End Citizens United Fights to Uphold the Johnson Amendment

President Donald J. Trump is about to alter the rules of political campaigning, and most people don’t know it yet. The Johnson Amendment, which has largely separated politics from many NGOs, is under threat of being repealed under the Trump Administration.

What is the Johnson Amendment?

The Johnson Amendment was signed into law in 1954 to prevent the mingling of politics and NGOs. The amendment states that NGOs that are exempted from taxation should not campaign for political parties or candidates in any way. Some of the most notable things included in this category are churches and universities, which are naturally expected to be politically neutral.

The Threat

Early this fall, the Trump amendment took steps to repeal some parts of the Johnson amendment by altering the law’s stipulations in the House Financial Services appropriation bill. Although this did not have much of an effect, President Trump went further to sign an executive order relaxing some parts of the law.

If repealed, tax-exempt NGOs such as churches will be permitted to engage in political campaigns including through financial donations. The greatest fear is that this will bring religion into state affairs, which is considered a setback from what the American Constitution (and most other constitutions of developed countries) stands for. Other fears include the fact that unscrupulous politicians will use churches and other organization for their selfish needs, including transferring money or making political donations tax-free.

The repeals planned by Trump’s administration will not include all tax-exempt organizations – in fact, it mostly focuses on churches, hence the concern about mixing religion and state affairs.

Fighting to Uphold the Johnson Amendment

Although most people have not heard about this, many concerned organizations and individuals across the U.S. have engaged in vigorous campaigns to stop the Trump administration.

End Citizens United is one of the many organizations that have come out in defense of the Johnson Amendment. It has taken several approaches to win the long fight ahead. To start with, it has undertaken a campaign to make people aware of the underlying threat. It has done this by issuing press releases and mobilizing its followers to spread the message. The organization is also lobbying senators to try to deter President Trump and his Republican allies directly.

About End Citizens United

End Citizens United is a political action committee (PAC) that seeks to empower ordinary American citizens politically. It is a grass root organization that relies on the donations and support of individual Americans to further their collective political ambitions.

End Citizens United mostly aligns itself with Democrats as they represent most of its principles: progressiveness, equality, and tolerance, among others. In fact, it has successfully campaigned for the election of several Democratic candidates to the Senate. The organization is so popular that it has been seen as an effective deterrent against big-money politics considering that it collects millions of dollars in donations.Learn more: http://www.politifact.com/personalities/end-citizens-united/

 

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