Wednesday, June 09, 2004

GOP=God's Only Party

Today's Washington Post has a great story about the Republican's latest plan to turn out the vote of religious conservatives:

The American Jobs Creation Act, introduced Friday by House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Bill Thomas (R-Calif.), is scheduled for markup Thursday and a vote on the House floor next week. The bill's main purpose is to cut the top corporate tax rate from 35 percent to 32 percent and provide other tax relief to businesses, in return for repealing subsidies that have triggered European sanctions on U.S. farmers and manufacturers.

But on page 378 of the bill is a provision entitled "Safe Harbor for Churches." It would allow clergy members to engage in political activity, including endorsing candidates, as long as they make clear that they are acting as private citizens and not on behalf of their religious organizations. They could not make partisan political statements in church publications, at church functions or using church funds.

Sounds like the bill sort of sums up the GOP's domestic policy.

The bill also includes a provision that "would allow clergy members to commit three "unintentional violations" of the tax rules on political activity each year without risking the loss of tax-exempt status."

Three violations? One for the primary election, one for the general election, and one to spare.

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