….and references to insurance & health companies)

“There is a lot of concern on the committee,” said one GOP staffer not authorized to speak on the record.

In addition to the taxes, Republican lawmakers plan to ask Daschle about his work at Alston & Bird, whose clients have included pharmaceutical companies such as Abbott Laboratories, hospital groups such as HealthSouth and pharmacies such as CVS Caremark.

Daschle also represented Minneapolis-based UnitedHealth, one of the country’s largest health insurers, Daschle spokeswoman Jenny Backus said.

And there’s another troubling relationship that has emerged, that being the one between Daschle and the nonprofit student loan company EduCap.  The Senate Finance Committee said it was trying to determine whether trips to the Bahamas and the Middle East provided to Mr. Daschle by the company should also have been reported as income.

The Senate Finance Committee expects to disclose this week the results of a two-year investigation into the possibility that Mr. Daschle’s client EduCap abused its tax-exempt status by providing lavish entertainment and travel to its officers and their guests, including Mr. Dashcle. Mr. Daschle is an old friend of Catherine B. Reynolds, EduCap’s chief executive.

Another client paying for his policy advice was UnitedHealth, a giant insurance company with many issues pending before the Department of Health and Human Services. About a third of its $81 billion in revenue last year came from federally regulated sales of Medicare Advantage and Medicare supplement and prescription drug plans.

The company boasted in its annual report that “one in five Medicare recipients participates in a UnitedHealth Group Medicare program.” (Mr. Daschle has said he will recuse himself from matters involving former clients.)

Affiliated with the firm Alston & Bird, Mr. Daschle has operated in the gap between the popular understanding and “legal definition” of a lobbyist. There is no evidence that he directly sought to influence his former colleagues or other government officials in ways that would have required him to register as a lobbyist or could have run afoul of the restrictions on former lobbyists entering the Obama administration. But the rules still left plenty of room for him to advise businesses seeking to influence the government or to profit otherwise from the fame and insights he acquired in public life.

“Did he attempt to influence? Maybe,” said Thomas Susman, an official at the American Bar Association and author of its lobbying manual. “Did he advise others in the business of influencing? Probably. But he wasn’t a lobbyist.”

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7 Responses

  1. These guys are all just a bunch of crooks and eventually they will all be exposed for the worthless piece of crap that they are.

  2. Obama chastises the insurance and the drug companies, then the Clintons for meeting behind closed doors. Now – he’ trying to funnel BILLIONS into the Health & Human Services Department — and let Tom Daschle control those funds! Daschle has been meeting with these very companies for the past 4 years as a “special policy adviser”. Yep, Obamas man has been lobbying and cutting deals with the drug and health insurance companies for nearly 5 years…..and Obama thinks we’re stupid enough to believe the deals haven’t already been cut! How long is this insanity going to continue before the 52% of America wakes from their Obama Wet Dream? (sorry for the foul reference, but that’s what it is).

  3. I can’t even stand looking at the bumbling prick — what a loser — he’s so f’ing dirty.

  4. ditto….how is it though, that we know it and millions STILL do not?

  5. He’s a total loser. I say no to all of it. I swear if Daschle is confirmed I’m hitting the streets. The teacher’s union is having a protest tomorrow in front of city hall. I’ll be sure to take my Flip. Fuck this shit.

  6. Puma SF…what is the teachers union striking about? Have they just found out that Obama, the guy they campaigned for and contributed all their money wants to “privatize” public schools?

  7. HA! They are still in denial. It seems IF Obama’s stimulous package goes through the SF schools would supposedly get around $41M but they are so far behind now that won’t make a difference. They protest is against the Governator’s budget cuts. This just totally sucks.

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