Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 19

Thread: Tom Daschle's secret life moonlighting for the insurance companies

  1. #1
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    33,488

    Default Tom Daschle's secret life moonlighting for the insurance companies

    The Secret Life of Tom Daschle, Moonlighting For The Insurance Industry



    This is how Washington really works: Even a top liberal advocate for taking a strong stand against the insurance industry takes money behind the scenes from the insurance industry.


    On Sunday, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who was once a nominee to be President Obama's Secretary of Health And Human Services, appeared on NBC's Meet The Press, playing the role of the liberal standard bearer, opposite Oklahoma conservative Sen. Tom Coburn. Daschle spoke out against insurers, praised the so-called "public option," and at one point framed the debate over health reform to host David Gregory this way:
    Well, David, I guess the, the basic question is, are we building this new system for the American people or for the insurance companies? I mean, that's really the key question. How will they be better served?
    Sounds like tough-talk from a man who was introduced on the show as "former Senate majority leader Democrat Tom Daschle, an informal adviser to the White House and author of 'Critical: What We Can Do About the Health-Care Crisis.' " Left unmentioned was the fact that Daschle, in his capacity as a high-paid consultant at the law firm Alston and Bird, is once again working closely with lobbyists for UnitedHealth, the largest U.S. industry player, aiding the company's effort to convince moderate Senate and House Democrats to, among other things, kill the public option and keep company profits high.


    A couple weeks back, BusinessWeek reporters Chad Terhune and Keith Epstein confronted Daschle about his role playing both sides of the health care reform debate. (The entire piece, about how UnitedHealth has already won the health care reform war, is a must read.) Terhune and Epstein write:
    [UnitedHealth top lobbyist Judah] Sommer has retained such influential outsiders as Tom Daschle, the former Democratic Senate Leader who now works for the large law and lobbying firm Alston & Bird. Daschle, a liberal from South Dakota, dropped out of the running to be Obama's Secretary of Health & Human Services after disclosures that he failed to pay taxes on perks given to him by a private client. He advised UnitedHealth in 2007 and 2008 and resumed that role this year. Daschle personally advocates a government-run competitor to private insurers. But he sells his expertise to UnitedHealth, which opposes any such public insurance plan. Among the services Daschle offers are tips on the personalities and policy proclivities of members of Congress he has known for decades.


    Conceding that he doesn't always agree with his client, Daschle says: "They just want a description of the lay of the land, an assessment of circumstances as they appear to be as health reform unfolds." He says he leaves direct contacts with members of Congress to others at his firm.
    Now it is one thing for Daschle to make this convoluted argument--that he can at once advocate the public option while taking money to help those leading the charge to defeat it. It is quite another for Daschle to be allowed on a show like Meet The Press to talk about the insurance industry without any disclosure of the fact that he now works as a strategist for the insurance industry.

    A few weeks back, there was quite a hubbub over MSNBC's decision to allow Richard Wolffe, a former Newsweek reporter turned corporate consultant, to sit in the anchor chair while Keith Olbermann was on vacation. Olbermann later apologized for his producers not disclosing Wolffe's conflict. Daschle's Meet The Press appearence Sunday, however, shows the TV news business has a ways to go before such transparency is standardized.


    The Secret Life of Tom Daschle, Moonlighting For The Insurance Industry - Swampland - TIME.com

    It's definitely not a secret life. There will never be reform while the companies that need reform own Washington. It's so simple a blind man could see it. Why don't voters?
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  2. #2
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by witchcurlgirl View Post
    On Sunday, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, who was once a nominee to be President Obama's Secretary of Health And Human Services, appeared on NBC's Meet The Press, playing the role of the liberal standard bearer, opposite Oklahoma conservative Sen. Tom Coburn.
    Hell, Rachel Maddow was the best part of MTP yesterday. That and Dick Armey babbling like an idiot right next to her. David What's-his-name needs to go. He simply can't moderate or get the conversation to go anywhere. I may be switching to George S.'s Sunday morning show soon.

    Okay, that was a bit off-topic, but I just couldn't help it.
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  3. #3
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    33,488

    Default

    ^ And Armey is as dirty as Daschle with the special interests.

    It's the true bi-partisanship of Washingto. Red or Blue, they all take the green.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  4. #4
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Although, if all he does for UnitedHealth is this:
    Among the services Daschle offers are tips on the personalities and policy proclivities of members of Congress he has known for decades.
    then, I think they're making much more out of it than it really is. He's basically getting paid to tell them how his old buds behave, not actually going up to Congress or to his old Senate buddies and lobbying on their behalf. I mean, if he tells someone to not waste his time convincing so-and-so, is that really moonlighting on the other side?
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  5. #5
    Elite Member witchcurlgirl's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Acerbia
    Posts
    33,488

    Default

    That's not all he does. Here's a great piece on Daschle. Like the saying goes- follow the money.


    The Daschles: feeding at the Beltway trough


    When Barack Obama announced in early December that he had selected Tom Daschle to be his Secretary of Health and Human Services as well as his "health care policy czar," Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi -- who had spent several months studying the inner workings of the 2006 Congress in order to profile its limitless corruption -- wrote the following reaction on his blog:
    I know several reporters who are either officially or unofficially on "Whore Factor" duty, watching the rapidly kaleidoscoping transition picture and keeping track of the number of known whores and ghouls who for some reason have been invited to befoul the atmosphere of the next administration.
    Obviously there has been some dire news on that front already. When Obama picked Tom Daschle to be the HHS Secretary, I nearly shit my pants. In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle would suck off a corpse for a cheeseburger. True, he is probably only the second-biggest whore for the health care industry in American politics — the biggest being doctor/cat-torturer Bill Frist, whose visit to South Dakota on behalf of John Thune in 2004 was one of the factors in ending Daschle's tenure in the Senate.
    But in picking Daschle — who as an adviser to the K Street law firm Alston and Bird has spent the last four years burning up the sheets with the nation's fattest insurance and pharmaceutical interests — Obama is essentially announcing that he has no intention of seriously reforming the health care industry. . . .
    Regarding Daschle, remember, we're talking about a guy who not only was a consultant for one of the top health-care law firms in the country, but a board member of the Mayo Clinic (a major recipient of NIH grants) and the husband of one of America's biggest defense lobbyists — wife Linda Hall lobbies for Lockheed-Martin and Boeing. Does anyone really think that this person is going to come up with a health care proposal that in any way cuts into the profits of the major health care companies?
    How serious Obama is about health care reform remains to be seen. Obama supporters argue that Obama needs someone like Daschle, with credibility within the health care industry, in order to achieve real reform. That's the standard explanation for most of what Obama does (he's only courting the establishment in order to change it), and though highly skeptical, I'm personally willing to withhold judgment until the actual evidence is available regarding what Obama actually does.

    But there's no need to withhold judgment on Daschle himself. He embodies everything that is sleazy, sickly, and soul-less about Washington. It's probably impossible for Obama to fill his cabinet with individuals entirely free of Beltway filth -- it's extremely rare to get anywhere near that system without being infected by it -- but Daschle oozes Beltway slime from every pore.

    Before he was elected to Congress 30 years ago from South Dakota, he had very, very few skills outside of the political arena. He was an Air Force intelligence officer for three years in the early 1970s, then worked for six years as an aide to South Dakota Sen. James Abourezk, then was elected to the House and then the Senate, where he became Majority Leader. So he's spent virtually his entire adult life working on Capitol Hill.




    Despite that (or rather: precisely because of it), after being defeated for re-election to the Senate in 2004, he was able almost immediately to begin earning millions of dollars every year from firms and companies that depend on exerting influence in Congress:
    The release of the financial statement [Daschle] submitted to the Office of Government Ethics [] details for the first time exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington.
    Daschle's expertise and insights, gleaned over 26 years in Congress, earned him more than $5 million over the past two years, including $220,000 from the health-care industry, and perks such as a chauffeured Cadillac, according to the documents.
    Other than his ability to know how to swing doors wide open in Congress, what "expertise and insights" worth that level of compensation does Tom Daschle have? It's pure legalized influenced peddling, and -- upon being booted out of the Congress -- he ran right to it as quickly as he could and engorged himself at the trough as hungrily as possible.

    In doing so, he followed perfectly in the footsteps of his second wife, Linda, who served as the Clinton administration's Acting Administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, and then, once she left her position running the agency that regulates the airlines industry, returned to her extremely lucrative lobbying practice with her largest clients being American Airlines, Northwest Airlines, Boeing, Lockheed and various airports and airport executive associations -- the very companies that she had been regulating. She began lobbying the Senate on behalf of those clients as soon as Tom left the Senate, where -- needless to say -- he has many "friends" and others who remain loyal to him, and she is continuously successful in defeating measures to impose greater regulations on the airline industry and to obtain other massively beneficial legislation for them.





    In 2002, Washington Monthly editor Stephanie Mencimer wrote a thorough exposé detailing how the couple has spent many years in Washington intertwining their political power and private-sector interests, including their joint role -- he as a Senator and she as FAA administrator -- "to reduce safety inspections of an air-charter company owned by a family friend," one which, in 1993, "crashed in a snowstorm in Minot, North Dakota, killing the pilot and three doctors on their way to a reservation clinic" (after numerous accusations of serious wrongdoing, an Inspector General report cleared her of wrongdoing). Time and again, companies with a very substantial stake in legislation before the Daschle-run Senate paid huge fees to his wife. As Mencimer wrote:
    So here's a case where a senator's wife gets a high-ranking government job, which in turn boosts her earning power as a lobbyist. She then represents clients who have business with and give money to her husband. Those clients pay her big bucks to help fight safety regulations and to win government money -- money which helps pay the senator's mortgage. Yet so far, the press and congressional ethics hawks have largely given the Daschles a pass. So why isn't this a bigger story?
    Mostly because no one in Congress has the slightest interest in raising it. Democrats certainly don't want to attack one of their own, and as they point out in defending the Daschles, Republicans are married to lobbyists, too. In addition, both Republicans and Democrats are beneficiaries of Linda Daschle's clients. "This town is so bizarre that Linda Daschle may even deliver campaign contributions to Trent Lott," says the Heritage Foundation's Ron Utt. Indeed, she freely admits to giving campaign contributions to Republicans.
    So who's left to scrutinize the relationship? The answer is the press. But Daschle has them covered too. Unlike Hillary a decade ago, Linda Daschle is a Beltway insider who understands the rules of the game. The main rule is that the effects of your actions, no matter how dubious---say, weakening airline safety---are never grounds for a scandal so long as you first, disclose your actions, and then, don't violate the ethics rules in the process. If Tom or Linda Daschle had secretly taken a free pair of Superbowl tickets from Northwest Airlines and then pushed the airline bailout plan, that would be a big story.
    But the fact that Tom Daschle takes thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Northwest and his wife's firm collects $200,000 a year to lobby for them is no problem at all.
    As Mencimer points out, they know how to stay on the right side of what is strictly legal. There's no evidence they did anything illegal, but it is still blatantly sleazy and corrupt -- exactly the sort of legalized sleaze and corruption that Barack Obama, as a centerpiece of his campaign, vowed to combat. And it's unlikely to matter for exactly the reason Mencimer said: there are very few people in Washington who could criticize this sort of behavior without being guilty of the most extreme hypocrisy imaginable. The oh-so-sophisticated media stars are far too worldly to care about any such access-buying. And when one adds on to that the fact that Daschle is a member in good standing of the incestuous Senate club that must confirm him, it is difficult to see anything happening here other than easy confirmation, no matter how many more incriminating details are revealed (and this is to say nothing of the fact that Daschle was Senate Majority Leader from 2001-2004 when the Democrats perfected the art of submission to the Bush agenda, including the 2002 vote for the Iraq War, which Daschle supported).

    Other than his being more extreme than most, and the fact that he and his wife work in tandem as a public-private team, there isn't anything particularly unusual about how Tom Daschle functions. He's quite emblematic of the Beltway syndrome. But that's the point: while it's unreasonable to expect that Obama will be able to avoid all ethically questionable individuals, it seems rather unnecessary to take one of the most ethically compromised Beltway mavens and place him in charge of a massive industry, one that has been lavishing him with undeserved wealth for the past several years.




    UPDATE: I also can't help but contrasting this passage detailing how Tom and Linda ended up married, from The Washington Monthly article . . . :
    Yes, it's true: Before Mrs. Daschle was Mrs. Daschle, she was Miss Kansas, 1976.
    Petite and blond, with perfect, straight white teeth, Daschle is still strikingly beautiful at 46. But she has a vise-like handshake you wouldn't expect from a beauty queen that suggests the steely interior necessary to survive in Washington power circles. . . .
    She met Tom Daschle on a work trip to South Dakota. At the time, Tom Daschle was a freshman congressman, married to the woman who in 1978 had helped him ring 40,000 doorbells and go on to unseat an incumbent by 14 votes. By 1984, Tom had divorced his first wife, with whom he had three children, and married Linda . . .
    . . . . with this 2003 clip of Tom Daschle, explaining to Jon Stewart that gay marriage must not be allowed because "a man and a woman have a sacred and a traditional cultural bond within this country. . . it's a statement of fact: society is embracing the marriage of a man and a woman, and by and large, that's the way it should be . . . DOMA is the statute and I don't think it's unconstitutional":



    When they met, Tom was 33 and married with three children, and Linda was 23 and single (and 3 years away from having been crowned Miss Kansas). He and his first wife then divorced and Tom shortly thereafter married Linda. It's amazing how many politicians love to self-righteously tout what a "sacred and traditional cultural bond" is the male-female marital union even as they parade around with their much-younger latest wife, whom they met while still enmeshed in a "sacred and traditional bond" with their first wife.

    UPDATE II: Back in June, 2008, when Barack Obama violated his clear commitment to filibuster any bill containing telecom immunity by doing the opposite: voting for cloture on such a bill and then voting of the bill itself, it was -- as Matt Stoller noted at the time -- Tom Daschle who defended Obama's behavior in The Washington Post, by invoking the two leading all-purpose, Obama-justifying clichés: "Those who accomplish the most are those who don't make the perfect the enemy of the good. Barack is a pragmatist."




    What Daschle (and The Washington Post) didn't note, but Stoller did, is this:
    The kicker of course, is that [Daschle's firm] Alston and Bird did work lobbying on immunity for telecoms on FISA [they were AT&T's FISA lobbyist - .pdf], even serving as a recruitment bed for the McCain campaign. And that's what is really going on. Bribery. Tom Daschle goes in the Washington Post and makes the argument that Obama is being pragmatic by caving to big business on a core issue of civil liberties. He preaches the virtues of bipartisanship while working at a firm whose McCain supporting lawyers also support immunity for telecom interests. Meanwhile, Daschle and his wife are and did make enormous sums of money lobbying for the firms benefiting from Obama's so-called pragmatism. It's a sick, perverted, corroded system whereby perpetual political losers like Matt Bennett and affable status quo lobbyists like Tom Daschle push their agenda through journalists like Jonathan Weisman, without any disclosure whatsoever about possible conflicts of interest. And it's bipartisan and flows through the leadership of both parties.
    Tom Daschle is going to end up in a powerful position within the Obama administration, either head of HHS or Chief of Staff. He's going to use the millions he and his wife have made to throw parties, give gifts, have a wonderful life, go to important conferences like Davos, and generally preach in favor of "moderation' and 'bipartisanship". What's important here is that we on OpenLeft and in the blogs in general be educated about who these people really are. Tom Daschle's belief is that moderation and moving to the center is pragmatic, and it is. Or at least it is for Tom Daschle. How else would he make a million dollars a year with his friend Bob Dole [who recruited him to join Alston & Byrd]?
    Here is Daschle's Alston & Byrd page, and here is Dole's. In comments, Jim White wrote: "After reading this post, the only response is to go take a shower. The filth comes through the screen." As Matt Taibbi put it: "In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle."

    UPDATE III: Daschle's colleague at Alston & Byrd (and former Senate colleague), Bob Dole, shockingly announced his vigorous support yesterday for Daschle's nomination, actually saying: "I know of no one who would ever question Tom’s character." For all the trite (and baseless) complaints about partisan warfare in Washington, trans-partisan allegiance to the Washington establishment, to its self-serving rules, and to one another is the far more significant attribute in shaping behavior

    Glenn Greenwald - Salon.com
    Last edited by witchcurlgirl; August 17th, 2009 at 10:06 PM.
    It's no longer a dog whistle, it's a fucking trombone


    All of God's children are not beautiful. Most of God's children are, in fact, barely presentable.


    If I wanted the government in my womb I'd fuck a Senator

  6. #6
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Oh, geez, Glenn Greenwald's quoting Matt Taibbi. There goes the credibility of this editorial...
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  7. #7
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Default

    I don't recall the credibility of the Rolling Stone piece where Taibbi covered lobbying & Congress ever being disputed, which is where his Daschle comment originates. Certain people want to jump on Taibbi after his piece on Wall Street this year, but as the Columbia Journalism Review noted, if the regular financial press can't do their job, then other people will do it for them in ways they don't like.

  8. #8
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I don't recall the credibility of the Rolling Stone piece where Taibbi covered lobbying & Congress ever being disputed, which is where his Daschle comment originates. Certain people want to jump on Taibbi after his piece on Wall Street this year, but as the Columbia Journalism Review noted, if the regular financial press can't do their job, then other people will do it for them in ways they don't like.
    I don't know that Rolling Stone is necessarily the epitome of sterling political journalism. And Taibbi typically sprinkles his articles with token facts around all his fantastical hyperbole. Take this paragraph for instance:
    Obviously there has been some dire news on that front already. When Obama picked Tom Daschle to be the HHS Secretary, I nearly shit my pants. In Washington there are whores and there are whores, and then there is Tom Daschle. Tom Daschle would suck off a corpse for a cheeseburger. True, he is probably only the second-biggest whore for the health care industry in American politics — the biggest being doctor/cat-torturer Bill Frist, whose visit to South Dakota on behalf of John Thune in 2004 was one of the factors in ending Daschle's tenure in the Senate.
    The only fact in it for sure besides Obama picking Daschle is Bill Frist's visit to South Dakota on behalf on John Thune.

    Okay, maybe Taibbi shit his pants, too.
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  9. #9
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Default

    It's not that far fetched a view of Daschle. His wife has been a lobbyist for years, benefiting purely from her husband being a senator. Remember, it was more than just Matt Taibbi calling for Daschle not to be confirmed HHS secretary. Considering Dick Durbin admitted that Wall Street owns Congress, it's prudent to be wary of associations between members of Congress and large lobbying firms.

  10. #10
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Default

    Two articles on Tom Daschle from Mother Jones.
    The Real Problem With Tom Daschle

    — By Nick Baumann | Mon February 2, 2009 10:24 AM PST

    President Obama's nominee for Secretary of Health and Human Services, former Sen. Tom Daschle, ran into a bit of trouble over the weekend over $128,203 in tax problems. But as Glenn Greenwald notes, unpaid taxes aren't the only thing that should make you think twice about Tom Daschle. In 2002, our own Stephanie Mencimer, then an editor at the Washington Monthly, wrote about the relationship between Daschle and his lobbyist wife, Linda:
    So here's a case where a senator's wife gets a high-ranking government job, which in turn boosts her earning power as a lobbyist. She then represents clients who have business with and give money to her husband. Those clients pay her big bucks to help fight safety regulations and to win government money—money which helps pay the senator's mortgage. Yet so far, the press and congressional ethics hawks have largely given the Daschles a pass. So why isn't this a bigger story?
    Mostly because no one in Congress has the slightest interest in raising it. Democrats certainly don't want to attack one of their own, and as they point out in defending the Daschles, Republicans are married to lobbyists, too. In addition, both Republicans and Democrats are beneficiaries of Linda Daschle's clients. "This town is so bizarre that Linda Daschle may even deliver campaign contributions to Trent Lott," says the Heritage Foundation's Ron Utt. Indeed, she freely admits to giving campaign contributions to Republicans.
    So who's left to scrutinize the relationship? The answer is the press. But Daschle has them covered too. Unlike Hillary a decade ago, Linda Daschle is a Beltway insider who understands the rules of the game. The main rule is that the effects of your actions, no matter how dubious—say, weakening airline safety—are never grounds for a scandal so long as you first, disclose your actions, and then, don't violate the ethics rules in the process. If Tom or Linda Daschle had secretly taken a free pair of Superbowl tickets from Northwest Airlines and then pushed the airline bailout plan, that would be a big story. But the fact that Tom Daschle takes thousands of dollars in campaign contributions from Northwest and his wife's firm collects $200,000 a year to lobby for them is no problem at all.
    You can read the rest of Stephanie's story over at the Monthly's site, or check out Glenn's post, where he's exhaustively cataloged how Daschle represents "Old Washington."
    https://www.motherjones.com/mojo/200...em-tom-daschle

    The Daschle Debacle

    — By James Ridgeway | Tue February 3, 2009 10:00 AM PST

    As the Senate Finance Committee reviewed Tom Daschle's financial records on Monday, Daschle himself apologized for "the errors that required me to amend my tax returns." But that apology didn't turn out to be enough. On Tuesday, Daschle withdrew his name from consideration as the Obama administration's Health and Human Services nominee.

    Throughout all this, however, he offered no apologies for the riches he reaped quite legally by serving the interests of private health care companies.

    There are plenty of things in Daschle's financial history that should have alarmed the White House and his former Senate colleagues a lot more than a car and driver he forgot to report to the IRS. (Some of them are well documented by others here at Mother Jones.) But no one seemed much concerned about such matters--a fact that in itself reveals the inherent weaknesses in President Obama's restrictions on former lobbyists serving in government.

    Massachusetts Senator John Kerry was one of several leading Democrats who defended Daschle on the Sunday morning news shows. Kerry declared that Daschle's tax issues were an "innocent mistake" that would not affect his ability to perform his job "one iota."

    Yes, it's probably true that being driven around in a Cadillac and not paying taxes on it won't compromise Daschle's capabilities or independence as HHS secretary or "health czar." The same cannot be said about all the income that Daschle did report to the IRS. As described by the New York Times:
    As a politician, Mr. Daschle often struck a populist note, but his financial disclosure report shows that in the last two years, he received $2.1 million from a law firm, Alston & Bird; $2 million in consulting fees from a private equity firm run by a major Democratic fundraiser, Leo Hindery Jr. (which provided him with the car and driver); and at least $220,000 for speeches to health care, pharmaceutical and insurance companies. He also received nearly $100,000 from health-related companies affected by federal regulation.
    Mr. Obama has instituted rules requiring former lobbyists in his administration to pledge not to deal with former clients...As a strategic adviser to companies, Mr. Daschle did not have to register as a lobbyist, and is not technically covered by those rules.
    "He's never lobbied, therefore he's not in violation of the pledge," [Press Secretary Robert] Gibbs said. "The president is comfortable with Senator Daschle's variety of experiences and backgrounds. It's why he believes he's best suited to the efforts to reform our health care system."
    The Washington Post offered further details on how "exactly how, without becoming a registered lobbyist, he made millions of dollars giving public speeches and private counsel to insurers, hospitals, realtors, farmers, energy firms and telecommunications companies with complex regulatory and legislative interests in Washington":
    Daschle's expertise and insights, gleaned over 26 years in Congress, earned him more than $5 million over the past two years, including $220,000 from the health-care industry...
    He also has been a trustee of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. For part of the $2 million he received from the law firm Alston & Bird over the past two years, Daschle also reported that he gave "policy advice" to United Health, a conglomerate that sells insurance, helps the government administer Medicaid, advises drug companies and physicians and dispenses prescriptions.
    The 12 organizations or companies that paid Daschle speaking fees, ranging from $12,000 to $30,000, included the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy and America's Health Insurance Plans, an influential trade group.
    The Health Industry Distributors Association, a trade association representing medical product distributors, wrote to Daschle last week to express concerns about proposed Medicare changes and reminded him of the $14,000 speech he delivered at its conference last year.
    Daschle had pledged that for a year following his confirmation he would not have participated in any matters where "a former client of mine is a party or represents a party." But he never enumerated who all of those parties might be. It appears, in fact, that InterMedia Advisors, the private equity firm that provided him with the car and driver, may be one of the few sources of Daschle's income that presented no possible conflict of interest (although it does own a few questionable properties, including the magazines Guns & Ammo, Handgun, and Shooting Times.)

    An earlier story in the New York Times illustrates just how far former officials can go without ever acquiring the status of "registered lobbyist." The Times described Daschle's role at the law and lobbying firm of Alston & Bird, which "represents dozens…of pharmaceutical companies, health care providers, and trade groups for nurses and nursing homes":
    Although not a registered lobbyist, Mr. Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat who was party leader in the Senate, provides strategic advice to the firm's clients about how to influence government policy or actions. The firm's Web site declares, "Our health care legislative and policy team has the significant advantage of including two former U.S. Senate majority leaders–Senators Bob Dole and Tom Daschle–both resident in our Washington office and champions of many health care issues in their Senate Finance Committee and leadership roles."
    As examples of the firm's achievements the Web site lists matters involving Medicare and Medicaid reimbursements, approvals of federally regulated drugs and medical products, fraud investigations, medical waste disposal, privacy and other compliance issues.
    Daschle, of course, is no different from hundreds of other high-stature elected officials who use their political influence to provide what Alston & Bird calls "significant advantage" to private corporations dealing with the federal government. Few of them ever become registered lobbyists—so few would be disqualified or impeded by Obama's pledge.

    The future of health care reform depends largely on the Democrats' ability to stand up to the drug companies and insurance companies who drive up costs and drive down access and benefits. If he'd become HHS secretary and health czar, Daschle would have led this reform effort. Personally, I was less concerned about his tax-free car rides than I was about his work on behalf of the very industries he would have been charged with reigning in for the good of the American public.
    The Daschle Debacle | Mother Jones

  11. #11
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    It's not that far fetched a view of Daschle.
    Yeah, it is. It's fantastical.
    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    His wife has been a lobbyist for years, benefiting purely from her husband being a senator.
    From what the article(s) said, she lobbies on transportation, which is her background from the Clinton administration. Are you saying she got that job, too, because of her husband??
    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Remember, it was more than just Matt Taibbi calling for Daschle not to be confirmed HHS secretary.
    Really? As I recall here in Washington, Daschle was lauded as a fine choice for HHS and would've sailed through confirmation hearings until the tax issues came up.

    Heck, if the Senate hadn't let Geithner get by on his tax mistakes, they might have allowed Daschle, but they can't hand out two free get confirmed cards in a row.[/quote]
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  12. #12
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    Yeah, it is. It's fantastical.
    Depends on how closely you follow corruption in Washington. If you don't follow it, you're not going to see it.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    From what the article(s) said, she lobbies on transportation, which is her background from the Clinton administration. Are you saying she got that job, too, because of her husband??
    I sure am. It's not like she was lobbying for the poor and downtrodden, you know, people who don't pay exorbitant sums to their lobbyists.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    Really? As I recall here in Washington, Daschle was lauded as a fine choice for HHS and would've sailed through confirmation hearings until the tax issues came up.
    Howard Dean would have been much, much better. There were plenty of people who wished he would have been nominated for the position before Daschle ever was.

  13. #13
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    I sure am. It's not like she was lobbying for the poor and downtrodden, you know, people who don't pay exorbitant sums to their lobbyists.
    The Clinton Administration hired her because she was Tom Daschle's wife?? Really?? Are you seriously saying that?
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  14. #14
    Elite Member Little Wombat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Posts
    1,616

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Depends on how closely you follow corruption in Washington. If you don't follow it, you're not going to see it.
    Or, are you just seeing what you want to see? Just because you don't like something doesn't necessarily mean it's corrupt.

    Quote Originally Posted by Fluffy View Post
    Howard Dean would have been much, much better. There were plenty of people who wished he would have been nominated for the position before Daschle ever was.
    Dean's name was floated as a possibility. Whether he would have been "much, much better" is pure speculation since it's impossible to quantify something that never happened.
    "Oh! I've been looking for a red suede pump!"
    - Marie (Carrie Fisher), When Harry Met Sally

  15. #15
    Elite Member Fluffy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    5,600

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    The Clinton Administration hired her because she was Tom Daschle's wife?? Really?? Are you seriously saying that?
    I meant her lobbying job. But since you mentioned it, why don't you explain all her qualifications that she got in the Clinton administration since you don't believe any nepotism was involved.
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    Or, are you just seeing what you want to see? Just because you don't like something doesn't necessarily mean it's corrupt.
    So we should follow the money when it comes to regular crooks but not members or former members of Congress? Puh-lease...
    Quote Originally Posted by Little Wombat View Post
    Dean's name was floated as a possibility. Whether he would have been "much, much better" is pure speculation since it's impossible to quantify something that never happened.
    He'd certainly be better than Sebelius.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 0
    Last Post: June 23rd, 2009, 06:21 PM
  2. Senate Republicans cry real tears over fate of insurance companies
    By buttmunch in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: June 16th, 2009, 11:43 PM
  3. Treasury Department now set to bailout INSURANCE COMPANIES
    By buttmunch in forum U.S. Politics and Issues
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: October 25th, 2008, 12:20 AM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •