Former Internal Revenue Service commissioner Douglas H. Shulman, a frequent White House guest during the period when the IRS was targeting conservative nonprofits, is married to the senior program advisor for Public Campaign, an “organization dedicated to sweeping campaign reform that aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics.”
The IRS is under fire for improperly scrutinizing the tax-exempt nonprofit status of conservative groups between 2010 and 2012, demanding conservative training materials, personal information on conservative college interns and even the content of religious groups’ prayers. IRS supporters have defended the beleaguered agency by railing against outside spending and special interest money supposedly pumped into the 2012 campaign by conservative benefactors.
One of those defenders is the group of which Shulman’s spouse is an executive.
Shulman’s wife Susan L. Anderson is the senior program advisor for the Washington-based nonprofit organization Public Campaign, which claims that it “is laying the foundation for reform by working with a broad range of organizations, including local community groups, around the country that are fighting for change and national organizations whose members are not fairly represented under the current campaign finance system.”
Earlier this month, when news broke of the targeting scandal broke, Public Campaign president and CEO Nick Nyhart belittled the concerns of disenfranchised conservatives.
“There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status,” Nyhart said in a statement provide to ABC. “It’s unfortunate a few bad apples at the IRS will make it harder for those questions to be asked without claims of bias.”
Shulman, who did not deny in congressional testimony that he visited the White House more than 100 times, met Anderson at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, which they both attended. The couple own a house in Washington, DC’s tony Embassy Row neighborhood which they bought for $1.3 million in 2003 and is now estimated by Zillow to be worth $1.8 million.
Public Campaign receives “major funding” from the pro-Obamacare alliance Health Care for America NOW!, which is comprised of the labor unions AFL-CIO, AFSCME, SEIU, and the progressive activist organization Move On, among others.
“Together we are building a network of national and state-based efforts to create a powerful national force for federal and state campaign reform,” according to Public Campaign’s website.
Public Campaign also receives funding from the liberal Ford Foundation, the Common Cause Education Fund, and Barbra Streisand’s The Streisand Foundation, among other foundations and private donors.
Calls to Shulman’s residence and Anderson’s extension at Public Campaign were not returned.