Media Matters enjoyed fundraising surge at start of Obama administration

Media Matters enjoyed a surge in fundraising after the start of the Obama administration -- nearly doubling its revenues in the first two years of the president's administration, according to tax returns obtained by The Daily Caller.

The Daily Caller found that Media Matters and its lobbying arm Media Matters Action Network raked in $14.6 million in 2010, compared with $8.1 million in 2009.

The nonprofit organization, whose tax-exempt status has been questioned by several lawmakers curious about its political activities, saw its fundraising on the rise, according to the latest available returns, even though about half of the groups earnings in 2010 came from just 21 donors, including two unidentified contributors who gave more than $1 million apiece.

Much of the money was raised with the help of a Virginia-based fundraising firm called Bonner Group. Media Matters also coordinated with the liberal think tank Center for American Progress in fundraising activities, the DC reported.

The 2010 returns, The Daily Caller reported, also showed founder David Brock was paid about $300,000. Seven staff members earned more than $100,000, with one blogger making more than $119,000.

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    Some of the donations came with conditions. For instance, more than $600,000 of it was restricted for use in "gun and public safety issues," according to the article. Incidentally, the Daily Caller reported earlier in the week that Brock's assistant sometimes carried a gun to events to protect his boss despite laws in Washington, D.C., prohibiting concealed carry.

    Media Matters' tax-exempt status is based on its designation as a 501(c)3, which prevents it from trying to influence legislation or assist in political campaigns for or against candidates. In a report by the DC earlier this week, Media Matters was shown to hold weekly strategy meetings with the White House.

    "The standards for tax exemption deserve review as a matter of good stewardship on the part of Congress," Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, told The Daily Caller, "and should be considered as part of any comprehensive tax reform."