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Switch to Forum Live View Violation of seperation?
6 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2008 - 8:21PM #1
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669
http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0306-04.htm


Pastor Steve Riggle of the megachurch Grace Community Church in South Houston/ Clear Lake

gave a written endorsement to a congressional candidate (Shelly Sekula-Gibbs) on her letter head-his endorsement was never mentioned in church but his position was mentioned twice in the letter and the letter was sent out not to members; but to likely Republican primary voters

violation? yeah or nay


related story: we recently used his church facilities for our Houston area local republican convention-this was an emergency facility use-because or normal spot was taken by practices for March madness

violation? yeah or nay
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2008 - 11:03PM #2
JohnQ
Posts: 5,544

davelaw40 wrote:

http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0306-04.htm


Pastor Steve Riggle of the megachurch Grace Community Church in South Houston/ Clear Lake

gave a written endorsement to a congressional candidate (Shelly Sekula-Gibbs) on her letter head-his endorsement was never mentioned in church but his position was mentioned twice in the letter and the letter was sent out not to members; but to likely Republican primary voters

violation? yeah or nay



First, let me state that I am not a fan of the 1954 Johnson tax legislation.....however, currently it is still law.

That said, my vote is yeah it is a violation.

It should not have been on his letterhead.

Peace!                 
------

Christian LIES wed Christian HATE......Begot a child....it’s named Prop 8! 

Supreme Court let it stand.....which means we can vote away the rights of others in our land.

Sad as that may be...it hurts all of us.....not just me.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 06, 2008 - 11:42PM #3
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

JohnQ wrote:

First, let me state that I am not a fan of the 1954 Johnson tax legislation.....however, currently it is still law.

That said, my vote is yeah it is a violation.

It should not have been on his letterhead.



It was on the candidate's letterhead-not his

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 12:50AM #4
JohnQ
Posts: 5,544

davelaw40 wrote:

It was on the candidate's letterhead-not his



Here is a link to the letter I read. 
http://www.au.org/site/DocServer/Grace_ … docID=2481

While the bottom of the page says: "Paid by and authorized by the Shelley Sekula Gibbs for Congress Campaign Committee."  The top of the page certainly looks like the Pastor's own letterhead.

Peace!                 
------

Christian LIES wed Christian HATE......Begot a child....it’s named Prop 8! 

Supreme Court let it stand.....which means we can vote away the rights of others in our land.

Sad as that may be...it hurts all of us.....not just me.
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 1:17AM #5
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

JohnQ wrote:

Here is a link to the letter I read. 
http://www.au.org/site/DocServer/Grace_ … docID=2481

While the bottom of the page says: "Paid by and authorized by the Shelley Sekula Gibbs for Congress Campaign Committee."  The top of the page certainly looks like the Pastor's own letterhead.



You are right- i misread.

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 07, 2008 - 8:54AM #6
JohnQ
Posts: 5,544

davelaw40 wrote:

You are right- i misread.




Dave, what are your thoughts on your two questions...and, the tax regulations around this issue?

Peace!                 
------

Christian LIES wed Christian HATE......Begot a child....it’s named Prop 8! 

Supreme Court let it stand.....which means we can vote away the rights of others in our land.

Sad as that may be...it hurts all of us.....not just me.
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Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 1:25AM #7
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

JohnQ wrote:

Dave, what are your thoughts on your two questions...and, the tax regulations around this issue?



My thought is that very few members of District 22 are also members of Grace Church.

that this was sent out to likely voters not members of the church; if the same letter was sent to church members it would have been a violation-but as general voting letter -his title did no more than provide his bona fides and therefore is legally permissible-close to the line; but not across it

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6 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 10:30AM #8
JohnQ
Posts: 5,544

davelaw40 wrote:

My thought is that very few members of District 22 are also members of Grace Church.

that this was sent out to likely voters not members of the church; if the same letter was sent to church members it would have been a violation-but as general voting letter -his title did no more than provide his bona fides and therefore is legally permissible-close to the line; but not across it



Interesting point about who the letter was sent out to.  I agree very close to the line.  I now am not certain which side of the line it falls upon.

Peace!                 
------

Christian LIES wed Christian HATE......Begot a child....it’s named Prop 8! 

Supreme Court let it stand.....which means we can vote away the rights of others in our land.

Sad as that may be...it hurts all of us.....not just me.
Quick Reply
Cancel
6 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 11:43AM #9
TPaine
Posts: 9,056

davelaw40 wrote:

http://www.commondreams.org/news2008/0306-04.htm

Pastor Steve Riggle of the megachurch Grace Community Church in South Houston/ Clear Lake

gave a written endorsement to a congressional candidate (Shelly Sekula-Gibbs) on her letter head-his endorsement was never mentioned in church but his position was mentioned twice in the letter and the letter was sent out not to members; but to likely Republican primary voters

violation? yeah or nay



As a dues paying member of AU, in this case it is my belief they are wrong. IMO, Pastor Riggle did not violate section 501(c)(3). Check page 7, Example 1 at the following IRS link:
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p1828.pdf

davelaw40 wrote:

related story: we recently used his church facilities for our Houston area local republican convention-this was an emergency facility use-because or normal spot was taken by practices for March madness

violation? yeah or nay



If under the same conditions other political parties could also use those facilities in the same way, I see no violation.

"When it shall be said in any country in the world, my poor are happy; neither ignorance nor distress is to be found among them; my jails are empty of prisoners, my streets of beggars; the aged are not in want, the taxes are not oppressive; the rational world is my friend, because I am a friend of its happiness: When these things can be said, then may the country boast its constitution and its government." -- Thomas Paine: The Rights Of Man (1791)
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6 years ago  ::  Apr 08, 2008 - 2:46PM #10
davelaw40
Posts: 19,669

TPaine wrote:




If under the same conditions other political parties could also use those facilities in the same way, I see no violation.



You lost me-all conventions are held on the same day-they don't have facilities to handle both.

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