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Action Alert: Preserving Nonprofit Nonpartisanship

by Jennifer Gray

Please join us in reaching out to Senator Susan Collins and Representative Chellie Pingree to urge them to fight hard against efforts to weaken the Johnson Amendment!

The Maine Association of Nonprofits and nonprofits, houses of worship, and foundations across the state are steadfast in our support of the Johnson Amendment, the longstanding provision of federal tax law that prohibits candidates for public office and donors from attempting to politicize our organizations by demanding endorsements and other forms of campaign support.

That law is at risk this month, and both Senator Susan Collins and Representative Chellie Pingree are in key positions to protect nonprofit nonpartisanship.

The Message

We’re asking for your help in urging them to stand with the nonprofit community by delivering this message:

Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations – whether churches, charities, or foundations. Oppose all efforts in conference to include a controversial anti-Johnson Amendment rider to the Financial Services spending bill, H.R.6147.

You can contact them by phone or tweet (see below). Better yet, please do both. Then let us knowyou’ve made the contact and also forward this message to others in your network.

Background

A provision in a U.S. House-passed appropriations bill would effectively prevent the Internal Revenue Service from enforcing the Johnson Amendment against churches for even the most egregious violations, including spending charitable assets to support political candidates. The Senate version of the spending bill does not include the anti-Johnson Amendment language. A House-Senate conference committee has been created to work out the differences between the separate versions of the appropriations bill, and the anti-Johnson Amendment provision is one of the most controversial items in their negotiations.

Both Senator Collins and Congresswoman Pingree have been named to the conference committee that will be meeting any time. It is imperative that they understand that the vast majority of the charitable, religious, and philanthropic community in Maine and across the country strongly oppose the anti-Johnson Amendment language in H.R. 6147 and that we’re counting on them, as conferees, to work to ensure it is not included in the bill that comes out of conference.

You can learn more about this important issue at www.GiveVoice.org.

Take Action Now

1. Call Senator Collins + Representative Pingree 

NOTE: Studies show that calls to congressional offices are the most effective means of constituent advocacy – so make the calls first before taking other actions!

Sample Script: “Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations – whether churches, charities, or foundations. Please oppose all efforts in conference to include a controversial anti-Johnson Amendment rider to the Financial Services spending bill, H.R.6147.

Contact Information:

Senator Susan Collins

Washington, D.C. (202) 224-2523
Augusta 622-8414
Portland 780-3575
Bangor 945-0417
Biddeford 283-1101
Caribou 493-7873
Lewiston 784-6969

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree

Washington, D.C. (202) 225-6116
Portland 774-5019
Waterville 873-5713

 2. Tweet Your Representatives and Senators

Senator Susan Collins: @SenatorCollin
Congresswoman Chellie Pingree: @chelliepingree
 
Be sure to start with a period before the politician’s handle.
Sample Tweet: .@SenatorCollins @chelliepingree Partisanship has NO place in charitable organizations – whether churches, charities, or foundations. Please oppose all efforts in conference to include a controversial anti-Johnson Amendment rider to the Financial Services spending bill, H.R.6147

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