Ex-Senator Tom Daschle stumbled before reaching the health reform starting line. Who can fault him for not seeing those cracks in the pavement like:
1. Not paying his taxes. He failed to claim the value of his driver, a benefit from InterMedia Advisers, a private equity underwriter (PEU). It's not a golf club driver, but a human being, a chaffeur.
2. Not declaring his work for Alston & Bird as lobbying. See Tom doesn't "advocate" for his firm's clients, despite their paying huge money. He needs only rub up against people on the hill to provide value. Apparently, friction accomplishes much. He'll now "not lobby" for DLA Piper, employer of Dick Armey, the man who lowered America's political bar with the Tea Party movement.
The forgiving, forgetful public won't hold it against influence peddler Tom. He marches onward, sometimes up White House stairs. He visited twelve times in 2009, according to White House records. Tom saw the following people:
President Barack Obama
Vice President Joe Biden
Peter R. Orzag
Are any Daschle contacts in the White House?
Senior Adviser Pete Rouse-served as chief of staff to former Senate Democratic Leader Tom Daschle (D-SD) for 19 years. After working for Senator Obama, Pete made the President's top advisers.
How about the White House visitor lists?
Laura Petrou-Chief of Staff Health & Human Services. Laura served on the Daschle staff for 20 years. She had 12 White House visits, mostly to Nancy-Ann DeParle and Peter Orzag.
Jeanne Lambrew-coauthored Tom Daschle's health care policy book. Jeanne had 28 White House visits, eleven with White House Health Czar Nancy-Ann DeParle, one with David Axelrod and the rest with Phil Schiliro.
Elinor Hiller-Health care lobbyist at Daschle's Alston & Bird. Her clients are mostly health care, but she represents Safeway Stores, which has an innovative program for employee health coverage. Safeway's CEO Steven Burd also visited the White House.
Marilyn Yager-Senior Policy Adviser for Alston & Bird.
Paul Tewes-Formerly of Hillebrand-Tewes Consulting which did major work for the Obama campaign. The principals split with Hillebrand forming Hillebrand Strategies, while Tewes started New Partners Inc. Tewes spent time as the political director of the Democratic Senate Campaign Committee while Tom Daschle served as Senate Majority leader. Paul Tewes had four White House visits, split between Jim Messina (Deputy Chief of Staff) and Kristin Sheehy.
Mark Childress-Appointed HHS Chief of Staff, expecting Tom Daschle to be approved by the Senate. When Daschle withdrew, Childress resigned to work as an adviser for Ted Kennedy. Mark is a longtime Daschle confident. He visited the White House three times, twice with Pete Rouse and once with Rahm Emanuel.
Linda Daschle-Wife and lobbyist for a string of firms, including her own. She lobbied on behalf of General Electric. Two visits to the White House.
Lindsay Daschle-USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack's confidential secretary. Four visits to the White House.
I'm sure the Daschle thread is much deeper and dirtier than the pulling I've done thus far. Isn't that the way things work in Washington?