Health and Human Services nominee Tom Daschle advocated for an administration position for business patron Leo Hindery, Politico reports. Hindery gave Daschle a high-paying job (and the car service that led to tax questions), and Daschle suggested Hindery for a government role—maybe commerce secretary or trade representative. “It was part business and part friendship,” a Hindery friend says of the relationship.
The former senator served as a rainmaker-cum-salesman for Hindery’s equity fund after being voted out of office. Hindery has long sought access to the inner sanctum of Democratic politics, donating large amounts and courting candidates. “He has a habit of backing people who shouldn’t be in the office they’re running for,” a rival said of Hindery’s involvement with John Edwards’ ill-fated campaign, among others.