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Unfortunately I believe that we are limited in what we can focus on. I think that if we proceed with the partisan sideshow of prosecuting Bush admin. officials, healthcare will get lost in the brouhaha.
— Posted by denamom, Obama's Quandary...

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Daschle's Lobbyist Wife Might Complicate New Post

POSTED: 05:56 PM ET, 11/19/2008 by Derek Kravitz

The newly pegged secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services, former Senate Majority Leader Tom Daschle, might be facing some questions about his wife's lobbying activities.

President-elect Barack Obama has chosen Daschle, a South Dakota Democrat to fill the cabinet post, and that of "health czar." The 59-year-old Daschle, according to sources speaking to The Washington Post's Ceci Connolly and Chris Cillizza, is expected to take the jobs.

Daschle's new position might be complicated by his wife, Linda Hall Daschle, who is a registered lobbyist with the Washington firm of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz. (Roll Call and The Post are reporting that Linda Daschle is set to leave the firm and open her own shop focusing on transportation in January. "Although she does not have health care industry clients, the company does represent numerous health interests," The Post reports, referring to Baker, Donelson.)

At her current firm, she counts American Airlines, Boeing, Cleveland Hopkins International Airport, Lockheed Martin and L3 Communications among her clients, according to her online biography. She has been called a "major lobbying force" by associates, according to The Hill, and The New York Times said she is one of the "most influential professional lobbyists in the capital."

Linda Daschle, a former acting administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration, mainly lobbies for aerospace and airline industry clients, but has worked for some health care-related firms in the past, Senate lobbying disclosure reports show.

She was one of a few Baker Donelson lobbyists on accounts for the pharmaceutical company Amgen Inc. and cigarette makers Lorillard Tobacco and Philip Morris Cos. in 1999.

Daschle has some health care related connections of his own: He serves on the boards of Prime BioSolutions and the Mayo Clinic, among others, and his law firm lobbies for a number of industry clients, including CVS Caremark, the National Association for Home Care and Hospice, Abbott Laboratories and HealthSouth. Daschle does not lobby himself, but his law firm has a lobbying arm.

Republican critics have already noted Daschle's lobbyist connections.

"Since losing his Senate seat, Tom Daschle has worked for a major lobbying firm," said Republican National Committee spokesman Alex Conant. "For voters hoping to see new faces and fewer lobbyist-connections in government, Daschle's nomination will be another disappointment."

Ethical questions surrounding Linda Daschle's lobbying efforts are not new. When she resumed her lobbying career in 1997, she vowed never to lobby her husband or any Senate member.

By Derek Kravitz |  November 19, 2008; 5:56 PM ET
Previous: Was 'Passenger' on Downed Flight a Hijacker? | Next: NYPD Feuds With DOJ, Poor DHS Oversight, Senate to Probe Bond-Raters


Please email us to report offensive comments.

All the same people just keep coming back - like a bad penny. WHERE'S THE CHANGE?

Posted by: PalmSpringsGirl | November 19, 2008 8:45 PM

What a stupid story and an even more stupid headline.

There are 35,000 registered lobbyists in Washington lobbying everything from school lunches for poor kids to tax breaks for oil companies.

Linda Daschle is going to leave her firm because the firm -- not her -- lobbies on health care issues.

How much more careful do you want her to be?

How does this "complicate" things?

DC is full of sleazy, lying, over-promising shake-down artists (like Rick Davis). Linda Daschle isn't one of them...

Posted by: Jaxxon | November 19, 2008 8:56 PM

Jaxxon: 35,000 registered that a good thing? The motives of those who seek their help may often be praiseworthy, but it crowds out ordinary constituents. Kinda post-modern Dickensian.

Posted by: Kaiopect8 | November 20, 2008 8:11 AM

Tom Daschle, his own constituents didn't think he was doing a good enough Job to keep around, and now we all will be forced to have him in a Leadership Position. What are his credentials for this position? Oh thats right he as the Lap Dog of the Liberal Extremist DNC, that says it all. I guess if you can't get elected you can always get appointed.

All the Liberal Extremists like to talk about Republican candidates ties to Lobbyists as being horrible/a travesty, and now that the spotlight is on one of their own, its all good. More Liberal Idiocy.

Posted by: ignoranceisbliss | November 20, 2008 8:18 AM

They're democrats so it doesn't hamper anything! Even though Daschle's wife lobbied for an inferior airport screening system that turned out to be a disaster ol' Tom pushed it on the hill as well cause they both had stock in the company! No problem! She lobbied for airline bailouts, and when appointed by Bill Clinton in '93 to the FAA o0pposed criminal checks on airline employees... read it and weep demos! She's as unethical as they come, though in dem circles unethical is badge of honor n'est pas?

Posted by: vgailitis | November 20, 2008 9:53 AM

Daschle is living on a hugh pension we are still paying for. Obama and his left wing machine will give the big three automobile corporations all the money they want and bring America into a depression like we have never seen, 1929 bust will seem like a Sunday school picnic compared to what we are going to face. The Iraq war cost is nothing like what we are spending on space research and many other foolish programs that will bring America to it's knee's. Obama voters will ask themselves why they ever were tricked into voting for him in the first place. I went through the dirty 30's and know it will happen. History is just repeating itself and most of us are too dumb to know better.

Posted by: Korvet | November 20, 2008 10:36 AM

Tom Daschle was majority, then minority, leader of the Senate for many years. He worked well with Trent Lott, but was way too tough for the ineffectual Bill Frist, and was targeted by Karl Rove. Johnson barely squeaked by to replace Daschle in SD.

He is an exceptionally strong leader and would do well with any position he accepted.

Posted by: roscoerufus2001 | November 20, 2008 10:39 AM

Okay....let me get this straight...electoral college landslide...Popular vote by 6.1%...victor Obama....who gets the chance to pick...hmmmm....oh yeah...the candidate that won...although I will admit...the choice of Clinton for Secretary of State...leaves me a dead artic water fish....on the other hand...I would probably have a tad bit of difficulty running the Nation.....just a tad....Republican guys and gals you lost....rightfully so.....we have had 8 years of real disconnected, disconcerting, morally repulsive leadership...this country....(in which I have had relatives that fought in that real Leftist war, the Revolutionary one, and every conflict/war since)needs to change.....for the people by the people....who elected Barack Obama

Posted by: sekhmetprime | November 20, 2008 11:20 AM

Tom Daschle spent 18 distinguished years in the senate and was not re-elected because of a smear campaign in which he was criticized as serving the nation's interests more than those of South Dakota's own interests. His record on healthcare concerns is very clear for any who follow discussions about healthcare, health insurance, help for older citizens,etc. Commentators would be well advised to know the facts about Sen. Daschle before they shoot off their keyboards!!!! seeberj

Posted by: seeberj | November 20, 2008 11:41 AM


Posted by: jlg70 | November 20, 2008 11:56 AM

Wasn't Daschel voted out of office because of his lobbyist wife?This change is making my head spin.All I see is retreads being brought in to this new hopey changey administration.It is really a hoot to waatch the loser house and senate look down on the loser big 3.They are all the reason we are in the crapper.

Posted by: snowhite415 | November 20, 2008 4:46 PM

I still am waiting to hear the Obama supporters start screaming that all of this is not what Obama ran on. No lobbyist influence, new fresh faces not spoiled by DC, and on and on it goes. When will the public demand some honesty. Instead they accept all the demonetization of companies, industries, people with money, lobbyists, and any group that a story can be built around. Worse yet is the press goes along and never points out how wrong the vision presented is.

The majority of candidates depend on lobby groups to help fund their campaign. There was no way that they would vote to get rid of something they depend on. In any case it is a constitutional right so it really was a total scam anyway.

It is not January but I think that it is clear that things will be done completely based on political motives.

Posted by: raptor5618 | November 21, 2008 2:43 PM

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