NPR Number-Crunchers Find New Obama Campaign Regs on 'Social Welfare Groups' Tilt Against Conservatives

On their “It’s All Politics” blog on Wednesday, Frank James of found there was numerical proof that conservatives were being targeted by the Obama Treasury Department in their new proposed rules cracking down on the political spending of “social welfare groups.”

Other liberal journalists – like Matea Gold in Friday’s Washington Post – aren’t noticing how transparently partisan this “reform” looks:

In 2012, conservatives pumped nearly eight times the money through their 501 (c) groups than liberals did, according to the Center for Responsive Politics' website. (CRP has a handy description of what the different advocacy groups are legally allowed to do.)

CRP reported that conservatives spent $265.2 million through 501 (c) groups compared to $34.7 spent by liberal groups during the 2012 cycle.

NPR News' Peter Overby, who covers campaign finance issues, provided us with an even more refined breakdown since the CRP data is for all groups in the 501 (c) category.

Peter reports that of the 28 social-welfare organizations that are known as 501 (c) (4) groups and spent at least $1 million in the 2012 election cycle, 20 were conservative. They spent a total $204 million.

Liberals made up seven of the $1 million-plus groups. Combined they spent $33 million. One independent group rounded out the field.

James quoted Rep. Darrell Issa on the disparity on the “right’s suspicions” about the new rules:"The fact that the Administration's new effort only affects social welfare organizations — and not powerful unions or business groups — underscores that this is a crass political effort by the Administration to get what political advantage they can, when they can."


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