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