February 3rd, 2009
12:26 PM ET
6 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. Val in MA

    jeane February 3rd, 2009 11:59 am ET

    wow, this is going too far now….The media is starting to tell an administration what to do and drugging them down?

    ________________________________

    Jeanne, dear, I wonder if you would have said the same thing you just said had it been a Republican administration with the nominee like like Daschle. Get a clue already – you just don't want the media to expose your king Obama for what he really is.

    Here is what Obama said in June of 2008:

    "I know that in every campaign, politicians make promises about cleaning up Washington. And most times, you end up disappointed when it doesn't happen.

    "So it's easy to become cynical - to believe that change isn't possible; that the odds are too great; that this year is bound to be no different from the last. But I also know what I've seen and what I've done. I know that for me, reform isn't just the rhetoric of a campaign; it's been the cause of my career."

    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN! Awesome!

    February 3, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  2. jd

    Another one bites the dust. No way should this nominee even be consider for such a post. Bottom line is unless you get caught why report it. Now that its a major issue the Democratics want to do something about it. And you want this man?

    February 3, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  3. ANAG LOS ANGELES, CA

    who ever the vetting team members are all need to withdraw

    February 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  4. MG

    NYT comes to the party way too late.It's only after days and days of public outrage that they see the writing on the wall and climb on board. Without be dragged kicking and screaming they wouldn't have done this.

    February 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  5. John

    I can't believe I agree with the NYT!!!

    There's light at the end of the tunnel. At this rate the Republicans should take back both the house and the senate in 2 years. I just hope obama doesn't do too much more damage by then...

    February 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  6. Joe

    This kind of behavior only reinforces the perception of most Americans that all politicians are crooked. The only difference is in degree!!

    Disgusting, isn't it?

    Joe

    February 3, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  7. alamoman

    If three nominees have had tax issues, how many more have gotten away with tax evasion? Did you notice all of them make a pile of money? I really think that a thorough audit of all of the people who hold high offices including congressman, senators, governors, senior staff at federal and state governments should be done routinely and frequently. If they are caught, prosecute them to the full extent. Law abiding, tax paying public have supported all of these tax cheats for too long.

    February 3, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  8. Mangus

    I completely agree that he should step down. Me, and so many other Americans, are getting sick and tired of politician after politician being corrupt and thinking they are untouchable: John Roland, Elliot Spitzer, that dude with the bad hair from Illinois, the Mayor of Hartford, Nancy Killefer ......... who else am I forgetting? Get rid of them all. They do not deserve these positions.

    Daschle knew exactly what he was doing and what he wasn't doing. Yaaa for the media and the Internet for helping to expose these crooks.

    February 3, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  9. patrick

    A former US Senator who does not pay his taxes, not only doesn't deserve a position in the current administration , he deserves to be in jail.

    February 3, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  10. Do you Job CNN!

    Doug – What are you hiding in your closet Are you so perfect that you can point a figure?

    February 3, 2009 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  11. rachel

    So funny all the trash talk about Hillary and Bill they seem to be the only ones who laid everything on the line for public to see during Obama's vetting process.

    February 3, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  12. Steve from Wisconsin

    To Diana Ewing NJ: Daschle is in trouble for failing to pay taxes, and even Democrats are beginning to suggest that he should step aside. But your response – let's talk about Sarah Palin. Is that really the best you can do?

    February 3, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  13. larry from minnesota

    Barack needs to make those very hard decisions to withdraw his nominations for those who do not pay their taxes. As every good citizen knows, we all have to be honest and careful in paying our taxes if we want our country to work..

    February 3, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  14. Humored In Texas

    Personal to Barack wins and America collectively loses:

    Let's see your comments on Mike Brown of FEMA.

    February 3, 2009 12:42 pm at 12:42 pm |
  15. AMERICA FIRST!

    TO LARRY AND FRANK YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY RIGHT, WE HAVE BIGGER PROBLEMS THAT WE SHOULD FOCUS ON, YOU ARE ALL FORGETTING ABOUT AIG, CITICORP, THE BIG 3 AUTOS MAKER GETTING THEIR HUGE BONUSES ON THE BACKS OF THE AMERICAN TAXPAYER, OH I GUESS THAT EXCLUDES TOM D BUT WHY AREN'T WE JUST AS ANGRY AND DEMAND ANSWERS AND QUITE FRANKLY A RETURN FOR THESE JERKS. I GUESS WE GAVE BANK OF AMERICAN $45 BILLION AND THEY SPONSOR THE SUPERBOWL PRE-GAME PARTY AND THEIR EXECUTIVES WE IN THE SUITE, WOW I AS A TAXPAYER DIDN'T GET INVITED. SO PEOPLE LET'S BAND TOGETHER AND ASK PAST AND PRESENT ADMINISTRATION WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO ABOUT THESE CORPORATIONS WHO SPEND OUR MONEY AND DEMAND THAT THEY PAY BACK ALL OF WHAT THEY SPEND ON BONUSES AND OTHER HIGH PRICES PARTIES.

    February 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  16. Erin

    How do I become a politician this would mean i can not pay my taxes and not have to worry much about the irs coming after me for penalties and get away with being a murder suspect and as long as i dont talk to the media if I can just wait long enough i can get a wicked paying job in the presidents cabinet.Does anyone remember that whole shandra levy story you people plastered all over the airways for a month or longer.Nah what difference does that make lets give him a nice cushy job in the government we where hard on him lets pity him.Hey its an Obamanation or is it obmination?

    February 3, 2009 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  17. Pam for America & Obama

    Why is it so hard to find honest people to fill these positions? There are more crooks in DC than is most jails.
    I support President Obama BUT we don't need yet another tax evader on his staff. Sorry Daschle but you gotta go!
    The list is getting very long and we can't turn a blind eye anymore.
    Geitner
    Dodd
    Schumer
    Rangel
    Killefer
    Daschle and last but not least there are some very disturbing contribution issue for the Clintons'. That is a lot of Democrats who not doing the right things. Help us out Mr President. I support you, I really do but get us some honest people PLEASE.

    February 3, 2009 12:47 pm at 12:47 pm |
  18. Denise in MD

    Well, seems as though Dash listened...

    February 3, 2009 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |
  19. Dan

    "Yes we Can!" But, No we have'nt yet! All of this seems like business as usual to me. If you look through the so-called stimulus package, you will find tax breaks for Hollywood along with many other political paybacks. What a joke! You guys who trash anything closely related to Bush while condoning all of this nonsense – are the biggest hypocrits I have ever seen! It's like going to a basketball game and cheering every good call along with cheering every bad call – as long as its for your team. Call it like it is – Daschle is a greedy crook. He never intended to pay those taxes.

    February 3, 2009 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  20. Terry

    Do Americans know how to spell?

    February 3, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  21. Cathy Brandes

    If an investigation was done on what GOP members have run into the same issue, we may not have anyone left in congress. He made a mistake, like countless others. Let he who is without sin cast the first stone!
    That said, Senator Daschle has resigned and a new person will be chosen and we will move on – too many other issues on which to concentrate. I am sorry to see him do this as he is an expert in this field and we need to fix the health care system.
    My comment to Doug, you don't get a comment after the country and the world has suffered under 8 years of Bush and even worse, Cheney. He continued his ties to defense contractors and the energy companies and we have not even started on the issues with Rumsfeld and Rove – ENOUGH! This is all political tit for tat.
    Bigger problems folks, bigger problems – my guess is most of America has at one time or the other, has an issue with their taxes!

    February 3, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  22. Jean

    ANOTHER ONE

    Nancy Killefer withdrew her nomination because of taxes.

    This is what happens when you have a bunch of Zombies that fall in line like sheep to vote for YES WE CAN, YES WE CAN.

    CHANGE WE CAN BELIEVE IN.

    You Betcha!

    February 3, 2009 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  23. flo

    Is there any with out sin.

    February 3, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  24. sunny

    We here in the US go above board about everything. People at that position can get busy with many issues and some get missed out. I think we must not create hue & cry of the smaller issue and look at the bigger picture. We have let go the Stock Market sharks off the hook. Where was New York Times when our 401k has shrunk to nothing due to mismanagement of financial sector. The big bonuses issued to Wall Street idiots which are based on performance. We know they have not performed so not entitled to receive any bonuses from bailout money they received.

    If Mr. Daschle can change Department of Health and Human Services and with his abilities can add benefits to American people, issues like oversight of nonpayment of car services etc will be negligible. So let him do what he is best at, instead of raising the questions of accountability.

    February 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  25. Eric

    Can't rich people HIRE accountants to ensure that these types of "mistakes" don't happen? Seems a little fishy that he would just "forget" about paying that much in taxes.

    February 3, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
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