The United States government is not functioning as it should and it has been that way for nearly a decade. We can go back to 2010 to when the Supreme Court hosted James Bopp, a lawyer representing Citizens United. Bopp and his conservative propaganda group, Citizens United, argued before the SCOTUS that corporations should be considered as people and that their donations should be considered an extension of their freedom of speech. This argument was fundamentally just a way for Bopp to argue for more lobbyists and special interests in American politics. The argument worked and now, seven years later, End Citizens United is fighting to bring financial transparency back to American politics.
End Citizens United was formed in an effort to make their name a reality. End Citizens United is a political action committee that relies upon grassroot support to get their message out with the goal of putting legislators into office that are willing to champion campaign finance reform. End Citizens United has stayed laser focused on their goal and that has expanded over the past six months to include the protection of the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment has come under intense fire and scrutiny ever since Donald Trump was inexplicably elected to the White House. The Johnson Amendment was introduced in 1954 and it serves as a piece of legislation to keep religious organizations from flooding politics with their finances. In exchange, these organizations are granted tax exemption to help alleviate the burden of their expenses.
President Trump issued an executive order in May that put the IRS on notice that he planned to repeal the Johnson Amendment in some capacity. He essentially told the IRS not to prosecute any religious organizations that decided to break the law. Now, months later, the GOP is proposing a tax reform plan that will be undoing the Johnson Amendment almost in its entirety. If the Johnson Amendment were to fall by the wayside then the expectation would be more dark money to flood into the political scene. According to Tiffany Muller, president at End Citizens United, churches and other religious institutions would turn into “tools for secret campaign spending.” The problem only gets deeper with the realization that these mega-donors would be able to funnel their donations through religious institutions while also scoring a hefty tax write off at the end of the year. In essence, the GOP plans to give corporate donors an even easier way to influence politics.
The Johnson Amendment was brought forth by Lyndon B Johnson in July of 1954. The legislation was backed in a bipartisan effort and has largely stood the test of time over the past 50+ years. However, as Republicans shift even further to the fringe right, it appears that no legislation is safe. Read more:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/End_Ci tizens_United
Over the past year and a half the United States of America has seen its institutions at the federal level attacked by the reckless leadership of President Donald Trump. Donald Trump’s most recent target has been the Johnson Amendment which was established by two great political leaders back in 1954, Lyndon B Johnson and Dwight Eisenhower. The Johnson Amendment was a bipartisan effort to continue separating matters of religion from matters of the state. Since 1954 the amendment has been one of the cornerstones of our country, giving religious services a tax-exempt status in exchange for their parting from political partisanship. Now, Trump is setting his sights on attacking the amendment and groups like End Citizens United are being relied upon to fight back.
End Citizens United has been trying to make their name a reality for several years now. The name End Citizens United is based off of the 2010 Supreme Court case revolving around the propaganda arm of the GOP, Citizens United. Citizens United inexplicably and successfully argued before the Supreme Court in order to allow more dark money and lobbyists in to the government. These lobbyists, billionaires and millionaires alike, have fundamentally broken the United States government. The Johnson Amendment is actually a law that helps to keep at least a portion of these same lobbyists at bay by keeping religious services from funneling money into Washington D.C. By attacking the Johnson Amendment, Trump is continuing the conservative tradition of handing over the country to the billionaires and millionaires in the elite class. End Citizens United has obviously taken umbridge with this angle and has been dedicated to fighting against it with all that they have.
Donald Trump first set his sights on dismantling the Johnson Amendment back in May of 2017 when he signed an executive order urging the IRS to avoid prosecuting churches who broke the law. This EO is not legally binding and as such the IRS is under no obligation to comply. However, the mere signing of the executive order by Donald Trump shows a fundamental lack of understanding of the words ‘law and order’. The Johnson Amendment enjoyed bipartisan support for decades until far right groups began to systematically attack and dismantle it. In fact,nearly 34% of respondents to a Pew Research Center poll in 2017 said that they wanted to include religion in their politics. However, these respondents likely don’t realize just how dramatic of an impact this lobbying would have on the highest tiers of the United States government.
End Citizens United opposes repealing the Johnson Amendment for the simple reason that it gives away even more power to those with the most money. End Citizens United believes in fighting for the little people and has thus initiated a grassroots campaign aimed at raising awareness about the situation. Learn more:https://www.crunchbase.com/organization/end-citizens-united