January 31st, 2009
05:10 PM ET
3 months ago

Democrats line up to support Daschle

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Four prominent Democratic Senators spoke out Saturday in support of former Sen. Tom Daschle, whose tax records have come under scrutiny as he pursues a Cabinet position in the administration of President Barack Obama.

Obama nominated the 61-year-old South Dakotan to be secretary of Health and Human Services, and the Senate Finance committee - which will vote on the nomination before the full Senate votes on whether to confirm him - is scheduled to meet Monday to discuss the nomination.

A committee memo obtained Friday by CNN indicates committee members want to discuss the use of a car and driver that Daschle didn't disclose on his income taxes, and nonpayment of taxes on more than $80,000 he earned in consulting fees after leaving the Senate.

Sen. John Kerry, D-Massachusetts, the senior member of the finance committee, released a statement Saturday saying, "Months ago, Tom personally and proactively addressed the taxes issue and took all necessary steps to correct his innocent error."

Kerry's statement did not elaborate on Daschle's actions, but the memo obtained by CNN said Daschle has paid about $150,000 in back taxes and interest to address the problems.

Kerry praised Daschle's experience as a former member of both the House and the Senate, saying "his knowledge of the legislative process is unmatched" and he predicted that if confirmed Daschle "will do a superb job in helping us fix our healthcare system."

Another committee member, Sen. Charles Schumer, D-New York, said Saturday that Daschle had "identified and self-disclosed his oversight."

Democratic Sens. Patrick Leahy of Vermont and Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts also released statements supporting Daschle.

Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa, the ranking Republican member of the finance committee, said Friday that Daschle's confirmation process "established certain tax violations, for which the nominee has amended or is amending (tax) returns."

A source close to Daschle said Daschle had not reported the use of the car and driver because he considered it to be a personal favor from a partner in a company Daschle was doing consulting work for after leaving the Senate.

Daschle's nonpayment of taxes on the consulting work happened when he received an incorrect tax form from the company, the source said, and the company didn't recognize its error until Daschle's accountant contacted company officials in December 2008.


Filed under: Tom Daschle
soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. Laura

    They'll support anything or anyone Obama wants them to

    January 31, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  2. DNC must be changed

    I am shocked the supporters, Sen. Charles Schumer,John Kelly, Ted Kennedy, Partick of Daschle who has not paid tax properly.
    IT'S IMPOSSIBLE FOR DEMOCRATIC PARTY TO CHANGE BY THEMSELF UNDER NANCY PELOSI AND HARRY REID. The following
    disgraced things have happened under Peolosi not for during 10 years, but for just 14 months except Jim McGreevey's case(D-NJ).

    Cohen (D-NJ Rep.-Porn w/child at office)
    Bill Richardson(D-New Mexico Gov.-received illegal dirty money)
    Rod Blago(D-ILL Gov.-Criminal to sale the seat)
    David Paterson(D-NY Gov. took cocaine,had affairs 3 times)
    Jim McGreevey(D-NJ Gov.married man have affair w/gay)
    Eilot Spilzer(D-NY Gov.to buy prostitution & money laundry)
    Charles Rangel (D-Rep NY, Tax Fraud, my district,Tim Geithner(D former NY Treasury Secretary, back-tax snafus)
    Tom Daschle(D-S.D-Tax reporting problem)
    Rahm Emmanuel(D-ILL Rep.-misleading of the Obama's seat)
    John Ed (D-NC the canditate extramarital affair,NC), Tim Mahoney (D-Rep.Fla), Newsome (D-SF Mayor, affair w/wife of his aid), Tony Villar (D-LA Mayor, divorced as affair),
    former Detroit Mayor(D, in Jail)

    January 31, 2009 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  3. legal in Texas

    Sounds to me like someone from the Bush Administration used the IRS to give some people they hated,one last goodbye.This should be counter investigated.

    January 31, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  4. The Truth

    Of course they're all lining up to support Daschle because they're all a bunch of corrupt thieves...democrats see nothing wrong with lying, cheating and stealing.

    January 31, 2009 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  5. JK Ashburn, VA

    Looks like the orientation session for the political appointees of Obama needs to include a tutorial on paying taxes. Is this the sort of "change" we were told to expect? That the political appointees would all be tax scofflaws? Just swell.

    January 31, 2009 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  6. Death of America by Obama

    Behold, obama and the white house circus.

    You people are a disgrace.

    January 31, 2009 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  7. Doug

    The democrats are marching now to the White House beat of O and his chief of staff, The Hammer. Get in line and support another tax cheat from the US Senate Club, oh yes, his state threw him out but he's back. It took two new titles to get him to pay back taxes, wow, history in the making.

    January 31, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  8. Jim

    I am a very concerned resident of NH. My wife and I have invested into a small manufacturing company and have been working within the constraints of our laws. I still work full time in a large corporation since we can not extract enough profits from our small but growing business. I am very unhappy with the high amount of tax liability that we have always had to pay.
    I can not express the disgust that I have for the advancement of tax evaders into high positions that will benefit these despicable, self interest first, morally defunct, social elitists. The ones I am referring to are now Tom Daschle as well as newly appointed Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner.
    I keep hearing how “we” must all pay but I only see corporate greed and even worse government greed as the current mode of operation. The President is going to loose all credibility if he doesn’t adhere to his speeches. His words are cheep but is actions are expensive.
    The bailout seems like an out of control party with my tax dollars. The stimulus program seems like a shopping list for many self serving programs and will not be spread to any real long term stimulus causes.

    January 31, 2009 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  9. Proud American

    Well he sure has my support. Back off Idiot republicans, Democrats have a hugh mess to clean up that you Idiots let.

    January 31, 2009 09:34 pm at 9:34 pm |
  10. tim

    Amy, thanks for saying that when you can't trust a company to give you the appropriate tax document it is sad. The person who provided the limo and the driver to Daschle, and therefore failed to give him the proper tax documentation, was heavily involved in the Obama campaign.

    Sad indeed.

    Change, you tool.

    January 31, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  11. rick

    Lets see now, Obama promised no lobbyist in his administration but now has over a dozen, then Geithner and now Daschle "innocently" discovering making mistakes on their tax returns to the tune of many thousands of dollars, not to mention Richardson that never made it to confirmation hearings. Add in Franks and Dodds pushing mortgages for people who couldn't qualify a few years ago but are now heading up committees that oversee those same problems plus Dodd admitting last summer he got a sweetheart of a deal on his mortgage and promised to supply the paperwork for it but has yet to do so.....The Republicans caused a lot of problems the last 8 years but honestly I don't see any change that Obama has promised other than bankrupting our country due to the pork bill disguised as a stimulus package.

    January 31, 2009 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  12. tim

    Rangle: Fool me once, shame on you

    Geitherner: Fool me twice, shame on me

    Daschle: Fool me three times, what do you call that?

    January 31, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  13. tim

    This is really ridiculous and bordering on outright treasonous. First, a tax cheat gets appointed to head up the IRS. Even the Republican's can't get all of their party to vote against it. Now another tax cheat is set to head up Health and Human Services.

    Not only is Daschle a tax cheat, but what about the guy who gave him the limo and driver and didn't report it as income paid to Daschle. How many more guys around town are doing the same thing? Did you know the person who gave Daschle the "gift" was heavily involved in the Obama campaign? Nobody cares, the the press doesn't even ask the relevant questions.

    January 31, 2009 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  14. rick

    Why isn't the media all over this like they were for Joe the Plumber when it was reported he owed back taxes. He doesn't even have anything to do with our government yet already 2 cabinet members owed thousands of dollars and as Kerry puts it, "an innicent mistake.

    Hipocrits!

    January 31, 2009 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  15. Sye the Pychic

    And you wonder why Rome went up in flames.Half this country hates the other half.Did any of you ever think this is just how a small group of money changers want us?

    January 31, 2009 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  16. john w

    same old hypocritical dumbocrats-so much for this CHANGE thing.

    January 31, 2009 10:07 pm at 10:07 pm |
  17. tim

    Someone needs to coordinate a march on Washington to shut it down. Rush, how about a 2 million man march to clog all the entrances to the capital building?

    I'll come dressed as Bozo, I'll fit right into the circus. Don't step on my big feet.

    January 31, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm |
  18. Laura

    This political season has been a game changer for me. I use to be a Democrat and have changed to Independent. The primaries and this kind of behavior has done it.

    January 31, 2009 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  19. tim

    "Daschle's nonpayment of taxes on the consulting work happened when he received an incorrect tax form from the company, the source said, and the company didn't recognize its error until Daschle's accountant contacted company officials in December 2008."

    A company run by an ardant supporter of Obama. I wonder what Obama thinks of that? Could someone in the press find the courage to ask him?

    January 31, 2009 10:12 pm at 10:12 pm |
  20. German,Irish American

    This guy is a total sleazebag, he used to come back to South Dakota once every 6 years and drive around in his old Pinto trying to make people believe he was just a humble Senator. And for some reason in June he got to thinking maybe there would be a tax on his personal miles from a company car and driver? He also remembered that he "forgot" to include one months paycheck of $83,000 and several payments from speaking at different organizations. I am also sure that even though he received over $200,000 from different health groups, that won't affect any decision he would make as Secretary of Health and Human Services. Obama is now bringing his corrupt Illinois politics to the national level.

    January 31, 2009 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
  21. james jacquette

    Let us see the "wrong form" the nominee says he received. And let Senator Kerry define a "guilty mistake" since $130K in back taxes and interest for a taxpayer who "has amended or is amending his return" is an "innocent mistake" At this rate, about 20% of President Obama's cabinet are tax evaders (look up the difference between tax avoidance and tax evasion) Teapot Dome, anybody?

    January 31, 2009 10:49 pm at 10:49 pm |
  22. Rita

    Talk about cheats, joe the plumber isn't even a plumber! He was probably set up by the republicans to come into view because they simply had nothing to talk about. All you republicans need to get better tax accountants. Stop whining. You should be happy we finally have a president that works for a change. Stop being sore losers!

    February 1, 2009 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  23. gsiofy

    wow , are all dems crooks ??

    February 1, 2009 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
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