In 1954 we saw Lyndon B Johnson work hand-in-hand with Dwight Eisenhower as Republicans and Democrats collaborated on what would become the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment was designed in order to prevent 501(C)(3) organizations from participating in political campaign contributions. The goal of the amendment was to simply separate church and state matters while closing a loophole that corporate donors were more than willing to abuse. While the amendment was approved in a bipartisan effort and has stood unchallenged for over 50 years, times are surely changing. The election of Donald Trump has brought on an extreme change in the way that Washington D.C. works — and not for the better. Trump has made it his goal to repeal the Johnson Amendment in order to create more loopholes for his corporate cronies. There are a few organizations that are working to fight back against Trump’s disastrous decision and one of them is End Citizens United.
End Citizens United is a political action committee that rose to prominence as a champion for campaign finance reform. ECU, as the name is often shortened to, has made it their mission to support legislators who are willing to fight for transparent governance as well as real campaign finance reform. The Johnson Amendment falls under this purview and as a result End Citizens United has become a leader in the fight against Trump’s decision. Trump and the GOP are introducing a tax reform bill that would effectively strip the teeth out of the Johnson Amendment, thus creating more opportunities for dark money to flood into the political world.
Religious institutions have always been barred from directly trying to impact politicians thanks to the Johnson Amendment but that doesn’t mean that they have been completely closed out of the political conversation. Churches and other religious are allowed to engage in non-partisan political drives such as encouraging people to vote, but that is the extent of it so long as they fall under 501(C)(3) status. Tiffany Muller, President of End Citizens United, believes things will change dramatically if the Johnson Amendment is gutted. Muller says that churches will immediately transform into “tools for secret campaign spending“.
— Derek Cressman (@DerekCressman) December 7, 2017
If President Trump and establishment republicans are able to strip the Johnson Amendment from the book, expect for more upheaval to occur in Washington D.C. by way of dark money and special interests. Lobbyists will be able to donate as much as they want through churches and as a bonus they’ll even get to write it all off on their taxes! End Citizens United knows how dangerous this can be to democracy and as such have made it their mission to make as many people aware as possible. Check for more:https://www.opensecrets.org/pacs/lookup2.php?strID=C00573261