An earlier report mentioned that the Democrats had Kamala Harris’ video play in 300 Virginia black churches between now and Nov. 2, in an attempt to encourage people to vote for Terry McAuliffe, Democratic gubernatorial hopeful.
Video first obtained by CNNhttps://t.co/vaefXtWqUe pic.twitter.com/l8re0KUkN1
— Eva McKend (@evamckend) October 16, 2021
As we noted, that’s against the law.
Under terms of the 1954 legislation (named for its principal sponsor, then-Sen. Lyndon Johnson), churches and other nonprofit organizations that are exempt from taxation “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office,” according to the IRS website.
Organisations that claim tax exempt status are not allowed to collect donations for political campaigns. They cannot also make any statements supporting or opposing a candidate. The pulpit is not permitted to be used by clergy members for endorsements of candidates.
That’s exactly what they did with the Kamala video which explicitly endorsed McAuliffe — they explicitly endorsed a candidate.
But that wasn’t all. The effort was much more than that single video. According to ABC News, it also included multiple Democratic surrogates going into churches and advocating McAuliffe’s cause, such as Stacy Abrams or McAuliffe.
Voting rights advocate Stacey Abrams on Sunday urged Black churchgoers to turn out for Democrat Terry McAuliffe in next month’s Virginia governor’s election, saying that what happens in the most watched race this year will “show the world who we are” in future contests with even higher stakes.
Since narrowly losing in 2018 the race to become Georgia’s governor, Abrams is a prominent national voice for the party. Abrams will be appearing at three Norfolk churches as part of a larger effort to prevent a state that has become increasingly Democratic in recent decades from falling back into the Republican fold on November 2. [….]
McAuliffe (from 2014 to 2018, governor) visited different churches before leading a rally alongside Abrams at an early voting station. “We gotta get everybody out to vote,” he said.
According to WSET, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Bottoms visited three Black churches at Richmond.
These are the only people listed in public articles. This may not be the only surrogate involved.
Abrams explicitly supported McAuliffe’s inclusion in the churches that she visited.
Abrams told the congregations that in McAuliffe’s first term as governor, he increased funding for education and ensured that tens of thousands of former felons and others who had been removed from voter rolls had their right to the ballot box restored. [….]
Abrams stated that she was afraid of mixing politics with church when she started running for office. But, she said, her mother eventually reminded her that “politics is always in the church” and her father said that the Bible “is one of the most intense political texts ever written.”
“Voting is an act of faith,” Abrams said. “I need you to do the job.”
They were so explicit! This is how they described it: They even intended to drag people out of the pews and to the polls.
McAuliffe, governor from 2014 to 2018 and a former Democratic National Committee chairman, visited separate Black churches and later planned to lead worshippers from the pews to an early voting station.https://t.co/y2LsMUvxXk
— ABC 13 News – WSET (@ABC13News) October 17, 2021
It’s clear that the Democrats don’t care about the law-breaking here. They don’t care if they endanger the tax status of the churches they are dragging into this. Their only concern is power and McAuliffe’s election.
It’s the churches who would get penalized here for breaking the law — they’re the ones whose tax exempt status would be endangered for breaking the explicit prohibition about advocating for a political candidate. However, the Democratic effort has a broad base and could prove that it is organized and politically motivated.
While there might have been some shading to this law in past years, this is taking it and dancing on top in an organized, explicit manner. Do not allow this to happen.
Also, it shows that Democrats are scared and know how close this is. They would also go to such great lengths to win.