Tom Daschle (b. 1947) is a Washington lobbyist and former Senator from South Dakota, and Senate leader for the Democratic Party. He was nominated as the Secretary of Health and Human Services in the Obama Administration. However on Feb. 3 he was forced to withdraw because he was one of several top Obama nominees who deliberately evaded paying his federal income taxes. Daschle avoided $128,000 in federal taxes over a period of years, paying the taxes and penalties only after he had been named to the cabinet. The back taxes involved unreported consulting fees, questionable charitable contributions, and a car and driver provided by a private equity firm run by a longtime Democratic Party donor who had paid Daschle $2 million a year for his political advice. Obama has supported Daschle, pointing out that legally he was not a "lobbyist" and is exempt from Obama's rules against corrupt dealings.
A leading Democrat, he served as Congressman from South Dakota (1978-86), and Senator from 1987 to 2004. He was Senate Leader from 2001 to 2004, both as in the majority and minority as control of the Senate switvched back and forth. In 2004, he was defeated for re-election by Republican John Thune. He is a Catholic and served in the Air Force after graduating from South Dakota State University. He is married to Linda Hall, a prominent lobbyist in her own right.
Daschle served in the US Air Force from 1969 to 1972.
In October 2001, Daschle's office was the recipient of a letter containing anthrax. This was a part of an anthrax scare involving several politicians and media personalities.
- Daschle, Tom. Like No Other Time: The 107th Congress and the Two Years That Changed America Forever (2003) excerpt and text search