Earlier this month Sebelius, nominated for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was caught with a rather embarrassing tax issue and had to quickly pay the IRS $7,070 in back taxes for improper deductions. She paid no penalties but $878 in interest.
This time, scrutiny of a report Sebelius made to the Senate Finance Committee revealed she failed to accurately report the total amount of campaign contributions she received from Kansas abortion czar George Tiller.
In the report Sebelius was asked by Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.) about Tiller’s contribution to her PAC (Political Action Committee):
Kyl: Can you describe your relationship with Mr. Tiller? Has he ever contributed to your campaign or has your PAC ever received money from Mr. Tiller or a PAC related to Mr. Tiller?
Sebelius: I have been familiar with Dr. Tiller for many years because he lives in Kansas. Dr. Tiller, like many Kansans, contributed to my campaign for insurance commissioner. I received $12,450 over an eight-year period (1992-2001), which represented 1 percent of my total contributions during that time. Since that time, I have received no donations from Dr. Tiller or any PAC related to him.
Except the Kansas Governmental Ethics Commission shows the figure of Tiller’s contributions to be over three times what Sebelius reported — in actuality the amount was $38,450.
There’s also the small matter of the lavish dinner party (Photos Courtesy of Operation Rescue) she threw at the Kansas Governor’s mansion for Tiller and the entire staff of his abortion clinic in 2007; dinner for 25, paid for by the state of Kansas. Tiller was at the time under criminal investigation by then-Attorney General Kline for 19 illegal late-term abortions; he was found not guilty, courtesy, some say, of the new attorney general Tiller helped get elected.
However, Sebelius claims she donated use of the mansion for the dinner and her time — she often does this for groups she supports — and that Tiller won the dinner through an auction fund-raiser, for which there is no documentation.
And there’s this from a Washington Post Op-Ed by Robert Novak in 2008:
Sebelius declared: "My Catholic faith teaches me that life is sacred. Personally, I believe abortion is wrong." Yet, a year later, Sebelius invited Tiller and his staff to a party at the governor's mansion. She thanked Tiller for his generosity in helping to finance her election and Morrison's [new attorney general]. Last May, Sebelius was featured at a Planned Parenthood fundraiser in Kansas City.
All this — combined with the tax discrepancy, which Sebelius and the HHS describe as being nothing but an “oversight” — throws some long, dark shadows on Sebelius’ ethics and integrity. Her extremely close alliance with an abortionist would surely skew her objectivity as head of the Health and Human Services.
The confirmation process will hopefully investigate the ways in which Tiller's influence will be manifested under Sebelius. Of course, the entire confirmation process can always be aborted.