Last week I was invited to Washington D.C. to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in a sub-committee hearing chaired by Congressman Jim Jordan.
Click above for video.
"True the Vote was targeted because it’s effective" - Rep. Jim Jordan
I’ll get into greater detail about the testimony below, and you can watch it with the link, but I want to share up front what I believe was one of the most significant statements of the day.
In the hearing, Congressman Jordan said he believed True the Vote was targeted because we are effective. He’s right. And that makes us a huge threat to the bureaucratic deep state.
So, the subject of the hearing was “Examining a Church’s Right to Free Speech.” So, you may wonder, what does that have to do with True the Vote? Quite a lot, actually. Here’s why...
The hearing was part of a broader debate about a long-abused passage of legislation that has come to be called the Johnson Amendment. The Johnson Amendment was first spoken into existence in 1954 by then Senator Lyndon Johnson to exact revenge against a political opponent. It takes direct aim at all 501(c)3, tax-exempt organizations, prohibiting them from speaking out on any political matter whatsoever, lest they lose their tax-exempt status. Presto. Free speech is selectively silenced and the IRS is the enforcer. So it was then, and so it is still today.
As I said in my testimony, “Under the current code, if your 501c3 organization operates to further the purposes of religion, charity, science, or education then this vaguely worded passage - baked into a 46,000 page federal tax code - lays in wait for you, to muzzle you and to rescind your non-profit status should you say something the government does not like. Here’s the full 5-minute video of my testimony:
Click above for video.
"The IRS must be stopped. Non-profits are becoming an endangered species." - Catherine Engelbrecht
In 2012, we declined to comply with IRS demands that I turn over all the copies of my speeches, lists of who I’d met with, and calendars of where I intended to speak for the next two years. What followed was a series of events that left me with no choice but to file suit against the IRS in the hopes of bringing an end to the abuse. This battle has now gone on for seven very long years, and it continues to this day. In fact, just four weeks ago my attorney and I went to back into court to face twenty-one IRS attorneys and staffers who in legion siphon our time and resources, all the while arguing that they’ve done nothing wrong.
Please help us stay in the fight. We receive no government grants. We have no Sorosesque funding streams. It’s just us, people like you and me, who keep True the Vote afloat. Your choice to click on this link and make a donation is the only way…the only way…we keep moving forward.
True the Vote was founded to do three things: inpire and equip citizens to advance voters’ rights, research the veracity of the voter rolls, and support common sense reforms. We set out on this course of litigation with the IRS and now we must both stay the course of our core mission and fight to keep it from being undermined. It’s a hefty and expensive agenda.
Like election integrity, free speech must not be lost. It’s worth testifying to. It’s worth fighting for. Because in the end, this is all about liberty and it is never wrong to return liberty to the people.
PS Make no mistake, I don’t want to be in the courtroom one day longer than is absolutely necessary, but we must continue to push for written policy that prohibits viewpoint discrimination and holds the abusers ACCOUNTABLE. We are still amassing data for our forensic audit, and the combination of both has us stretched to the limit. I’d ask you to keep in mind Congressman Jordan’s remarks. We find ourselves in this spot because we are effective. We must stay strong. Please help support our work - every dollar can be put to immediate use.