Tom Daschle, the former Senate Democratic leader, expressed his remorse in a letter to the Finance Committee, saying he was "deeply embarrassed and disappointed" about what he said was an unintentional failure to pay taxes that he owed. He recently filed amended returns for 2005-07 to report $128,203 in back taxes and $11,964 in interest.
In his letter, released Monday, Daschle sought to explain how he overlooked taxes on income for consulting work and the use of a car service. He also deducted more in charitable contributions than he should have.
"I apologize for the errors and profoundly regret that you have had to devote time to them," he told committee members.
"I disclosed this information to the committee voluntarily and paid the taxes and any interest owed promptly," Daschle wrote. "My mistakes were unintentional."
On another matter, a financial disclosure form Daschle filed about a week ago showed that he made more than $200,000 in the past two years speaking to members of the health care industry that Obama wants him to reform.
The speaking fees were just a portion of the more than $5.2 million the former senator earned over the past two years as he advised health insurers and hospitals and worked in other industries such as energy and telecommunications, according to a financial statement filed with the Office of Government Ethics.
Among the health care interest groups paying Daschle for speeches were America's Health Insurance Plans, $40,000 for two speeches; CSL Behring, $30,000; the National Association of Boards of Pharmacy, $16,000, and the Principal Life Insurance Co., $15,000.
Daschle's wife has been a big time Washington lobbyist for years. The Hits just keep on coming!