As featured on p. 218 of "Bloggers on the Bus," under the name "a MyDD blogger."

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Return of the Friday News Dump!

Tom Daschle edition:

ABC News has learned that the nomination of former Senator Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) to be President Obama's Secretary of Health and Human Services has hit a traffic snarl on its way through the Senate Finance Committee.

The controversy deals with a car and driver lent to Mr. Daschle by a wealthy Democratic friend, a chauffeur service the former Senator used for years without declaring their use on his taxes.

It remains an open question as to whether this is a "speed bump," as a Democratic Senate ally of Daschle put it, or something more damaging."

More here. The "wealthy Democratic friend" is Leo Hindery, who was almost Obama's Commerce Secretary. Yikes!

President Obama’s pick for secretary of health and human services, Tom Daschle, filed amended tax returns and paid more than $100,000 in back taxes on Jan. 2, administration officials said on Friday.

Mr. Daschle concluded that he owed the taxes for free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by Leo Hindery Jr., the founder of a private equity firm known as InterMedia Advisors, the officials said.

Mr. Daschle was chairman of the firm’s advisory board. In a financial disclosure statement filed this month with the Office of Government Ethics, Mr. Daschle reported that he had received large amounts of income from InterMedia, including more than $2 million for consulting and $182,520 in the form of “company-provided transportation.”

The larger problem, perhaps, is how easy it is for reasonably wealthy and well-connected people to cheat on their taxes. Or, if you're more forgiving, how hard it is to untangle the complex web of rules in the tax code.

And, with now three reports of trouble with nominations, you have to wonder how world-class that Obama vetting operation is.

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