Beltway Confidential

Most IRS, government lawyers donated to Obama campaign

Beltway Confidential,Barack Obama,Campaign Finance,2012 Elections,IRS,Ashe Schow

It is not just IRS employees who donated to President Obama in 2012, but lawyers working for the federal tax agency as well. In fact, lawyers at the IRS (and in every other government agency) overwhelmingly donated to Obama during the last election.

While IRS employees generally donated to Obama by a 4-to-1 ratio, the lawyers for that particular federal agency donated to Obama by an astounding 20-to-1 ratio, according to Robert Anderson, associate professor of law at Pepperdine University School of Law. Why the focus on lawyers? It's not just because of Anderson's job, but because, as he says:

"The political contributions of random employees within the IRS are not completely persuasive, in part because many employees are in low-level positions with little authority. Their contributions are more likely to result from demographic factors than from agency ideology.

"To get a better idea about the partisan mix of the policy-making aspect of the agency, I decided to examine the contributions of an arguably more relevant group of employees--the lawyers--within the IRS and other government agencies. Lawyers are relevant because they are the ones taking the lead in writing regulations, litigating cases, and making delicate legal judgment calls in borderline cases."

To that effect, Anderson searched the Federal Election Commission database for lawyers in government agencies, and produced a list of 20 agencies with at least 20 employees contributing to the presidential election that shows a huge discrepancy between contributions to Obama and those to his challenger, Republican Mitt Romney.

Of the IRS lawyers who made contributions, a whopping 95 percent gave to Obama. And if you think that's a high percentage, 100 percent of the lawyers at the Department of Education, the United Nations and - no surprises here - the National Labor Relations Board (you know, the pro-union agency that sued Boeing) contributed to the Obama campaign.

The reason for such lopsided giving, according to Anderson, could be that there are few Republican Lawyers in the federal government or even fewer that donate to campaigns.

Ashe Show is a commentary staff writer for the Washington Examiner. She can be reached at

View article comments Leave a comment