VETTING

Report: Panetta Received 700K

Might there be a Daschle redux this afternoon? Director of the Central Intelligence Agency nominee Leon Panetta earned $700,000 last year for speaking engagements around the country, according to disclosures released yesterday and reported by The Wall Street Journal. Some of these came from embattled financial firms—Merrill Lynch & Co. doled out $56,000 for two speeches and Wachovia Corp. paid Panetta $28,000—after they were rescued by Bank of America and Wells Fargo & Co. Panetta also sat on the board of a public affairs firm that lobbies Congress, but was not a registered lobbyist. The Senate hearing for his nomination is scheduled for today.