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Bush Walking Fine Line Over Election Rules

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posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 03:22 PM
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The '04 Bush-Cheney campaign has started contacting churches across the country and distributing an instruction sheet for the upcoming election. The instruction sheets are being handed out to gain a base of religious support for Bush's re-election campaign. Although Terry Holt, Bush's spokesman, claims that the actions are legal, many experts are claiming that Bush is walking a fine line with risking the church's tax-exempt status.

Source Yahoo News:



By July 31, for example, volunteers are to "send your Church Directory to your State Bush-Cheney '04 Headquarters or give [it] to a BC04 Field Rep" and "Talk to your Pastor about holding a Citizenship Sunday and Voter Registration Drive."




By Aug. 15, they are to "talk to your Church's seniors or 20-30 something group about Bush/Cheney '04" and "recruit 5 more people in your church to volunteer for the Bush Cheney campaign."




By Sept. 17, they are to host at least two campaign-related potluck dinners with church members, and in October they are to "finish calling all Pro-Bush members of your church," "finish distributing Voter Guides in your church" and place notices on church bulletin boards or in Sunday programs "about all Christian citizens needing to vote."


An IRS spokesman said that they cannot pass judgement on these events with the facts and circumstances at-hand. Although, a memo was sent to both Bush and Kerry's campaign that tax-exempt charitable groups "are prohibited from directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office."



The IRS letter noted that religious organizations are allowed to sponsor debates, distribute voter guides and conduct voter registration drives. But if those efforts show "a preference for or against a certain candidate or party . . . it becomes a prohibited activity," the letter said.


A lot of people are questioning what's going on with these "instruction" sheets Bush is handing out to churches. The instruction sheets make no mention whatsoever of remaining non-partisan in their events. Although the deadlines on the sheets have not occured yet, if churches decide to hold Bush rallies, they will lose their tax-exempt status.

I think this is a risk Bush is willing to take for his campaign. As well, if you attend one of these churches, expect to get your phone bombarded by Bush's campaign. I for one, think this is ludicrous, Bush is risking his own religion and turning to telemarketing/soliciting. Although, I will have to wait and see what comes of this.

[edit on 1-7-2004 by Jamuhn]




posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 05:38 PM
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Wow, he is coming close to breaking the law. Why is it just close? Cause he is the president? If Kerry was to pull the same # Dumbass does he'd be in jail before you could say "Dumbass did the same thing!" Just because he is the president does not give him the right to break the law. Well, unless you go by what GWB said. "I am supreme to the law." In other words, he is above the law. NOT!!!



posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 05:49 PM
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Originally posted by James the Lesser
If Kerry was to pull the same # Dumbass does he'd be in jail before you could say "Dumbass did the same thing!" Just because he is the president does not give him the right to break the law.


Actually neither candidate would be breaking the law. Candidates can campaign anywhere, to any group of people.

The only people who would be breaking the law are the churches themselves. A tax exempt. orgs. 501(c)(3) status prohibits them from directly or indirectly participating or intervening in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office. If they violate this statute, they lose their tax exemption. Reed's group of religious nutballs got busted on this a few years back and the IRS nailed them.



posted on Jul, 1 2004 @ 06:12 PM
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Shouldn't he have start the so-called "war on terror" a bit later so it could run into election time... then he could've made up some sob story about how he needs to stay in power to complete his mission (and take the oil from Iraq).



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