Our elections should not be for sale | Letter to the editor

To the editor:

In 1954 the Johnson Amendment, named for LBJ, was passed. This amendment prohibits tax-exempt churches, charities and foundations under Section 501(c)3 of the tax code from endorsing candidates I am writing to alert your readers of an effort to repeal the “Johnson Amendment.

The Johnson Amendment protects all of us by making it illegal for religious organizations and other nonprofit organizations to give money to candidates running for office. When the Johnson Amendment is repealed it will open the door for immense amounts of money to be given to candidates as well as giving donors tax breaks.

Money is destroying our democratic traditions. In the last election super pacs spent more than $1 billion none of which was tax deductible.

With the repeal of the Johnson amendment political contributions will be tax deductible and requirements for reporting will be ignored.

The “tax reform bill” that just passed the Senate gives huge tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest 1 percent of the population. These tax cuts for the wealthy will be paid for by massive cuts in Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security.

Please, please urge your readers to contact their representatives and let them know that our elections are not for sale and that the Johnson Amendment is one of the ways that we can curb the massive influx of money that is destroying our democracy.

REVEREND STEPHEN EKHOLM

Bainbridge Island

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