End Citizens United – Protecting the Johnson Amendment

Campaign finance laws have recently come under threat, but the situation can still be salvaged. Recently, President Donald J. Trump signed an executive order that is basically designed to weaken the Johnson Amendment.

What is the Johnson Amendment?

Under the Johnson Amendment, organizations classified as 501 (c) (3) are forbidden from engaging in political campaign funding either directly or indirectly. The amendment outlines that organizations found to be participating in campaign funding risk losing their tax exemption privileges, among other things.

Organizations under this classification include churches, universities, and charities, among others that are expected to be politically neutral.

The Consequences

If repealed, the Johnson Amendment will open the door to unscrupulous campaign financing. It will mean that politics will be more entrenched in such institutions, and this will create even greater political divide in an environment already polarized by politics.

There are also concerns that unscrupulous individuals will take advantage of the repeal to further their political ambitions. If repealed, donations to such organizations would be exempt to taxation – additionally, the donors would also stand to get some of their taxes exempted. As such, these organizations would essentially work as conduits for such individuals and their benefactors.

Churches are at the center of the spotlight in this situation. This is because the Johnson Amendment was seen as a means of separating the church from the state, which is guaranteed in the American constitution.

A Republican Plot?

Since assuming the president’s office, Trump has been repealing many laws and amendments he considers as liberal. The latest attempt to destroy the Johnson Amendment, however, seems to be a joint effort by Republicans as a whole.

While President Donald J. Trump has already signed an executive order limiting the Johnson Amendment, Republicans are pushing bills seeking to destroy the law in the house. Given that they have the numbers, there are worries that they may actually have their way and give way to the said consequences.

Fighting for the Johnson Amendment

Several organizations have come out against the move to destroy the Johnson Amendment. End Citizens United, in particular, issued a press release in August 30, 2017 condemning the move and seeking to sensitize people about what the Johnson Amendment stands for.

End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC) that relies on ordinary citizens for its funding. It has a limit on how much any one individual can contribute to the organization, but it is also one of the biggest PACs in the U.S. It mostly funds liberal candidates, but it is entirely guided on principles such as justice, equality, and freedom of speech, among others. It has wide following, and its continued growth is seen as an effective countermeasure against big money politics that mostly serve the interests of the elite. Learn more:http://endcitizensunited.org/?source=rtiads_gs_ecu_h

 

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