Published June 03, 2013
The former IRS commissioner who ran the agency when it was singling out conservative groups is married to a senior adviser for a prominent left-leaning political organization focused largely on campaign finance reform.
Ex-Commissioner Douglas Shulman, who faced a tough round of questioning by Congress last month on the IRS scandal, has denied knowing that the agency targeted Tea Party groups between 2010 and 2012. But he faced new questions following a report that he visited the White House, or the adjacent executive office buildings, at least 157 times during the Obama administration.
Amid the scrutiny, it turns out his wife, Susan L. Anderson, is a senior program adviser for the Washington-based group Public Campaign.
The group bills itself as nonpartisan, and states it is working with “a broad range of organizations” to reform campaign-finance rules.
However, the group receives much of its funding from such liberal groups as the Ford Foundation, Barbra Streisand’s The Streisand Foundation and Health Care for America NOW, a coalition of labor unions supporting ObamaCare that includes the AFL-CIO and the Service Employees International Union, according to the Public Campaign website.
In addition, Public Campaign appeared in 2011 to leave little to the imagination about its views on campaign finance – that the wealthiest Americans, specifically the top 1 percent, are trying to buy or influence elections by secretly donating to political groups.
The group produced a “holiday card” video in which one person said: “Sure my kids might get asthma because Congress keeps doing dirty energy’s bidding, but the Koch brothers need their third home.”
David and Charles Koch, successful businessmen aligned with conservative and libertarian causes, have such nonprofit groups as the David H. Koch Charitable Foundation and support Tea Party-tied heavyweights like FreedomWorks and Americans for Prosperity.
When the scandal over the IRS’ targeting of conservative groups broke, Public Campaign also appeared to defend the tax agency.
Nick Nyhart, chief executive for Public Campaign, suggested to ABC News that the misdeeds of a “few bad apples” within the agency will “make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias.”
Anderson has also been a supporter and apparent participant in the Occupy Wall Street movement.
She participated in Occupy DC events and tweeted such messages as “DC, good morning! Come down to the (National) Mall and tell your 99 percent story.”
Shulman and Anderson met as students at Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Shulman was appointed commissioner by former President George W. Bush.
He reportedly logged more than 100 visits to the White House under Obama, a claim he did not deny during congressional testimony last month on the IRS scandal. That number refers to the number of times Shulman was cleared to visit.