Liberal campaign finance reform activist linked to IRS commissioner had meetings with Obama

Patrick Howley Political Reporter
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Nick Nyhart, the CEO of a liberal organization that criticizes corporate campaign spending and employs the wife of former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, visited the White House seven times and had two visits with President Obama around the time that the Internal Revenue Service was targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny.

Nyhart, the president and CEO of Public Campaign, appears on the White House visitor logs seven times between September 16, 2009 and September 22, 2010.

Public Campaign is a liberal Washington-based organization that “aims to dramatically reduce the role of big special interest money in American politics” and operates on the same office floor as the liberal groups Center for Progressive Leadership and Common Cause, which also urged Shulman to scrutinize the tax-exempt status of conservative nonprofit groups.

Public Campaign is funded by the pro-Obamacare coalition Health Care for America NOW! and other progressive donors and foundations.

As The Daily Caller first reported, former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman’s wife Susan L. Anderson is the senior program advisor for Public Campaign.

Nyhart’s seven White House visits included two meetings with “POTUS,” or the President of the United States, on December 15, 2009 and on May 10, 2010 in the East Room.

The IRS began improperly targeting conservative groups in March 2010.

Nyhart was quoted in mainstream press coverage of the IRS scandal, belittling concerns about the government’s improper targeting of conservative groups.

“There are legitimate questions to be asked about political groups that are hiding behind a 501(c)4 status,” Nyhart said in a statement provided 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.”

Public Campaign did not immediately return a request for comment.

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Patrick Howley