Tom Daschle

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Tom Daschle


Tom Daschle is a former U.S. Democratic Party Senator from South Dakota.

President Obama's first nominee[1]for Secretary of Health and Human Services, Daschle withdrew after a controversy about taxes he owed.

He is currently a Special Public Policy Advisor in the Alston & Bird Washington, D.C. office, and is a member of the Legislative and Public Policy Group. As a non-attorney, Senator Daschle focuses his services on advising the firm’s clients on issues related to all aspects of public policy with a particular emphasis on issues related to financial services, health care, energy, telecommunications and taxes. In addition, he advises on trade and international matters.

Tom Daschle is a longtime advisers and mentor to Barack Obama[2].

Early life

Born in Aberdeen, South Dakota, Senator Daschle attended South Dakota State University and graduated in 1969. Following college, he served for three years as an intelligence officer in the U.S. Air Force Strategic Command.

Daschle and Abourezk

After military service, Daschle spent five years[3]as an aide to South Dakota Senator James Abourezk.

The Chile letter

On August 1 1979 Thirty-five U.S. Congressmen signed a letter[4]to President Jimmy Carter demanding that private bank loans to Chile be barred unless the Chilean government chose to extradite three military officials, including the former director of the Chilean intelligence service. The three had been indicted for complicity in the assassination of marxist Unidad Popular government member and KGB agent Orlando Letelier and the killing of Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) staffer Ronni Moffitt in 1976.

In May 1978 the Chief Justice of the Chilean Supreme Court rejected the U.S. request for extradition.

Chief sponsor of the letter was Rep. Tom Harkin (D-IA), who was joined by Congressmen John Burton (D-CA), John Conyers (D-MI), Robert Kastenmeier (D-WI), Ron Dellums (D-CA), Berkley Bedell (D-IA), Richard Ottinger (D-NY), Fred Richmond (D-NY), Robert Drinan (D-MA), Leon Panetta (D-CA), Don Edwards (D-CA); Norman Mineta (D-CA), Pete Stark (D-CA}, Anthony Beileson (D-CA) George Brown (D-CA), Toby Moffett (D-CT), Dale Kildee (D-MI), Eugene Atkinson (D-PA), Michael Barnes (D-MD), David Bonior (D-MI), Adam Benjamin (D-IN), William Brodhead (D-MI), Robert Carr (D-MI), Tom Daschle (D-SD), Tom Downey (D-NY), Harold Hollenbeck (R-NJ), Pete Kostmayer (D-PA), Stewart McKinney (R-CT), Edward Markey (D-MA), Andrew Maguire (D-NJ) Richard Nolan (DFL-MN), Gerry Studds (D-MA), Bruce Vento (DFL-MN) and Howard Wolpe (D-MI).

The Harkin letter characterized the Chilean government as "an enemy of the American people" and urged the President to "take strong action against this terrorist government." The letter was released (9 A.M. on August 1 1979) at the same time a press statement from the Washington, DC, Chile Legislative Center of the National Coordinating Center in Solidarity with Chile, staffed by veterans of the Venceremos Brigade and the Communist Party USA, supported the Congressional letter and urged pressure so that the State Department does not accept a military trial of the three Chileans in Chile as a substitute for extradition and trial in the US

Supported by Council for a Livable World

The Council for a Livable World, founded in 1962 by long-time socialist activist and alleged Soviet agent, Leo Szilard, is a non-profit advocacy organization that seeks to "reduce the danger of nuclear weapons and increase national security", primarily through supporting progressive, congressional candidates who support their policies. The Council supported Tom Daschle in his successful Senate run as candidate for South Dakota.[5] He has also been previously supported by the Council.[6]

Chatting with Castro

In August 1999 Senate minority leader Tom Daschle spent seven hours talking to Fidel Castro in Havana[7].

Center for American Progress

In 2005 Tom Daschle served as a distinguisted senior fellow[8] of Center for American Progress.

Soros funding

By 2008, Barack Obama was one of only a handful of candidates to get a personal contribution from George Soros. The others include Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle (D-S.D.), Sens. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.), Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), Bob Graham (D-Fla.), John Kerry (D-Mass.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), U.S. Rep. Tom Lantos, and former Vermont governor Howard Dean.[9]

References