November 5, 2012 at 5:18 pm #605468
There are some pastors around the nation who are boldly endorsing candidates from the pulpit, in direct violation of IRS non-profit rules. The IRS so far hasn’t initiated enforcement although they still actively enforce other rules, like not paying taxes on time. I wonder when the IRS will begin to enforce ALL its rules or will it possibly just continue to turn a blind eye to this one. Maybe the IRS doesn’t have the stomach for this fight.November 5, 2012 at 5:34 pm #776583
Shameful. But then too, there’s this:
Former SEIU Organizer: I Was ‘Required’ to Do ‘Political Work’
In a case that could have wide-ranging implications for the political future of the Service Employees International Union, a former SEIU organizer told a right-to-work group and a best-selling author recently that the union forced him and other workers to volunteer their time for Democratic political campaigns.
“And I [thought], ‘Is this really legal? Can you require me to volunteer for a candidate that I can’t even vote for?’” he recalled thinking. “I don’t live in that jurisdiction, that district that they are running from.”
“And that happened a lot around election time. The staff was — it was — I called it ‘mandatory volunteerism.’ And that happened to everybody. We were all told that we had to volunteer for this candidate on this day.”
Conclusion: The gods (and the unions) must be crazy.November 5, 2012 at 5:56 pm #776584
“…the former SEIU organizer’s…”
I read your Fox News link. You’ll notice the subject was an SEIU organizer, an employee of the union, not a union member. There’s nothing in there that shows union members being forced or asked to do anything. It’s a cleverly worded smear.But, for some people, that’s all it takes to sway their opinion or draw false conclusions.November 5, 2012 at 8:31 pm #776585
Yeah. It could be a smear.
And no, I wasn’t confused over whether it was a union member or union employee who was ordered to the do the campaign work. It was someone who worked for the union. It’s right there in the headline: “Organizer.” Organizers are typically thought of as union employees, although they don’t have to be.
Regardless of whether the accuser’s claim is true, we are unlikely to see a stampede of other SEIU employees coming forward with similar stories, and the reason is because SEIU employees generally like working for Demo campaigns, so it’s not like anyone’s twisting their arms. But that’s not the issue in any case.
The issue is that the line between unions and political parties is becoming increasingly blurred – just like the line between PACs and political parties is becoming blurred – and this policy of forcing union employees to work for political campaigns (if the claim is true) would be blurring them even further.
In Washington and many other states, you can be forced to join a union and pay dues as a condition of employment. You cannot, however, be forced to support a political party as a condition of employment, unless you actually work for that party. But if unions are requiring their employees to support certain political parties, they are violating the 1st Amendment protection of “freedom of assembly” on two counts.
First, they are violating the rights of union members, who might not want their money to be used in any way to support parties they don’t like. Second, they are violating the rights of union employees, who cannot be forced to support a particular party as a condition of employment.
I suppose it still gets down to whether you believe the guy’s claim. Which I do. I also believe similar claims about other government and private employers telling their employees how to vote. Which is also wrong.
My point here would be that this is a problem on both the right and left, and that’s a problem not only in the pulpit but in the workplace as well.
And now, if you can stand to watch one more video, watch this:November 5, 2012 at 10:33 pm #776586
can you tell me what a union requiring the people it employs to organize requiring political activities from it’s employees
has to do with church’s violating the terms of their non-profit status?
i could counter with a link to employers telling their employees that if Obama wins they will be out of work…
but that doesn’t have anything to do with church’s violating not only the letter but the spirit of their non-profit status either.November 5, 2012 at 11:10 pm #776587November 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm #776588
Spodie – big thumbs up!
I’m all for people believing whatever they want to believe. But once you start buying real estate (churches), taking in revenue, and making political directives – it’s time to pay the piper.November 5, 2012 at 11:53 pm #776589
“But if unions are requiring their employees to support certain political parties, they are violating the 1st Amendment protection of “freedom of assembly” on two counts.”
Do you have any evidence of unions forcing their members to support a particular party? Not hearsay, not statements from people who are not union members.Any court cases (within the last, say, 10 years) that have any convictions or prosecutions for such? Post that and then the conversation would become more than smear tactics.November 6, 2012 at 12:48 am #776590
>>can you tell me what a union requiring the people it employs to organize requiring political activities from it’s employees has to do with church’s violating the terms of their non-profit status? —Jo
Sure, Jo. The general problem here is: Organizations meddling with politics when they shouldn’t be.
Maybe the OP would like to limit the discussion to just right-wing pastors endorsing right-wing candidates, but unfortunately, you don’t get to do that on the Blog. You don’t get to start a thread about right-wing shenanigans and declare: This thread is for right-wing shenanigans ONLY.
I mean . . . you can try, but there’s no guarantees. All it takes is one little smoke-bomb from DBP or JoB . . .
And besides, now that I’ve got dobro all revved up, it wouldn’t be fair to shut the whole thing down, would it?
;-)November 6, 2012 at 1:13 am #776591
Do you have any evidence of unions forcing their members to support a particular party? Not hearsay, not statements from people who are not union members. Any court cases (within the last, say, 10 years) that have any convictions or prosecutions for such?
Post that and then the conversation would become more than smear tactics.
dobro, a couple things here.
First off, let me say that in spite of our past differences, I think of you as my friend. Whether you like it or not. And AS your friend I need to let you know that your implication that I’m using or endorsing smear tactics is out of line. I know you didn’t mean it that way, but I still inferred that as a possible meaning, and I really don’t appreciate it.
If you look over my initial response to you, you’ll see that I don’t make any such implications about you or your arguments, so I’d appreciate it if you’d afford me the same courtesy. Thank you.
Now then, as to your other point, being that I need to post court case references or else everything I say is suspect, I reject that out of hand. But I find it interesting that you don’t hold the OP to the same standard. If you notice, the title of the OP’s cited blog post is “Pastors Thumb Nose at IRS”? But curiously, there’s no court case demonstrating that the pastors in question have been convicted of “thumbing their noses” – or any other part of their anatomy – at the government.
Here’s what the post DID say about the legality of the pastors’ actions, as determined by the courts so far:
As of Friday, none of the hundreds of pastors who took part in the protest reported hearing back from the government. In fact, the Alliance Defending Freedom says, only one of the churches that have taken part in Pulpit Freedom Sundays over the last five years has been the target of IRS action, and that case was dropped shortly after the IRS lost a separate legal ruling almost four years ago.
The Internal Revenue Code specifies that all section 501(c)(3) organizations are “absolutely prohibited” from taking part in, contributing to or making any statement “in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office.”
But enforcement appears to have halted completely in early 2009 after Living Word Christian Center of Brooklyn Park, Minn., successfully appealed an audit that the IRS launched after its pastor endorsed Republican Rep. Michelle Bachmann for re-election. The judge ruled (.pdf) that the IRS was technically violating its own regulations in deciding whether to audit churches for banned political activities — because the official making that decision wasn’t high enough on the Treasury Department’s organization chart.
Interesting, no? Now, if I were to use your standard, i.e., that the courts have the last word on right and wrong, then the pastors cited in the article have done nothing wrong by endorsing candidates and therefore shouldn’t be criticized at all.
And yet, not even I would go that far. But again, if I were to use your standard, I could.
But you’ll be glad to hear this: In my next post I’m going to indulge you and talk about the case law related to union contributions to political parties. Because, as a matter of fact, there is some case law on that.November 6, 2012 at 1:25 am #776592
“…your implication that I’m using or endorsing smear tactics is out of line. I know you didn’t mean it that way…”
No, I didn’t mean it that way. I read the link you offered to support a conclusion you made and I analyzed it. I didn’t say or imply you endorsed it but you did suggest it was “shameful” and that it showed unions to be “crazy”. I gave my analysis, which was that what you posted was a smear job.
“But I find it interesting that you don’t hold the OP to the same standard.”
So far, I have not replied to the OP, only to your posting, which may be a bit of a threadjack. So I haven’t held anyone else to any standard.
“Now, if I were to use your standard, i.e., that the courts have the last word on right and wrong…”
I don’t believe I have ever stated or implied such. Why would you put those words in my mouth?
“In my next post I’m going to indulge you…”
Please don’t go to any trouble on my account, but citing some actual incidences of the crimes implied in your posted smear article might help your own credibility.
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