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View Diary: The IRS and Electioneering by Churches (76 comments)

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  •  The IRS has clear rules (3+ / 0-)

    and all people have to do is check out the links to the IRS web site to see for themselves. The agency has gone the extra mile in trying to spell out the dos and don'ts.

    •  As you and I have discussed (3+ / 0-)
      these clear rules were probably part of the reason the Revs. Parsley and Johnson disappeared from the 2006 Ohio gubernatorial campaign, after their early, extremely vocal and passionate support for Ken Blackwell. The Ohio Restoration Project, a nonprofit dedicated to signing up "Patriot Pastors" to register "Values Voters", held a series of breakfasts at which Blackwell was the only gubernatorial candidate to appear -- and he was at all of them. At no point did they ever include Blackwell's two Republican primary opponents or the Democrat, now Gov. Ted Strickland. The Ohio Restoration Project (founded by Johnson) is now gone.

      We're retiring Steve LaTourette (R-Family Values for You But Not for Me) and sending Judge Bill O'Neill to Congress from Ohio-14: http://www.oneill08.com/

      by anastasia p on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:01:26 PM PST

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    •  Those rules aren't enforced, though. (0+ / 0-)

      That's why I noted that the IRS's position is de facto the Buckley position.

      "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

      by burrow owl on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:11:38 PM PST

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      •  actually (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Rolfyboy6, Jules Beaujolais

        they are enforced. That's what the IRS campaign of the past few years is all about.

        •  Have any churches been fined or stripped (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Rolfyboy6, shigeru

          of exemption for anything but an express endorsement?  IIRC, none have.

          "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

          by burrow owl on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:14:25 PM PST

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          •  None yet (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Rolfyboy6, Jules Beaujolais

            but the IRS has told its practitioner advisory councils that they are looking for a test case.  They want to .. and issued guidance in February that if they get one this year they will.  

            Disclosure: Proud to be the Volunteer coordinator for Indiana for WesPAC

            by ElaineinIN on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:15:58 PM PST

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            •  Want to bet that this is a liberal leaning or (0+ / 0-)

              minority church and not the biggest offenders such as the right wing megachurches? Would bet that a non-christian religous institution is also a likely candidate.

              "Nations, like individuals, are punished for their transgressions." U.S.Grant

              by shigeru on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:18:16 PM PST

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            •  Dollars to donuts it'll be another (0+ / 0-)

              Branch Ministries, and will conform to the Buckley standard of the magical words endorsement test.

              If the IRS aggressively goes after implicit endorsement, so much the better; I just highly doubt they will.

              "[G]lobalization is...increasing the efficiency of resource allocation through stronger capital markets" - Barack Obama

              by burrow owl on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:23:53 PM PST

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              •  I agree that for revocation (0+ / 0-)

                It will be something big and obvious... and probably a repeat offender...

                that's the criteria that they put out in summary of the 2004 activity for next cycle

                Disclosure: Proud to be the Volunteer coordinator for Indiana for WesPAC

                by ElaineinIN on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:35:20 PM PST

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          •  there have been enforcement actions (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jules Beaujolais

            against churches, andother exempt oprganzations. I am only aware of one outright revokation of the exemption from a church. The IRS is under very tough, legislatively imposed standards for investigation, as Elaine can probably spell out with more authority than I.

            Let me underscore the point of this diary: The IRS cannot investigate absent a specific complaint. So you don't have the IRS going out and sniffing around to detect inappropriate political action, even during an election season. But there is no reason why citizen groups can't get serious about it.

            •  This: (0+ / 0-)

              http://en.wikipedia.org/...

              On the other hand, I used to be in a Long Term Care Facility [nursing home] in a small town in rural IA every Sunday 00-04 when the local churches rotated providing services on Sun. PM. The out and out 'political'-islamofacism 'sermons'...OMG. In many cases the 'presenters' from the Assembly, Church of Christ, etc. were not ordained ministers and were outside of their churches, even though they were prostylizing politics. The services were sponsored by the local Council of Churches and attended by 'residents' and their families.

              The Sunday Sermon is 'go vote' and the prayer chain prays for 'A Specific Candidate': message received.

            •  Here is the 2004 PACI results (0+ / 0-)

              if anyone is interested in the statistics:

              http://www.irs.gov/...

              and some of the other 2004 reports

              http://www.irs.gov/...

              Disclosure: Proud to be the Volunteer coordinator for Indiana for WesPAC

              by ElaineinIN on Tue Jan 29, 2008 at 02:42:51 PM PST

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