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How did not one … not two … but three high-level administration appointees with tax troubles slip through the Obama vetting net?

Supporters of the new president must surely be wondering that, and whether any more such bombshells lurk. Today, Tom Dsachle, Obama’s choice to serve as architect of a health care reform package and as secretary of the Health and Human Services department, withdrew from consideration. Daschle last week had admitted his failure to pay more than $100,000 in taxes over the past several years.

Nancy Killefer, Obama’s choice to serve as chief performance officer, also withdrew her name from consideration, saying questions over her payment of D.C. unemployment tax on household help could be a problem. (According to reports, she resolved the issue within a matter of months in 2005.)

Only Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner, already confirmed by the Senate, has chosen to stay on (for now) despite having similar tax problems.

While Obama can certainly recover from today, it’s not an auspicious sign for an administration just getting off the ground.

Posted by Michael Hardy on Feb 03, 2009 at 12:12 PM


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