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. Dan

    A large percentage of congress is dirty. They are under indictments, tax evasion, multiple lawsuits, convicted of drunk driving, drug use and bankruptcies. If any of the normal “Joes” out there did what they’re doing, we would be in jail or get fired from our jobs, PERIOD! Yet these knuckleheads are spending our tax dollars like drunken sailors! If they get caught, they should be fired…..

    February 3, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  2. Mickie

    If only they had examined Bush/Cheney's administration a little closer. I would love to see what their crew filed as taxes. I say let Pres. Obama appoint who he wants and let's see if they get anything done - he certainly can't do any worse than the last 8 years.

    February 3, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  3. Nat, NYC

    Democrat is a party of hypocrites. I was right when didn't vote for them in last election. There is a very nice saying: "He (Daschle) would get a pee in his eye and would say it was a God's dew." He must to withdraw!!!!!

    February 3, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  4. bernj

    Tom Daschle is a good man. The IRS matter has been resolved. We need to move on. This nation is in a crisis. Discussing or arguing over this non-issue is insane.

    February 3, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  5. traveler

    I think the partisan comments are short-sighted and stupid. People need to both read and remember. BOTH parties have people with wrong doing in their pasts. I know you want to believe that anything wrong starts with our President who is black now...I am aware that anything that blows through the wind is blamed on Black people or Democrats but the truth is that the people appointed and elected are AMERICANS just like all of those who complain on this blog and are really a reflection of the American populous. People make mistakes on their taxes, shoot, I probably did when I just filed mine a week ago. We need to cast less judgment and get the best person for the job. In this case, it may very well be Daschle, but with this level of problem, he perhaps should withdraw his name.

    February 3, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  6. mjmnc

    these are definitely historic times. our first minority president. a major financial crisis. brittany spears makes a comeback. and now the NY times editorial staff gets one right.

    February 3, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  7. donna

    I am sure Daschle isn't the ONLY one from Congress that is doing this...but he shouldn't have accepted the nomination knowing that he hadn't paid taxes...and the vetting team should have done a more thorough job before offering him the position..it goes both ways...

    February 3, 2009 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  8. BB

    Where was the outrage with all the previous administration's abuses of not just taxes but power, no-bid contracts, etc.?

    What's with the lilly whites (republicans)? They are not totally innocent either. Audit ALL ON BOTH SIDES

    February 3, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  9. Tesap:Savannah, GA

    What we afil to realize is that many of these Senators, Governors etc.... will have skeletons in their closet, not paying taxes is not the worst thing one could do..............

    February 3, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. DJW

    Some of you people do not understand that first he paid for his mistake and second most of the people on the Hill are crooks. We the people let them get a way with it because the government is not transparent.

    Mr Dashle is not the only one.

    February 3, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Mary Nicholas

    ABSOLUTELY: he tarnishes Obama's image. Ethics ethics ethics. Just finished my taxes and yes you ARE RESPONSIBLE! The directions are not that easy to follow. Also Daschle was a lobbyist for heatlh firms–another reason for him to jump ship.

    OBAMA should have had this vetted; if he didn't know that is even more scary.

    People were serious when they said they wanted change!

    February 3, 2009 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. sandyinohio

    It is amazing for me to see the LA Times calling the supposed stimulus bill what it actually is: a huge spending plan to put generations of Americans in debt. NOW THIS FROM NYT? In the same week? Astounding! You liberals might gain some standing and credibility yet.
    ( Have you noticed how many FAMOUS LIBERALS send their children to private school, have private jets, and don't pay taxes, nor give much to charity?)

    Of course he (Daschle) should step aside.

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  13. Donna

    Why didn't the New York times call for the whole BUSH admistration to resign...Get real....

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. B

    Loving these tax evaders...Obama's intellect in nominating these guys is going down the toilet...quickley.

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  15. Joe, Chicago IL

    Bush administration officials with improper tax filings over 8 years = 0

    Obama administration nominees with improper tax filings over 2 weeks = 3 (Geithner, Daschle, now Killefer)

    Dem leadership with improper tax filings = 4 (Frank realestate/taxes, Dodd loans/taxes, Schumer realestate/taxes, Rangel realestate/taxes)

    Daschle should NOT withdraw. He is in line with Obama's other appointees and inline with his party's leadership.

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  16. MK

    No, the blame is squarely on Obama's shoulders. The buck does stop at the oval office....right? A new era of responsibility my foot. The reason democrats don't mind raising taxes is because THEY DON'T PAY THEM.

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  17. Andrea

    Ok, we want to kick this guy out of his job but we allow crooks like Al Frankin to become a senator (MN) when he didn't pay his taxes in 17 days....Priorities!!

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  18. Dave

    John, since Obama ran on the "I'll clean up this town" platform, it really is his fault for not pulling the nomination. Let's stop the double standards.

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  19. Chip in Wyoming

    Kick him out of DC and don't let him come back. He's in the same league with Marion Barry, who also has not paid his taxes.

    February 3, 2009 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  20. John

    Mr. President:

    stop saying these well-educated people are making innocent mistakes with their taxes. I make far less and I do my taxes conscientiously; it is a bit complicated but it can be done and one SHOULD pay attention.

    It's a believable mistake if you overpay. Don't kid me when somebody instead keeps a ton of money that isn't theirs.

    I worked hard to get you elected. Now you should be dumping these people outright who fail such a simple test as paying their taxes.

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. manhandler

    Let's face it. "Change We Can Believe In" was just a catchy little slogan, perpetrated on a super lazy, gullible public that gets most of the infomation they make their electoral decisions on from quick little sound bites. There isn't gonna be any "Change" until we get rid of all the incumbent, bribed gasbags that we call our "Representatives" and demand that their replacements not be allowed to take money or gifts from anyone, anytime, anywhere. Obama will never push for a bribe free legislature. You've been led to the slaughter, folks. Now get in line.

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. sarta

    He is fine for the job.

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. Andrew

    No wonder they have no problems with spending US tax dollars on all these stimulus packages. None of them pays taxes so they don't have to worry about their own money getting wasted.

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  24. Nancy

    One wonders just how many other appointees haven't paid their taxes? Is it Washington policy, not to pay taxes unless cornered,. Can you imagine if us taxpayers had that policy?

    I'm suggesting federal and state appointees be financially reviewed so we the people know the truth!

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  25. Bev

    It's not that Obama didn't know...it's that he continues to support the nomination even after he admitted he knew last June!!! And didn't pay it until he was nominated. Come on!!!! No wonder Democrats want to raise taxes...they don't pay theirs!!!

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
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