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Posted: 5/26/2002 5:14:09 PM EST
[size=4]Daschle: No Conflict, Won't Release Tax Returns[/size=4]

At a May 14 press briefing, Daschle told a reporter it would be "a very serious ethical violation" if the Republican Party used a White House photographer or government property in offering contributors a photo of President Bush taken on September 11.

Immediately after Daschle gave this answer, Human Events Assistant Editor David Freddoso asked him if it was a conflict of interest for his wife to lobby for major government contractors and whether he would release the joint tax return he and his wife file detailing the income she receives from that lobbying. Here is a transcript of the exchange:

Reporter: Sir, do you think it’s appropriate that Republicans are selling photographs of President Bush fielding calls on September 11 in—as a fundraising technique?

Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D.-S.D.): Well, I don’t have all the information yet. As you know this story just broke this morning. But I think that, clearly, there would be a very serious ethical violation were White House photographers or any government property involved in this affair. We’ll have to get more information before we comment more publicly on that.

Human Events: Sir, Sen. McCain [R.-Ariz.] has criticized a proposal for the Air Force to lease Boeing 767s. Isn’t it a conflict of interest for Mrs. Daschle, the wife of the man who sets up every vote in the Senate, to lobby for major government contractors like Boeing?

Daschle: Well, my wife doesn’t lobby in the Senate at all. So—she has limited her activities to the House, and I think that’s appropriate.

Human Events: Senator, did you and your wife file a joint tax return this year? And if so, will you release it?

Daschle: Yes, we did. We always do.

Human Events: Would you release it, sir?

Daschle: No, we don’t.

Human Events: Will you?

Daschle: No.

Human Events: Thank you.

*                       *                   *

On Thursday, May 16, Human Events Editor Terence P. Jeffrey and Assistant Editor David Freddoso left a set of questions on the voicemail of Linda Hall Daschle, wife of Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle (D.-S.D.). The questions pertained to her lobbying activities. (See cover story.) Jeffrey and Freddoso also sent the questions to her directly via e-mail. Later that day, Human Events received an e-mail response made on Mrs. Daschle’s behalf by Bob Bauer.

Here is the e-mail exchange between Human Events and Mrs. Daschle and her representative:

Dear Mrs. Daschle,

We just left a message on your voice mail asking questions relevant to stories we are working on (deadline this afternoon) about your lobbying activities. For your convenience here are our questions in writing:

1) Isn’t it a conflict of interest for you to represent and derive income from government contractors when your husband is responsible for scheduling votes relevant to their government business?

2) Do you consider it a conflict of interest for you to represent companies who received contracts from the FAA under your watch as Deputy and Acting Administrator?

3) How did you secure Intelli-Check as a client? Did you approach them? Or vice versa?

- continued -
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 5:17:16 PM EST
4) What did you do for Intelli-Check? Did you set up meetings on their behalf with any government agency or official in the Administration or the legislature? Did you make any contacts with such people on their behalf? If so, whom did you meet with, or contact?

5) Would it be a conflict of interest for First Lady Laura Bush or for the Vice President’s wife, Lynne Cheney, to lobby for government contractors?

6) Would it have been appropriate for Laura Bush or Lynne Cheney to lobby the federal government, after September 11, on behalf of a company marketing an "anti-terrorism" device?

Our deadline is this afternoon. Thank you for your consideration.

—David Freddoso and Terry Jeffrey

I am replying on behalf of Linda Hall Daschle to your questions.

Your questions assume generally that Linda Hall Daschle’s independent professional life has generated some ongoing "conflict of interest," because her husband is a member of the United States Senate and its Majority Leader.

Mrs. Daschle does not accept any suggestion that she cannot pursue this independent career, which preceded her marriage to Senator Daschle.

Mrs. Daschle has, however, addressed any potential conflict by adopting a policy, which exceeds the requirements of conflict-of-interest rules or requirements, of not representing clients in the United States Senate. In other words, rather than avoiding any lobbying of her husband and his office, she will also not lobby any other Senator, their staffs or Committees. This policy is noted on each of the reports she files pursuant to the Lobbying Disclosure Act. Moreover, you should be aware that unlike other Republican spouses of high-level office holders, such as Rebecca Cox [wife of Rep. Chris Cox], Ms. Daschle signed a pledge not to lobby for [sic] her former agency for four years. [Editor’s note: The Clinton Administration had a five-year ban on lobbying one’s former agency. Then-Rebecca Range left the Department of Transportation in 1987, not to lobby but to join the Reagan White House.]

Spouses and even children of both Democratic and Republican elected officials have been recognized to have the right to pursue independent professional careers, as Lynne Cheney has. We note, for example, Mrs. Phil Graham’s [sic] service on the board of Enron following her tenure on the CFTC, which had regulated the company, and while her husband served as Chair and Ranking Member of the Senate Banking Committee. Elizabeth Dole directed the Red Cross, which receives substantial federal assistance, while her husband served in the Senate as Majority Leader, and Elaine Chao headed the United Way while her husband [Sen. Mitch McConnell] served as Chair of the Rules Committee.

In some cases, spouses have seen fit to adopt some limitations to avoid actual or perceived conflicts, as Linda Hall Daschle has done in declining to represent clients before the United States Senate and pledging to avoid any lobbying of her former agency, the FAA, for four years. Other spouses have not addressed the issue at all or have declined to adopt such measures.

These facts do not appear to have informed or influenced your questions. Perhaps your reporting will now take on this broader perspective. If it does not, then the suggestion of partisan bias—rather than objective "newsgathering"—will be inescapable.

*                       *                    *

—Bob Bauer

Eric The(Hmmmm)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 5:18:48 PM EST
Article is at:[url]http://www.humaneventsonline.com/articles/05-20-02/capitolq&a.htm[/url]
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 5:32:25 PM EST
[b]A Little Something To Rattle Sen. Daschle (D-SD) [/b]

From the title of this thread I thought someone was threatening to remove the frills from Senator Daschle's undergarments. [:D]
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 6:13:10 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 6:22:03 PM EST
How about [b]two[/b] Democrat Senators from South Dakota!

Senator Tom Daschle, and Senator Tim Johnson!

What are those people up there thinking?

[b]BTW, Bush carried South Dakota 60% to 37%![/b]

Eric The(Astounded)Hun[>]:)]
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 6:26:23 PM EST
If Bush carried SD then that means come election time sen aschole hopefully will be gone.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 6:36:16 PM EST
How about [b]two[/b] Democrat Senators from South Dakota!

Senator Tom Daschle, and Senator Tim Johnson!

What are those people up there thinking?

[b]BTW, Bush carried South Dakota 60% to 37%![/b]

Eric The(Astounded)Hun[>]:)]
View Quote

Same thing with ND, two democRAT senators. The problem is that the farmers like free government money too much, and these socialists bring home the bacon. This is why I alwayse laughed at farm kids in high school who would run down welfare folks.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 6:46:47 PM EST
My guess would be they had a hell of a nice carrot to dangle in front of the farmers. That and bashing the Rebublican cadidates with ads saying they vote against the Farmers...

Aviator  [img]www.milpubs.com/aviator.gif[/img]
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 7:02:54 PM EST
Same thing with ND, two democRAT senators. The problem is that the farmers like free government money too much, and these socialists bring home the bacon.
View Quote

In short - follow the money.
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 7:08:06 PM EST
I really hate that guy!

"Puff Daschle"
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 7:29:18 PM EST
Link Posted: 5/26/2002 7:34:21 PM EST
I really hate that guy!

"Puff Daschle"
View Quote

Welcome home fellow Ditto Head !
Link Posted: 5/27/2002 1:54:21 AM EST
Wasn't McGovern SD, as well?  Something to do with the thinking there.
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