Obama’s misuse of tax exempt resources prompted IRS investigation of the United Church of Christ
The United Church of Christ’s Web site reports that Barack Obama’s delivery of a campaign speech at its annual synod–a blatant misuse of the church’s tax exempt resources–prompted the Internal Revenue Service to investigate the church. That is, Barack Hussein Obama’s knowing, deliberate, premeditated, and willful misuse of his church’s resources to support his Presidential campaign put the church’s tax exemption at risk.
- Obama’s General Synod speech prompts IRS to investigate UCC’s tax-exempt status
Written by J. Bennett Guess
February 26, 2008
The Internal Revenue Service has notified the United Church of Christ’s national offices in Cleveland, Ohio, that the IRS has opened an investigation into U.S. Sen. Barack Obama’s address at the UCC’s 2007 General Synod as the church engaging in “political activities.”
“Barack Hussein Obama’s knowing, deliberate, premeditated, and willful misuse of his church’s resources to support his Presidential campaign” is a harsh accusation, but the evidence shows that it was not inadvertent. Obama cannot claim that he did not know that church resources cannot be used for electioneering, because the church made this very clear to him before the fact. He and his campaign staff agreed to these rules. Nor can Obama claim that he forgot the rules in the heat of the moment, because he wrote his speech (premeditation) ahead of time. That is, Barack Obama was willing to jeopardize his church’s tax exemption for his personal benefit.
As stated by ”IRS Investigation: A Test Of Church’s Faith?” by UCC minister Davida Foy Crabtree in the Hartford Courant
- Our purpose in inviting Sen. Obama in the spring of 2006 — long before he was a candidate for the presidency — was to ask him to address the connection between his Christian faith and his public service, to speak to us of the challenges for people of faith in the public square today. And he did so with eloquence. As a prominent member of our church, his was a natural invitation, just as the others were. To avoid any hint of endorsement or promotion, our national officers and our denominational attorney established clear understandings with Sen. Obama’s office in Washington. He readily agreed to all of them. We made it clear not only to his campaign staff but also to our own synod delegates and visitors that no advocacy or promotion of his candidacy would be permitted.
“He readily agreed to all of them.” That is, Barack Obama agreed that “no advocacy or promotion of his candidacy would be permitted,” and then he wrote a campaign speech that expressly advocated and promoted his candidacy. Barack Obama lied to the United Church of Christ, and his lie got the church into trouble with the IRS. The oath of office that Obama took when he joined the U.S. Senate is probably worth just as much as the promise he made to the UCC, which means he might as well have taken it on a roll of toilet paper. Here are the relevant excerpts from “A Politics of Conscience.”
- …It’s been several months now since I announced I was running for president. In that time, I’ve had the chance to talk with Americans all across this country. And I’ve found that no matter where I am, or who I’m talking to, there’s a common theme that emerges. It’s that folks are hungry for change – they’re hungry for something new. They’re ready to turn the page on the old politics and the old policies – whether it’s the war in Iraq or the health care crisis we’re in, or a school system that’s leaving too many kids behind despite the slogans.…
Our conscience can’t rest so long as 37 million Americans are poor and forgotten by their leaders in Washington and by the media elites. We need to heed the biblical call to care for “the least of these” and lift the poor out of despair. That’s why I’ve been fighting to expand the Earned Income Tax Credit and the minimum wage. If you’re working forty hours a week, you shouldn’t be living in poverty. But we also know that government initiatives are not enough. Each of us in our own lives needs to do what we can to help the poor. And until we do, our conscience cannot rest.Our conscience cannot rest so long as nearly 45 million Americans don’t have health insurance and the millions more who do are going bankrupt trying to pay for it. I have made a solemn pledge that I will sign a universal health care bill into law by the end of my first term as president that will cover every American and cut the cost of a typical family’s premiums by up to $2500 a year. That’s not simply a matter of policy or ideology – it’s a moral commitment.
The fact that Obama said this after promising explicitly that no campaign-related activity would take place during his appearance at the United Church of Christ shows that he doesn’t have much of a conscience at all. Obama’s conduct reminds us of a caller to a talk radio show who, after indicating his understanding of Federal Communication Commission rules that ban profanity, spews a long series of F-bombs once he is on the air, thus getting the radio station into trouble. There are enough callers whose lack of character and maturity makes this a real possibility that there is a delay of several seconds between the time a person speaks and when the words are broadcast, and this allows the radio station to cut the sound if the F word or similar profanity is present. The United Church of Christ obviously felt that similar conduct from a United States Senator would be so inconceivable that there were no provisions for cutting Obama’s microphone, and the UCC was wrong. Obama did the equivalent of F-bombing his own church, thus causing its officers considerable stress and worry about what the IRS would do as a result. The IRS apparently reached the same conclusion:
- Senator Obama was invited to speak at the 2007 General Synod, in a non-candidate capacity, on how his personal faith intersected with his public life. You further established that the United Church of Christ had verbally communicated to those in attendance that Senator Obama was there as a member of the church and not as a candidate for office, that the audience should not attempt to engage in any political activities and that the church’s legal counsel had advised Senator Obama’s campaign of the ground rules for his speech.
Also in response to the inquiry, you indicated that the United Church of Christ did not authorize or have any power to authorize campaign volunteers for Senator Obama to set up tables near the entrances of the Hartford Civic Center on Saturday, June 23, 2007, and that the activity was conducted on public property outside the control of the synod and therefore was not attributable to the church.
You further advised that the United Church of Christ’s website provides a link to the IRS fact sheet on ”Election Year Activities and the Prohibition on Political Campaign Intervention for Section 501(c)(3) Organizations,” and that your Nationwide Special Counsel has advised leaders of the United Church of Christ of the publication of Revenue Ruling 2007-41, in June 2007.(OCR transcription of part of the IRS letter to the United Church of Christ, http://www.ucc.org/news/pdf/irsletter.pdf)
The IRS’s exoneration of the United Church of Christ is particularly damning of Obama. The IRS states that the UCC told Obama the rules ahead of time, which means that Obama chose to knowingly, willfully, and deliberately misuse the church’s resources to support his campaign while his campaign volunteers used the church event (albeit on public property) to further promote his candidacy. An individual–we won’t call him a man–who lies to his own church, blindsides it, and does the equivalent of F-bombing it, is totally unfit to hold any position of public trust or responsibility in any way, shape, or form.