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Tax Cheat Withdraws Nomination

9:27 AM, Feb 3, 2009 • By BRIAN FAUGHNAN
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No, it's not Tom Daschle -- at least not yet.

A few weeks ago Barack Obama proudly named Nancy Killefer as the first Chief Performance Officer of the federal government. Her chief responsibility would be to root out waste in the federal government. Although curiously enough, in her previous career she had served as a tax cop, pushing for huge increases in the IRS budget to allow for far more audits.

As it turns out, Ms. Killefer could have used an audit herself -- it might have prompted her to pay her back taxes, and given her a chance at confirmation. Instead, she's out:

Nancy Killefer, who failed for a year and a half to pay employment taxes on household help, has withdrawn her candidacy to be the first chief performance officer for the federal government, the White House said Tuesday...

The White House said Obama had accepted Killefer's decision and that the 55-year-old executive with consulting giant McKinsey & Co., would explain her reasons for pulling out later Tuesday.

When her selection was announced by Obama on Jan. 7, The Associated Press disclosed that in 2005 the District of Columbia government had filed a $946.69 tax lien on her home for failure to pay unemployment compensation tax on household help.

It was not all that long ago that Obama was regularly being credited for an extraordinarily smooth transition, and having put together a brilliant team to run the government. Those seem awfully ironic now.