February 3rd, 2009
12:26 PM ET
5 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. Andrea

    17 states sorry

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  2. Bill Charlotte, NC

    No one is a more faithful Democrat than I; and Daschle needs to go.
    In order for Obama to lead, the country must have confidence in him. He needs to realize, he is close to becoming like his predecessor... a joke!

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

    Today marks history. I agree 100% with a NY Times op/ed :)

    Please withdraw Daschle, it's the right thing to do if you care about Obama administration and this country. It's not about you!

    February 3, 2009 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  4. artas

    As Roosevelt – Obama with 12 democrats & 3 republicans in cabinet
    AS Lincoln – Obama with 3 rivals in the cabinet
    Obama – the biggest celebrity and cherished and loved one in the world
    A black & white president
    A christian & muslim president
    A kansas & Kenyan president
    A slim & tanned president
    A brigh t & articuate president
    the one & only one-first black president in US history
    Came into office to clean the Bush sh–t
    Wait for one year-American glory will be back
    Obama will go as the best president ever in American history

    February 3, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  5. SHIRLEY "60"

    No one can tell me that there are no conservatives or republicans in politics who have not had or have tax problems. Democrats for some reason have an aversion to pointing them out, however. Remember, repubs are the party of real greed at the expense of all Americans. Just listen to what they say over and over about more and more tax cuts for themselves. Do you think they are more honest or just more devious?

    February 3, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  6. Jim

    read the full story below! total amount is spread over three years..daschle is guilty and he should bow out. if obama supports it, it's no change as he promised.

    "Mr. Daschle said he became concerned last June that he might owe taxes on it and instructed his accountant to investigate. Neither was concerned enough to actually pay the taxes.

    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. Only after he had been chosen to be the health secretary did Mr. Daschle tell the transition team about the unpaid taxes. He paid some $140,000 in back taxes and interest on Jan. 2 to settle several tax problems — and he acknowledges owing more"

    February 3, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. AMERICA FIRST!

    OK, SO HE SHOULD HAVE PAID HIS TAXES LIKE THE REST OF US, MY PROBLEM IS THAT THE NYT IS NO WHERE IN THE POSITION TO DECIDE WHO SHOULD STEP DOWN, IF SO WHY DIDN'T THEY CALL FOR BUSH/CHENEY TO STEP DOWN BEFORE THEY PUT US IN THIS HUGE DEFICIT THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA INHERITED. MY QUESTION TO THE NYT, WILL THEY INSIST THAT THE CURRENT ADMINISTRATION PURSUE THE WAR CRIMES OF THE PAST ADMINISTRATION (GITMO)? THE NYT HAS THE RIGHT TO PRINT WHATEVER THEY WANT TO HOWEVER THE NOMINATION OF TOM D IS QUITE FRANKLY UP TO THE ELECTION COMMITTEE THIS IS THE LAW OF OUR COUNTRY NOT THE PRESS. TO KEN, AND WHY ARE WE IN A TRILLION DOLLAR DEFICIT? REMEMBER CHENEY/BUSH AND A STAKE IN IRAQ/AFGANISTAN IT IS WASN'T WMD BUT ANOTHER 3 LETTER WORD CALLED OIL.

    February 3, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  8. Susan

    I am a supporter of Pres. Obama. That being said, I am beginning to see why people are already having doubts about him. If the news organizations can so easily find out about the appointees financial/tax situations, shouldn't the presidnet's advisors do so before suggesting these people for positions of authority? As one of the multitude of people who don't come close to making in a year what one appointee owes in taxes, I am offended.

    Please scrutinize these folks more closely and stop making exceptions for those who have made these "mistakes". It send the wrong message.

    February 3, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. Chad, Wisco

    The Liberal Media has now turned on the Liberals. Does that mean the media might become fair? Dont bet on it.

    February 3, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Susan in Sunnyvale, CA

    I like Daschle, but he should withdraw. However, I would like to see every senator and representative audited thoroughly this year before they audit any of the rest of us. Anyone who serves in public office should be audited every year. IMHO

    February 3, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. Brian

    I echo calls for Daschle to withdraw his name for this position. I can't help but recall that it was Daschle more than anyone who carefully scripted freshman senator Obama's senate votes, public appearances and travel as he prepared him to run for the presidency. Now he sees his payback as appointment to the very agency that would oversee the same corporations that he lobbied for in the private sector.

    Daschel appointed as head of the Department of Health and Human Services would look IDENTICAL to Dick Cheney giving no bid contracts for Iraq rebuilding to Haliburton; the company he was in charge of before the Vice Presidency.

    Mr. Daschle, if you truely care about democracy and public service without the appearance of special interest, do the right thing and keep your day job as a private sector lobbiest/consultant.

    February 3, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  12. Baze

    I agree, Daschle needs to take a hike. His situation is too much of a cross to bare, and you can't tell me that there aren't other candidates that can do at least a sufficient job in replacement.

    February 3, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  13. TPage

    Wow, what a great start for the new messiah. Is there anything this man can do wrong that the ardent supporters will actually blame him for? If ANY Republican administration had started off with this many problem appointees the press (not just that liberal rag in NY) would have had a field day! The hypocrisy is getting almost unbearable.

    Change we can believe in!!!

    February 3, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  14. Allen

    I SECOND THAT MOTION! (Typical LIMOSOUINE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT......raise taxes on everyone else and then weasel out of paying your own.)

    February 3, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  15. hayseed from upstate NY

    How sad.

    I'm not sad for Tom Daschle...he'll be fine. I'm sad that while Obama is trying to create an A-Team in Washington - our honor team candidates are failing.

    He should withdraw his name. For the sake of the process and the integrity of the Obama administration. We don't need another Rove/Ashcroft cover-up.

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. Frank

    Who cares about his mistake. We're in so deep that we need to focus on important issues.

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. artas

    He is fine for the job. Republicans have many crooks like Rove.
    Dashle & Geither -atleast they are competent people.

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  18. Allen

    I SECOND THAT MOTION! (Typical LIMOSOUINE LIBERAL DEMOCRAT......raise taxes on everyone else and then weasel out of paying your own.)

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  19. Bob in Pa

    Are you sure this came from The New York Times ?
    Now if we could just get them to take a close look at some Senators and Congressional members and do some real reporting, maybe we could get their circulation up.

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

    While the tax offending Democrats' tax dodges do not stand equal to the corrupt Republican abuses engaged in by the likes of Duke Cunningham, neither are they acceptable. Geithner, Daschle and the rest should have no place in this government. They may fit neatly in a Republican administration but we should be demanding (and they should be offering) a much higher standard of personal and professional ethics to solve the vast array of problems facing the nation today.

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  21. Larry

    I think I've yet to read about the New York Times taking issue with the oil companies shoving it up the American peoples butts with 9 Billion Dollar per quarter profits

    Yet they feel people cheating a little on their taxes is uncommon in Washington

    I can only imagine some of the unique tax dodges the New York Times uses on a yearly basis

    I think the NEW YORK TIMES SHOULD MAKE THEIR TAX RETURNS PUBLIC ... then we can see just how honest these stone throwers are

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  22. M

    Daschle is a conflict of interest! He must go...where is the accountability, Mr. President?

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  23. Bev

    Let's see....no lobbyists are allowed in his administration yet he has nominated a dozen or so so far...and he has nominated three people who haven't paid their taxes, one of which who wants to work in the treasury department and blamed Turbotax for his "mistake. What happened to ethical government? If this had been the Republicans the news media would be having seizures by now.

    February 3, 2009 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Obama 2.0

    Unfortunatly, I agree. The reason is because of the standards that were set during the campaign for a diferent type of gov. It is not only the tax issue but his dealings with health care related companies. It just does not look good and is not a good way to get bi-partisan support. We cannot do what is right only when it is fun or good for us. We have to do it even when it hurts.

    February 3, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  25. Bill in California

    This is more fun the any SUPERBOWL. The DEMS have the ball, are tackling their own team members AND running the wrong direction.

    February 3, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
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