It was very nice to see President Obama taking responsibility for Tom Daschle's mistakes. What he really needs is to send some people packing before his entire administration becomes corrupt.
The first revelations were Tim Geithner and Bill Richardson. Now Daschle and Killifer are gone because of unpaid taxes. Next Hilda Solis comes along letting us know she was not only pimping for a labor group against Congressional rules, but her husband had tax liens for 16 years. She wants us to believe that she has no knowledge of the tax matter. It is possible that her husband did not know that she was in the California Legislature or a member of Congress, but now realizes that he should do the right thing and be a model citizen. It certainly possible he hid it from her until Obama came calling and he had a "Honey, we need to talk" conversation. However that scenario seems a little farfetched to me.
But how did we get here? The fault lies with Donald Gips, the Director of Presidential Personnel. He operates the shop responsible for filling 3000 slots in the government that are political appointments. He and his crew are not doing their job.
I speak from experience. I was nominated by President Bush to sit on the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council. My appointment was trivial compared to the significance of the ones above. I had a totally different experience.
I submitted my paperwork, answering all the questions to the best of my ability and submitting copies of all the articles that I had written at that time. When the White House got to me I went through a grilling. They asked me why I had a lien in Yolo County, California. I had to take 15 minutes telling them about my brother passing away and that I had co-signed on a single-family residence he bought to house his mother-in-law. After my brother died, my sister-in-law stopped making payments on the place. When I received a letter from Wells Fargo Bank, I made a decision to save my credit from a foreclosure. I paid off the second, started making payments on the first, fixed up the house and then sold it off, paying off the first trust deed. Three years later Yolo County sent me a letter that I owed them 70 bucks. I told them that they received a notice of the escrow and I had paid them. I disputed the new claim and that I had no idea that their current claim was legitimate. Thus, I was not paying them. By time I got done with the story my contact from the White House felt so sorry for me she let that go.
Then she asked me why I had previously had a lien in Los Angeles County. I told her that it was from the sale of my prior home. That despite moving about a mile, but still remaining in the same city and zip code, the geniuses from LA County Tax Collectors could not locate me. I had no idea there was any tax due until I refinanced my current home and there was a tax lien, which was $59, now at $250. I had to pay at that time or not get the loan.
The supposedly incompetent Bush Administration found out these things about me, but the new team could not find a lien against Nancy Killifer's home right under their noses in Washington. They did not know Daschle had tax problems or that Hilda Solis had a spare position that went against House rules.
This leads to a few questions. First, are the people doing this job just grossly incompetent? Second, did they know these transgressions and decide that their mission was too important so a little problem here or there was just trivia when you are trying to change the world? Third, is Obama a poor judge of character? There were five problem appointees out of 25-30; a really poor ratio. That is not even including the fact that our Secretary of State is negotiating our status in the world while her husband wheel-barrels money in the back door from the same parties.
Donald Gips and his entire crew need to be replaced. There are still another 2900+ positions to be filled. What foibles are going to be missed on those positions, most of which are not given such public scrutiny? Maybe they need to bring Clay Johnson back from the Bush operation. Obama needs to pick some people who don't think they are bigger than the law – especially the tax code. If they don't do something soon we will be in for very painful four years.