Vice President Kamala Harris is being criticized for a new political video for potentially violating campaign law (Johnson Amendment). The Internal Revenue Service bans churches and charities defined as 501(c)(3) organizations from being involved in political campaigns. The Johnson Amendment is an addition, adopted in 1954, to the Internal Revenue Code.
Harris recorded a video that will be played in over 300 churches between now and Election Day in Virginia, featuring the gubernatorial race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Glenn Youngkin. In the video, Harris thanked churches for their support, and applauded McAuliffe ‘s record.
“In 2020, More Virginians voted than ever before and because you did, you helped send President Joe Biden and me to the White House. This year, I know that you will send Terry McAuliffe back to Richmond. So, early voting has already started. And this is the first year that you can vote on Sunday. So, please vote after today’s service. And if you cannot vote today, make a plan to go vote.”
“Just want to say absolute panic would ensue if conservative churches did this. I’m not a fan of any side doing it, but it’s amazing how the conversation is different,” wrote columnist Daniel Darling. “I don’t mind politicians speaking in churches on Christian themes. Some politicians have also served as pastors. They are people who like to serve their churches. What I think we object to is explicitly partisan messages on Sunday am designed to get out the vote.”
Harris shared in the video about her faith and singing hymns about how faith, combined with determination, will see us through difficult times. “And we were taught that it was our sacred responsibility to raise our voice, and lift up the voices of our community. One of the most significant ways I believe that we can each use our voice is through our vote. So, Virginians, you have the opportunity now to raise your voice through your vote, because it’s election time,” she said.
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—By CNJ Staff