Conservative sites tie IRS controversy to liberal group
Doug Shulman, the former IRS commissioner.
June 1st, 2013
12:49 PM ET
9 years ago

Conservative sites tie IRS controversy to liberal group

(CNN) - The controversy over IRS targeting of conservative groups took a new turn this weekend when right-leaning websites drew a connection between the agency's former head and his wife's employment at a liberal group.

The conservative website Breitbart posted that "the goal of Public Campaign is to target political groups like the conservative non-profits at issue in the IRS scandal," naming the campaign finance reform group where Doug Shulman's wife, Susan Anderson, is the senior program adviser.

[twitter-follow screen_name='politicalticker']

Public Campaign spokesman Adam Smith said the Breitbart description "is not at all accurate."

Shulman led the IRS during the period from 2010 to 2012 when the agency subjected non-profit application from "tea party" and "patriot" groups to increased scrutiny. Shulman said he was not personally responsible for the practice, which an agency official acknowledged shortly before an inspector general report would have disclosed it, and his successor apologized to a congressional committee for agents' "foolish mistakes."

He left the IRS in November 2012 and said at a congressional hearing earlier that year, "there is absolutely no targeting" of conservative groups for political reasons. Last month, agency officials described the practice as a method of filtering applications which poured in following the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision on campaign spending.

Conservative websites pointed late Friday to a statement Public Campaign released after news of the targeting broke.

"There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status," Public Campaign President and CEO Nick Nyhart told ABC News. "It's unfortunate a few bad apples at the IRS will make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias."

The Daily Caller said that statement "belittled the concerns of disenfranchised conservatives."

Smith, the Public Campaign spokesman, said the group's statement was an immediate reaction to the IRS and pointed CNN to a longer Nyhart statement, which welcomed congressional investigation.

The revised statement said the IRS must be non-partisan and that "there are legitimate questions to be asked about political organizations posing as social welfare groups."

On Saturday, he rebuked the conservative postings, writing, "Public Campaign and its employees have worked passionately and tirelessly for 15 years to raise the voices of everyday Americans of every political stripe in our democracy. When the controversy involving the IRS emerged recently, we condemned the selective targeting of groups based on ideological considerations. To suggest otherwise is a gross mistreatment of the facts."

Asked by CNN, Smith had no reaction to report from Anderson. Shulman was not immediately available for comment.

Filed under: IRS
soundoff (361 Responses)
  1. Quest

    This is meritless, Republican nonsense. May the IRS audit more "conservative" weasel groups, and expose their supporters!

    June 1, 2013 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  2. Carol Isaacs

    Many people think it is political. Let me tell you it is all about the financials period. The loyalty of office has absolutely diminished and the ones that could will not. It is as if they are controlling the unraveling of the biggest financial crime in history and piece working it out at varying intervals with a master Anchor Date for this embarrassment. However the way we as a Country react should be (targeted) towards our Country and to the republic for which it stands as do I. It is disappointing that this control of the timing of outcomes for this ever growing fraud upon our Country and its citizens and sovereign citizens is further victimizing many United States citizens not to mention the Government.

    There is a practice of backdating Insurance now when a potential BUYER has a policy of any sort Back dated Years in their name. This makes the Buyer the Seller/Owner and this is the trick that is used to pull property rights into a triple flip scheme in the housing market. The Buyer becomes the seller and the seller becomes the buyer.

    Same holds true for Voting the Republican becomes the democrat.

    The search Logic in our syatem through vendors does not search the symbols this bunch uses. It is simple (* % ? **/ CROSS PARTIES)

    In legal system I have found peoples social security numbers publicly accessible for example without the actual numbers (000-00-0000/000-00-0000). I called local vendor and the tech expert told me that was very sneaky way to reveal info and also hide Cause Numbers and actions. He assured me it would be looked into but I wanted to share this info so if anyone is listening and able to look into my claims for our Country then look into it.

    It is dis heartening and I wonder if it is generational? My Grandpa Coop told me at age 93 he had not seen the state of our Country this way.

    June 1, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  3. Larry L

    I believe targeting for political reasons is wrong – not a new concept – but wrong. IRS employees tasked to find organizations likely to cheat on their taxes would be negligent if they didn't take a harde look at the Tea Party. The organization is named after a tax revolt, they are nothing more than a Republican PAC, and the radical members promote the idea of tax evasion! Why wouldn't they get a harder look?

    June 1, 2013 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  4. Steve


    June 1, 2013 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  5. Tom Howard

    What's the point about her employer? The Repukes don't have a problem with Justice Thomas' wife's employer. Where's the outrage there?

    June 1, 2013 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  6. The Facts

    When a President and his Administration use the Government to spy upon, intimidate and persecute The People.. you have an attack on this nation greater than 9/11 and greater than Pearl Harbor.

    This is beyond seeking mere impeachment. Prison is appropriate for OBAMA and leaders in his Administration.

    June 1, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  7. Doh

    Not my prob

    June 1, 2013 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  8. Peace

    @Dave Robertson
    Unfortunately, Breitbart is no longer with us. He passed away by heart attack one or two years ago. They are just using his website which he left in his name.

    June 1, 2013 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  9. becky

    The groups are becoming paranoid. They believe they are the only ones who are targeted. However, Conservatives do target liberals and moderates and have done some pretty nasty politicking. Both groups have enough black marks and should just quit all this nonsense.

    They keep looking for the aha moment. They would like to impeach BArack Obama. They tried with Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter. This is all payback time after Richard Nixon. Meanwhile the country's business is on hold. We do not have enough judges. Positions are not being filled because the REpublicans have not voted for the appointees.

    Folks, we need to start making some demands. This Congress is a do-nothing group, too. WE are paying them and they are not working for us. Do you work 4 days a week for a salary over $100,000. Do you have the best health insurance available? Do you get airline tickets to fly home once a month? Do you have aides at your beck and call? Dp you have a well-appointed office? How about their cafeteria which is subsidized by the government? Do you receive a pension after working for 6 years? Whether you are aDemocrat or Republican you should be appalled and should start complaining.

    June 1, 2013 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  10. Danram

    One question I'd like to have answered is why the Director of the IRS has visited the Obama White House over 150 times. None of his predecessors under both Republican and Democratic administrations has ever visited the White House more than a few times. What was going on that made it necessary for this one to visit so often?

    June 1, 2013 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  11. Larry L

    @A True Conservative

    "republicans got more scandals"

    Are you paying attention at all? Can yoou honestly say that you don't see a problem here?
    Can you honestly say Republicans aren't constantly playing with conspiracies and scandels rather than working for any meaningful legislation? Nothing for jobs, Social Security, healthcare, or help for the middle-class. Obstructionism has been the Republican platform for five years – and you know that is the truth.

    June 1, 2013 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  12. Colorado

    No one was denied status and no one had to pay taxes while they were waiting. Let's face it these conservative groups were just afraid that they might have to actually pay some taxes. Social welfare inded.

    June 1, 2013 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  13. lcoast_lib

    Only problem I see is not enough investigation has/is being done to expose ALL so called tax exempts including religious organizations preaching politics from the pulpit. Time to start denying tax exempt status for the super PACs and churches that are violating the law

    June 1, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  14. Jason

    Our government makes me sick. They are supposed to be controlled by the states, but are now abusing their power to control the states. I mean, how many scandals is this now? How many people are not going to be arrested when they should be?

    What's worse is the amount of apathetic people who see things like this as OK, or just don't even care as long as their routine isn't bothered. Shame on everyone who allows all this crap to continue happening. What Bill Clinton did was inexcusable, but he was eradicating the U.S. debt and created tons of jobs, yet people who allow drones to kill citizens, allow guns to walk borders, take away RIGHTS, continue to allow jobs to go overseas, and providing kickbacks to friends while our debt increases is OK to stay in the government?

    June 1, 2013 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  15. OrmondGeorge

    Breitbart, even dead he can raise a tempest in a TEA Party

    Nothing more need be said

    June 1, 2013 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  16. Janet

    Is Beth Schulman, Development Director at Public Policy, also related to Mr. Schulman?

    June 1, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  17. rs

    Is this a surprise in the most corrupt administration in modern memory?
    A strange accusation. Aside from the Republican "spin" on events, name one of their accusations that has actually stuck- not one yet.

    June 1, 2013 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  18. rs

    Liberal Democrats just don't get it. Combined federal, state, and local government spending consumes over 40% of America's GDP. Add in quasi government organizations and half of all America is government. Half !! When government is half of everything, there are no issues that are not political. What we need in America is less government.
    Great plan. SO what do you propose giving up? The biggest chunk of the federal budget is the Department of Defense. BTW 40% isn't half.

    June 1, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  19. St Xavier

    Every one who seeks 501(c)4 standing must be infestaged even it they have the sliest leaning towards any political party. It's funny how the Republicans go after the same types of scandals that they them selves have been involved in. We need to dump all present politician an start over again.

    June 1, 2013 06:34 pm at 6:34 pm |
  20. playFFXI

    Public Campaign is being unfairly characterized here. According to everything on there website they are a group that favors public financing of campaigns and the end of big donor's buying elections with multi million dollar contributions. That is a goal that people on both sides of the aisle. If you aren't for this, it's likely that you are running for office and have big corporate donors lined up to give you millions. Oops I guess that's whos fussing about this above.

    June 1, 2013 06:39 pm at 6:39 pm |
  21. JR

    Jesus, so many of you are so dumb it defies description. We need to look into what makes so many of you genetically deficient mental pygmies the way you are. I would like to see a non-profit for that.

    June 1, 2013 06:40 pm at 6:40 pm |
  22. Russellohh

    The American tax agents investigate a group that named itself after a VIOLENT ANTI-TAX PROTEST, and this makes the news? What's the next "Scandal" going to be, the ATF investigating a group called "beer, smokes, and firearm maker Ruby Ridge addition"? Or the FBI investigating groups called the "9/11 Jihad Down With America Association"?

    Whether you believe and support the Tea Party or not... they're an anti-tax group. Named after a violent anti-tax group.

    Who acted surprised when their taxes were scrutinized.


    June 1, 2013 06:45 pm at 6:45 pm |
  23. blakenaustin

    Another attempt by the far left media to distract and derail investigation into this scandal that clearly exposes both Obama and Holder as liars and criminals. Men that belong in a federal prison.

    June 1, 2013 06:59 pm at 6:59 pm |
  24. petroskies

    is normal this administration complete and total liberal, first destroy the whole moral of this country with his support for anything illegal where they can get millions of votes, the only mascara they keep is when a new member take an oath with the Bible that perjury because they don't believe in our G-d HaShem,theirs god are hasatan.

    June 1, 2013 07:00 pm at 7:00 pm |
  25. mountainlady

    The IRS has been misusing its power for decades. During the McCarthy era, J. Edgar Hoover used the IRS as a tool to harass any group he decided was "un-American". The IRS has picked on liberals, conservatives, feminists, socialists, religious leaders... It's equal opportunity misuse of the system. Blaming this latest on President Obama is just part of the Tea Bagger continued effort to discredit this administration no matter how far fetched. The whole "everything is Obama's fault" thing is getting really really old. That said, cleaning up the IRS would be a terrific idea.

    June 1, 2013 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
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