Republicans try to make issue of IRS PAC contributions

In the wake of news that the Internal Revenue Service gave extra scrutiny to groups affiliated with the tea party, the fundraising committees for House and Senate Republicans are tying several Minnesota Democrats to the scandal.

Here’s one email the National Republican Campaign Committee sent today:

“The IRS has been embroiled in controversy all week for improperly investigating conservative groups,” the email said. “But as the agency was targeting these organizations, Rick Nolan was gleefully cashing checks from the IRS’s union and the National Republican Congressional Committee is ready to hold him accountable for his hypocrisy.”

Nolan is among Minnesota’s Democrats that Republicans are hoping to unseat in 2014.

It’s true that Nolan received $3,500 from the National Treasury Employees Union’s political action committee, but the group represents far more than just IRS employees. People who work for seven federal departments and multiple agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the Federal Elections Commission, also contribute.

So, the money is coming from a wide variety of sources.

And the group gives to a wide variety of lawmakers from across the country. Most are Democrats, but Republicans benefit, too. For instance, during the 2012 election, the union PAC gave to 13 House and Senate Republicans.

No members of Minnesota’s Republican delegation in D.C. have received campaign contributions from the group, but Minnesota’s Democrats have. Here’s what members of Minnesota’s delegation have received from the PAC over the lifetime of their congressional careers.

Sen. Al Franken: $5,000

Sen. Amy Klobuchar: $11,000

Rep. Keith Ellison: $2,000

Rep. Betty McCollum: $7,200

Rep. Collin Peterson: $1,000

Rep. Tim Walz: $4,500