October 15, 2004

LAUTENBERG...MONDALE...? (via John Resnick):

Daschle's South Dakota Residency In Question (Jeff Gannon, October 15, 2004, Talon News)

Sen. Tom Daschle (D-SD) may have forfeited his South Dakota residency last year when he and his wife purchased a $2 million home in an exclusive Washington, DC neighborhood. The Senate minority leader declared the mansion to be his "principal place of residence" when he applied for a property tax credit intended to help DC homeowners cope with sky-rocketing property values in the city.

The District of Columbia allows a $30,000 deduction against a property's tax assessment for the calculation of taxes. The senator's tax savings is less than $1,000 a year.

Talon News first raised questions about the credit in August 2003 following a search of property tax records. At the time, Tony Bullock, a spokesman for DC Mayor Anthony Williams told Talon News that the property qualified for the homestead exemption because the senator's wife, Linda Daschle, a powerful Washington lobbyist and a co-owner of the property, was a city resident and taxpayer. But a document recently obtained by Talon News tells a different story.

Responding to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from Talon News, the District of Columbia Office of Tax and Revenue provided a copy of the April 28, 2003 application for the tax break. The affidavit section of the application bears only the signature of "Thomas A. Daschle." Additionally, by checking a box marked "Yes," the senator agreed that he would be subject to DC income tax. Linda Daschle's signature does not appear on the document.

In signing the affidavit, Daschle declared under penalty of either a $1,000 fine or imprisonment of up to 180 days or both, that the property is eligible for the deductions. The qualification for the tax credit is specifically for a property to be an "owner-occupied principal place of residence."

It would appear that Daschle voluntarily surrendered his residency in South Dakota with his April 2003 declaration. Under state statute, Daschle would no longer be eligible to hold elective office in South Dakota or represent it in Washington.

Posted by Orrin Judd at October 15, 2004 4:23 PM

This isn't a Lautenberg situation, as the SD Democrats couldn't find anyone of Daschle's national standing to run against Thune.

The only reason Daschle hangs on at all is because of his senior position in the minority party.

If true, this mean out-and-out victory for Thune.

Posted by: H.D. Miller at October 15, 2004 4:41 PM

When did an affidavit, where one has to swear to the veracity of one's statements, ever keep a Democrat from doing whatever he wants?

Posted by: Bart at October 15, 2004 5:06 PM

Er, won't he just pay the $1000 and Bob's your uncle? Though it would be amusing if the Senate minority leader was unable to attend the inauguration on the grounds he was serving a 180-day jail term...

Posted by: Just John at October 15, 2004 5:13 PM

Bailing out on his home state, against the law, to save $1,000 a year on taxes on a $2 million mansion? What a gift to Thune. Whether Daschle pays that fine or not, Thune should make sure everybody in South Dakota knows this.

Posted by: PapayaSF at October 15, 2004 5:33 PM

And here I thought home is where the heart is.....who knew?

Posted by: John Resnick at October 15, 2004 6:05 PM

Anything that allows a candidate to call attention to his opponent's $2 million mansion and lobbyist wife is good.

Posted by: David Cohen at October 15, 2004 6:59 PM

If Daschle loses next month, it will be his last visit, ever, to South Dakota. Like so many career politicians, his ties to his home district are only strong enough to keep him in office.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at October 15, 2004 7:04 PM

The irony!

Thune has been basing his campaign on Daschle's two faced nature, playing home-boy in SD while playing NARAL's Hatchet man in DC.

Here, Daschle provides proof that Thune is correct. I hope they make some serious lemonade out of this.

Posted by: BB at October 15, 2004 8:24 PM

I doubt this will knock Daschle out of the race. But it plays directly into Thune and the GOP's theme that Daschle talks conservative in SD but is a huge liberal in DC. Another issue in DC is that the main state newspaper, the Argus, is firmly in Daschle's pocket so it will be up to blogs and the GOP to get this issue out.

I am hopeful Thune defeats Daschle but a Bush visit and no funny voting on the Indian reservations will be needed.

Posted by: AWW at October 15, 2004 9:54 PM

Sorry, the Argus is the SD main newspaper.

Posted by: AWW at October 15, 2004 9:55 PM

If Daschle were a Republican this would be grounds for a criminal indictement of one kind or another. Since he is a Democrat it smells like politics to me.

Posted by: at October 15, 2004 11:40 PM


Posted by: Tom at October 16, 2004 9:30 AM