Federal Election Commission records show that former IRS commissioner Douglas Shulman, on whose watch the agency’s targeting of conservative groups began, is a donor to the Democratic party.
Shulman made a $500 donation to the Democratic National Committee in October 2004, when George W. Bush was campaigning for reelection against then–Massachusetts senator John Kerry. At the time, Shulman was serving as executive vice president of the National Association of Securities Dealers, a private regulatory agency that monitors Wall Street transactions.
In 2008, Bush appointed Shulman to lead the IRS, serving under then treasury secretary Hank Paulson. According to the Treasury Department inspector general’s report released in mid May, the IRS began singling out conservative groups for inappropriate scrutiny in the summer of 2010.
Some Democrats have pointed to Shulman’s work under Bush as an indication that the agency’s discrimination against conservative groups was not politically motivated. “It happened under the appointment of the head of the IRS, who was appointed by President Bush. His length of stay extended into President Obama’s stay,” House minority leader Nancy Pelosi told reporters. ”I think that that points to the fact — why is this a politicized issue?”
Shulman has denied that he discussed the targeting of conservative groups with anybody in the Obama White House.