Sanford D. Horn | Daschle dashed, and rightfully so

Former South Dakota Sen. Tom Daschle, the designee to serve in the Cabinet as Secretary of Health and Human Services, has withdrawn his name from consideration for the post even before the entire Senate could take up the confirmation vote.
Clearly, Daschle made the right move, falling on his sword for two reasons. The most publicized reason was his failure to pay more that $120,000 in back taxes. This was due in part to the former majority leader’s claim of ignorance that his driver and car service were considered income. Why the former senator continued to use such a service after leaving office is a dome-scratcher, especially in the so-called era of conservation.

But the other less discussed reason has to be the fact that Daschle’s wife is a lobbyist in the same industry, thus creating a certain conflict of interest. This is just another example of the new administration not doing their homework and hoping the good-old-boy network – the Senate – the most exclusive club in the world, would give their former colleague a pass. After all, the Senate confirmed Timothy Geithner as Treasury Secretary without breaking a sweat by a large margin, and he will be running the IRS after having tax payment issues. Geithner also had a woman in his employ whose legal immigrant status expired under his watch.

No doubt Daschle saw the writing on the wall when the New York Slimes came out against his being confirmed. Apparently they so-called paper of record is attempting to pull itself up from birdcage fodder, but don’t hold your breath. Now the Senate can go back to work and hopefully tear apart the so-called stimulus package being shoved down America’s throats.

 

– Column by Sanford D. Horn


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