I.R.S. Eyes Religious Groups as More Enter Election Fray - New York Times
I.R.S. Eyes Religious Groups as More Enter Election Fray - New York Times: "With midterm elections less than two months away, Christian conservatives are enlisting churches in eight battleground states to register voters, gather crowds for rallies and distribute voters’ guides comparing the candidates’ stands on issues that conservatives consider “family values.”
This election year, however, the religious conservatives are facing resistance from newly invigorated religious liberals and moderates who are creating their own voters’ guides and are organizing events designed to challenge the conservatives’ definition of “values.”
Both religious flanks are looking nervously over their shoulders at the Internal Revenue Service, which this year announced a renewed effort to enforce laws that limit churches and charities from involvement in partisan political campaigns.
“We became concerned in the 2004 election cycle that we were seeing more political activity among charities, including churches,” said Lois G. Lerner, the director for exempt organizations at the I.R.S. “In fact, of the organizations we looked at, we saw a very high percentage of some improper political activity, and that is really why we have ramped up the program in 2006.”"