Submitted By Todd on January 31st at 9:14am
pure of Tom Daschle.
Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader who President Obama has tapped to overhaul the nation’s healthcare system, was paid $220,000 to give speeches to outfits that have a vested interest in the result the work he would do once confirmed as Secretary of Health and Human Services.The nobility of public service drives him to do what is right, without regard for the fruits of the material world.
Among the companies and groups paying thousands of dollars a pop to book Daschle were some that stand to gain or lose the most depending on the results of Obama’s efforts to enact universal health.And the Obama administration, eager to Change the Way Washington Does Business, will have no part of those who are in Public Service to line their own pockets rather than to do the people's business.
For instance, the Health Industry Distributors Association plunked down $14,000 to land the former Senate Democratic Leader in March 2008. The association, which represents medical products distributors, boasts on its website that Daschle met with it after he was nominated to discuss “the impact an Obama administration will have on the industry.”In comes Obama, out goes the partnership between government and big business.
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 healthcare groups.Just lunch money, or big money?
The speaking fees were detailed in a financial disclosure statement released Friday, which showed that 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.Well, at least he's not a tax dodger like the Treasury Secretary, you chuckle? Sorry. He is.
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.What's a hundred large amongst friends? Notice that Tommy is working for the health care industry, which he has been selected to rebuild, and he's made a ton of money on Wall Street. Daschle has also been a Don in the lobbying industry. Not technically a lobbyist himself, but, in fact, a sort of super-lobbyist.
He 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’s 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.And we wonder why they bailed out the fat cats so fast and furious? They are the fat cats. It would be nice to look back at one of these pols and see that he's using his connections to make good things happen in the world rather than just cashing in.