Saturday, January 31, 2009

Tom Daschle is an unethical embarrassment & danger to health care

It is disturbing enough that we as Americans are stuck with a new Treasury Secretary that is a tax cheat and is overwhelmed by Turbo Tax! I am still trying to understand how this guy can possibly be the financial brain-iac we need to save the Treasury Department when he needs Turbo Tax.

But, this whole Tom Daschle nomination for Health and Human Services is ridiculous and an absolute insult to Americans. Let's review (thanks to Politico: http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0109/18237.html)

1. Tom Daschle was paid more than $200,000 by the health-care industry in the past two years;

2. The former Senate majority leader, who gave speeches to firms and groups with a vested-interest in the Obama administration's upcoming health reform, collected the checks as part of a $5 million windfall after he lost reelection to his South Dakota seat.

3. Daschle's nomination to be secretary of Health and Human Services became embroiled in controversy over the last-minute revelation that he had only recently paid long-overdue taxes.

4. Daschle made nearly $5.3 million in the last two years, including $220,000 he received for giving speeches, many of them to outfits that stand to gain or lose millions of dollars from the work he would do once confirmed as secretary of Health and Human Services.

5. America’s Health Insurance Plans, paid $20,000 for a Daschle speaking appearance in February 2007. It represents health insurance companies, which under Obama’s plan would be barred from denying coverage on the basis of health or age.

6. There was a $12,000 talk to GE Healthcare in August, a $20,000 lecture in January to Premier, Inc., a health care consulting firm, and a pair of $18,000 speeches this year to different hospital systems, among other paid appearances before health care groups.

7. Daschle pulled down a total of more than $500,000 from the speaking circuit in the last two years, and $5.3 million in overall income. That includes more than $2 million in consulting fees from InterMedia Advisors, a private equity firm.

8. Daschle, who represented South Dakota in the Senate for three terms, initially failed to pay taxes on the free use of a car and driver that had been provided to him by InterMedia’s founder, high-rolling Democratic donor Leo Hindery Jr., (according to the New York Times). It reported that Daschle this month paid more than $100,000 in back taxes and filed amended tax returns.

Does anyone really believe that Tom Daschle would have ever filed the amended tax returns and paid the back taxes?

9. Daschle reported $182,520.26 of “company provided transportation” on the disclosure form, which also indicates he owns a stake in the company worth between $200,000 and $500,000, as well as a “5 % limited partner profit sharing interest.”

But Daschle reported that only about half of his interest is vested.

Daschle indicates that “upon confirmation, I will divest all my vested shares and unvested shares and relinquish any benefit to which I may otherwise be entitled.”

Oh, okay. Sounds good, Daschle.

10. Tom Daschle also became an adviser to the law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird, which paid him $2.1 million in wages last year and also provided him a 401k and profit sharing plan worth between $100,000 and $250,000, according to the report.

In his three years at the firm, it earned more than $16 million lobbying on behalf of some of the health care industry’s most powerful interests before the department he’s in line to lead.

Though Daschle himself did not register to lobby for the firm, he has advised the firm’s clients on health care issues, according to the firm’s website.


11. Tom Daschle's disclosure indicates he provided “policy advice” to such clients as United Health, AT&T and the politically connected consulting shop Glover Park Group

12. After leaving the Senate, Tom Daschle also landed a host of lucrative board spots, including with the energy giant BP Corporation, which paid him $250,000 in fees, developer CB Richard Ellis, which paid $121,000, and ethanol processor Mascoma Corporation, which paid him $75,000, according to the disclosure.

13. Tom Daschle's financial disclosure shows that Daschle has hundreds of thousands of dollars in stocks and options from CB Richard Ellis and Mascoma, though he indicated he forfeited his unvested stock options and wrote that “if confirmed, I will divest my vested stock options with CB Richard Ellis."

Again, sounds good, Daschle. Good grief.

14. Tom Daschle reported owning homes worth as much as $250,000 each in Aberdeen, S.D., and Altus, Okla., with his wife, a high-powered lobbyist for Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz.

It was my understanding that Obama was keeping lobbyists out of his administration.

______________________________________

I was offered employment with the United States Department of Homeland Security in April 2005 and another position in August 2008.

I have not started working because my background is still being investigated! What background. This blog tells it all!

I don't cheat on taxes. I have committed no crimes. I have no history of drug or weapons use.

But the investigators with the DHS are suspicious of my character and integrity. Why? Because I could not work after:

(1) Dr. Chris Dangles (Carle Clinic Association in Urbana, Illinois) destroyed the functioning of my legs;

(2) I was diagnosed with cancer and underwent surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy; and

(3) I devoted years of my life to care-giving for my elderly, cancer patient father.

I have never taken a penny (not a single penny) of federal or state public aid when I could not work. My family pulled together and helped each other. That is what family is supposed to do.

I have actually been told by federal government officials that I lack character and integrity because I choose to be the primary care-giver for my ill father. I was told that I should place him in a nursing home and get a real, paying job.

What?

I have waited almost four (4) years to obtain federal security clearance because I believe that I would be a tremendous addition to the federal government (immigration).

Federal investigators question my integrity and character after all I have been through? And then out-right dishonest career politicians get confirmed!

1. First, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, who failed to pay $34,000 in taxes while working for the International Monetary Fund in the early 2000s has become confirmed. Apparently his character and integrity are just fine.

2. And now we can expect to be told that Tom Daschle (a man who has figuratively spent that last two years in bed with leaders of the medical industry) made an honest mistake when he failed to pay taxes!


Geez. Frankly, what about me? Being injured by repeated, unnecessary orthopedic surgeries, surviving cancer and then caring for an elderly father would make me a poor federal employee? How is that?

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