...Former Sen. Tom Daschle, tapped by President Obama to lead his healthcare reform campaign, failed to pay more than $128,000 in taxes in the three years before Obama nominated him in December to head the Department of Health and Human Services.
The disclosure -- involving unreported income and the use of a car and driver provided to Daschle -- comes 2 1/2 weeks after Obama's choice to head the Treasury Department, Timothy Geithner, admitted that he had not paid about $43,000 in taxes.
...The bulk of the unpaid taxes -- first reported Friday by ABC News -- stems from a lucrative business relationship that Daschle began with a wealthy investor shortly after Daschle left the Senate in 2005.
That year Daschle was paid $83,333 a month -- or $1 million a year -- to advise a private equity fund, according to a confidential draft report prepared by Republican staffers on the Senate Finance Committee.
Hindery, a Democratic donor who made a fortune in cable television, also provided Daschle with a car and driver beginning in April 2005.
Daschle estimated that 80% of his use of the car was for personal reasons. But he did not pay any taxes on the service until Jan. 2, 2009, when he filed amended returns for 2005, 2006 and 2007.
Daschle this month paid more than $100,000 in taxes and interest for the car service, according to Backus.
He paid an additional $32,491 to cover taxes and interest for a monthly payment that was not reported in 2007....Daschle has thus far paid a total of $140,167 in back taxes and interest, according to the draft committee report.
Daschle failed to pay $128,000 in taxes - Los Angeles TimesRepublican committee staff members are continuing to look into Daschle's travel on a corporate jet owned by education loan provider EduCap Inc., according to one staffer who was not authorized to speak publicly about the issue.
From another article:
Tax issues shadow Obama health nominee Daschle | ReutersThe aide said there were also concerns about Daschle's participation in several trips to Jordan and the Caribbean with a student loan company, EduCap, aboard the nonprofit company's $31 million private jet.
"There's a question of whether a nonprofit organization that was charging students an 18 percent interest rate should be spending money on going to Jordan and the Caribbean on a $31 million corporate jet, which costs a lot of money to run as well," said the aide.
The committee report did not include any details about the EduCap trips, but said staffers were still reviewing whether travel and entertainment services provided by EduCap, the Catherine B. Reynolds Foundation, Academy Achievement and Loan to Learn should be reported as income.
It will be interesting to see whether this is bad enough to make Senators deviate from their usually friendly attitude toward their colleagues.