International Business Times: Religious Freedom vs Political Agenda: Trump’s Gift To Group That Helped Stephen Bannon, Stephen Miller


The ripple effects of any rollback would run far beyond the David Horowitz Freedom Center. In a May white paper on the Johnson Amendment, the nonpartisan, nonprofit Campaign Legal Center warned that its elimination “could lead to the creation of an array of new 501(c)(3) ‘super dark money groups’ — groups organized as charities or religious organizations that will operate as tax-deductible vehicles for wealthy donors to secretly influence elections.”

The other side of the aisle has its fair share of 501(c)(3)s “pushing the legal envelope” as well, said Brendan Fischer, the author of the white paper and the CLC's director of Federal Election Commission reform. He cautioned, though, that he “wouldn't say it's necessarily even.” Either way, if Trump were to get rid of the rule completely, it would only increase the influence of a small group of donors, as did the Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, which allowed corporations to spend money on non-campaign efforts in support of or against political candidates.

“Citizens United,” Fischer said, “coupled with a repeal of the charitable tax deduction guidelines would open the floodgates for dark money spending.” 

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