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US Senate Dems Back Daschle Despite Tax Errors

Published:

[After a couple of years of this, we might actually miss Bush.Confused]

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- Democratic members of the Senate Finance Committee voiced strong support for the nomination of former Sen. Tom Daschle, D-S.D., to serve as Secretary of Health and Human Services, after a closed-door meeting Monday.

Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., who chairs the Finance Committee, said he will hold a hearing next week to consider Daschle's nomination.

"Senator Daschle made mistakes on his taxes. They were disappointing mistakes, but it is clear that they were not purposeful mistakes," Baucus told reporters after the meeting.

"The fact is, Tom Daschle remains eminently qualified to serve as secretary of Health and Human Services," Baucus continued.

The former Senate majority leader recently paid $146,000 in back taxes and interest to correct lapses on his personal taxes. The questions surround unreported taxable income related to a car and driver provided by private-equity firm InterMedia Advisors LLP, unreported consulting income and improper deductions for charitable giving.

The Finance Committee held a bipartisan meeting Monday to allow Daschle to explain his mistakes in person. Republicans leaving the meeting said they had no comment on private discussions.

The tax problems complicate a nomination that otherwise was expected to proceed without difficulty. They come after revelations about Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's failure to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes, during Geithner's confirmation process, embarrassed the Obama White House.

Daschle also appeared before reporters to reiterate his apology for the errors. "I deeply apologize to President Obama, my colleagues and the American people. I would hope my mistakes would be viewed in the context of 30 years of public service," Daschle said.

Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D., also speaking to reporters after the meeting, said Daschle deserved no blame for the mistakes. He faulted InterMedia Advisors for failing to provide Daschle with a 1099 form to inform him that he had taxable income.

[If we could just get enough dems to catch up on their back taxes, the financial crisis might be solved. Wink][Wesley Snipes must be rolling over in his cell.Thud]

Entry #201

Comments

1.
jarasanComment by jarasan - February 2, 2009, 9:20 pm
Daschle made 5 million dollars last year, I'm sure he understands what Americans are into now. He had a chauffer provided by a "CLIENT" all last year as well as air transpo. Sweet, now I'm sure this is a case of "Do as I say, not as I do".   $5M for opening doors sounds like a lobbyist to me or is it pay for play?
2.
konaneComment by konane - February 2, 2009, 10:27 pm
Nice to his hidden stuff come tumbling out of the closet. :-)
3.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 3, 2009, 1:42 am
I like the euphemism.   "Tax error." I think I'll use it. "I'm sorry Mr. IRS taxman, I made an error."

Although I agree that this behavior is unacceptable, at this point I just want the best people in office to get us out of this mess. It's also not just the Dems, but why wear out my fingers, since we've already gone over this before.   I could name several, but Ted Stevens is still going to get a tax funded pension, even though he was found guilty on 7 counts of failure to report gifts.

Anyway, when it comes to health care, Daschle definitely has the qualifications. I'm not saying politicians should get away with tax evasion, but right now I just want our country to get back to work. It's going to take a lot of time & energy, so we need to be positive and try to work together.
4.
Rick GComment by Rick G - February 3, 2009, 9:12 am
They're killing us with these 'changes'.
5.
time*treatComment by time*treat - February 3, 2009, 9:46 am
LOL. At the rate these guys are going, it'll be news the weeks they *aren't* doing something unethical. Maybe they need lessons from the Illinois state senate to show 'em how to deal with corruption.
6.
justxploringComment by justxploring - February 3, 2009, 12:08 pm
This is nothing new, Rick. C'mon guys. You don't remember Spiro Agnew? Was he a Democrat? Yet he was VP and found guilty of accepting bribes.   I always write too much, so I'll stop at him. As I said before, I can keep naming them, but everyone seems to be focused on bashing Obama and his staff. "Oh, it's always the Dems."

No politican should be above the law. But stop cherry picking the bad guys.
7.
jarasanComment by jarasan - February 3, 2009, 3:20 pm
Repubics reform, dems keep on keepin on.   It is funny people gotta go back to the seventies to find corrupt Repubs.

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