February 3rd, 2009
12:26 PM ET
9 years ago

New York Times calls for Daschle to withdraw

Daschle met with the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

Daschle met with the Senate Finance Committee Tuesday.

(CNN) - As Tom Daschle makes his case to remain President Obama's choice to lead the Department of Health and Human Services, the nation's leading liberal editorial page is calling for the former Senate Majority Leader to withdraw his nomination.

In Tuesday's lead New York Times editorial, the paper's editors write Daschle's failure to pay close to $130,000 in taxes for a car and driver service over three years is too big a mistake for Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee to overlook as they consider his nomination.

The paper's editorial board particularly takes issue with the fact that Daschle has said he identified the unpaid taxes last June, but did not pay them until he was nominated for the top post at the Department of Health and Human Services.

"Only after the Obama transition team flagged unrelated tax issues that would require filing amended returns did Mr. Daschle and his accountant address the need to report the personal use value of the car service — more than $255,000 over three years — as income," the board writes.

Earlier: Daschle 'deeply embarrassed' over tax issues

The editorial also criticizes Daschle for generating a sizeable income from health-related industries while working in the private sector. The former South Dakota senator has advised UnitedHealth Group, serves as a trustee of the Mayo Clinic, and has been paid "hundreds of thousands of dollars for speeches to interest groups, including those representing health insurance plans, medical equipment distributors and pharmacy boards," according to the Times.

"Mr. Daschle is another in a long line of politicians who move cozily between government and industry. We don’t know that his industry ties would influence his judgments on health issues, but they could potentially throw a cloud over health care reform," the editorial said.

Watch: Daschle issues an apology

The editorial comes one day after Daschle met privately with members of the Finance Committee, the panel which is slated to on his the nomination next week. The committee's chairman, Sen. Max Baucus of Montana, issued a statement of support for Daschle after the 75-minute closed-door meeting.

White House Spokesman Robert Gibbs also said Monday President Obama continues to stand behind his HHS nominee.

"I think the Senate will lay a serious, but corrected, mistake against that three-decade career in public service," Gibbs said.

Watch: Daschle's tax troubles

Filed under: Tom Daschle
soundoff (180 Responses)
  1. Fuyuko

    If Obama wants to be taken seriously employing Daschle is a crime.
    The man is a crook. Personally, I find this terribly embarrasing

    February 3, 2009 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  2. Tanisia Greer

    He should step down from the nomination.He's distracting Obama's administration and burning up precious political capital that could be spent on other more worthy fights.

    February 3, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  3. Terry

    Dorothy…Close you eyes, click your heels together twice and say "there's no place like Illinois…there's no place like Illinois"

    I'm sure they were the ooooonly ones in the wwwwwwworld who were qualified for the jobs. They are also weally…weally….sawwwy.

    So Daschle is a tax evader with a wife who is a lobbyist…he should sail thru the confirmation. We now have another tax evader, one who had an illegal worker, the largest conflict of interest nominee ever, attorney general Holder with shady dealings in defending terrorists & a pardoner of crooks, even a socialist appointed and ….lobbyists all over the place even after the Executive Order of no lobbyists. I think that Executive Order lasted one day.

    What does it take to be a disqualified nominee?

    February 3, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  4. Patiem

    I am a big time Obama supporter, but I feel Daschle should withdraw. This is just more of what we need to eliminate from government.

    February 3, 2009 12:00 pm at 12:00 pm |
  5. Jackie P.

    Too bad Al Capone did not think of the oversight excuse and did not profusely apologize for his tax evasion. He would have missed the luxury of San Quentin! Where is Elliot Ness when you need him??
    Jackie P.
    Dorset, VT

    February 3, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  6. Robin

    He needs to withdrawl. I'm not allowed to make a "mistake" on my taxes.

    February 3, 2009 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  7. JP

    He should go to jail for tax evasion. Thats what happens to regular people.

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  8. jp,michigan

    There certainly are big problems ,when the men and women you put on the Hill or nominate for jobs in a so called transparent administration, don't comply to the rules the rest of American have to follow. From June 2008 to January 2009, there was more than sufficient time to take care of matters. What kind of vetting did the Obama administration fulfill? Pay for play, you helped us during the campaign so we will make sure you have a position.

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  9. Doug in New Mexico

    Well, Washington ain't gonna change overnight and one man by himself is not going to do the changing. You gotta work with what you got or you got nothing.

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  10. Andy J, Upstate NY

    holy crap

    i actually agree with something printed in the NYT.

    well, i guess thats a "change".

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  11. Douglas Morrell

    Mr. Daschle doesn't like to pay his taxes and is in cahoots with United Health Care (cheats patients and doctors and just settled a $350 million with New York State). He needs to go and be replaced with someone who is honest enough to pay his taxes and not be within the influence of companies like United Health Care.

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  12. John

    I agree. While he may be a good man, There are others out there that would do well and right now it is more important for Obama to keep his image of being an ethical president than to reward a supporter.

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  13. Bruce

    It is difficult to believe that someone equally if not more) competent without all the partisan (Daschle was an enormous obstructionist as Senate majority Leader) and IRS baggage could not be brought in to do this job. Where is all the change we were promised?

    I'd be more inclined to not have our lawmakers involved in getting the economy back on track and addressing the other issues that we face. When was the last time they got anything right?

    Bring in a task force of everyday citizens to put together a plan to fix what ails our country. People without an agenda.

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  14. Die Hard Dem.

    As much as I hate to agree I think Dachle should withdraw from the running. Geitner only owed like 25K, but we just can't take another cabinet member with tax trouble, especially 130K!!!

    February 3, 2009 12:03 pm at 12:03 pm |
  15. Andy J, Upstate NY

    I think Obama should say "Due to recent events, I am ordering the IRS audit every politician in Washington, starting with the President and all White House staff, then moving to Congress. EVERY Washington politician will be audited, then the IRS will resume its normal procedure for auditing citizens. We are going to clean up Washington FIRST."

    THAT would be a change to believe in

    But he won't. Obama is a fraud.

    February 3, 2009 12:04 pm at 12:04 pm |
  16. NEL E BELL

    didn't this happen with the gov. of new mexico too. I give up why be honest and play by the rules. become a politician and the rules don't apply. THIS IS GETTING TOBE A SERIOUS PATTERN.

    February 3, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  17. Luke Brown

    Daschle's ties to the health care industry on demonstrate to me that he knows something about health care. His book is very important and shows he knows what needs to be done.

    Remember Dick Cheney served eight years as vice-president while actively maintaining his ties to energy companies and financial interests in defense contractors.

    February 3, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  18. who runs the IRS?

    You partisan wipes on both sides make me sick.Your arguing while the real crooks that robbed us make their gettaway.There are trillions of untaxed dollars hidden in offshore accts and swiss banks,but I dont see anyone crying about it.Talk about "the FORREST FOR THE TREE SYNDROM".

    February 3, 2009 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  19. ray

    Dashcle should withdraw his name. He falls into the category as Mr Fuld (Lehman Brothers) and all the white collar theives. They are all sorry once they get caught.

    Mr Obama should do a background check first. OH, Sorry,! if he did that he would not have anyone of Clinton's cornies on his team.

    This is the second time that one of Obama's picks did not pay their back taxes. Does this tell the American public anything. THERE IS NO CHANGE – OBAMA RAN ON FALSE HOPES – ONLY TOLD THE AMERICAN PEOPLE WHAT THEY WANTED TO HEAR. It worked, but in the long run OBAMA will falter. Only see him for one term

    February 3, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  20. r sisk, nevada

    I am a staunch democrat and feel ashamed with these "tax evaders".

    The tax laws for many are very confusing and complex. It is not out of the ordinary for errors to occur and the correct protocol is to rectify the situation promptly. Sounds to me like this is not the case with Dashle.

    I want to know why Obama is standing behind Dashle? Is there more to the story than we are being told?

    February 3, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  21. John

    I agree. He should ne even hold public office. But stop blaming Obama. He did not know of this until after the nomination. I think you will find that almost every politician has somthing to hide be it taxes, bribes, sex, driugs, whatever.

    February 3, 2009 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  22. equal treatment under the laws

    He should not only withdraw his nomination, he should withdraw from the Senate. The new attorney general should be bringing charges against him just like they would any other American.

    February 3, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  23. Mike in LR

    Chicago machine politics in Washington. If these were nominees of a Republican administration they would be gone already. Daschle is a crook just like most of the Washington insiders. I really gave BO a break and thought he would at least keep his promises about ethics and lobbyists. So far all he's done that he said he would do is put us in jeopardy by closing Gitmo, try to shove a catastrophic spending spree down our throats, and secretly negotiate with terrorists.

    I can say I told you so because I didn't vote for this..........fella.

    February 3, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  24. EBC

    NO WAY, then Cheney, Donald Rumsfeld and Karl Rove need to return those millions they gave themselves in TAX BREAKS while sucking this country DRY under George W. Bushy!

    Stop the finger pointing people, there's more than ENOUGH blame to go around. The last eight years of George W. Bush wasn't lead by Choir Boys. Get real. We need to move on and get to work and stop wasting time on these childish political "tit-4-tat" blame game.

    February 3, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  25. NYT reader

    Yes, NYT is correct. We are liberals but also know when something is wrong. Unlike Repugs who continue to excuse Palin's $150k shopping spree..

    February 3, 2009 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
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