MCN Opposes Changes to Johnson Amendment
February 2, 2017
Public Policy Director
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits
MCN opposes changes to Johnson Amendment
This morning, President Trump spoke about his promise to repeal the Johnson Amendment, which expressly directs that charities or foundations shall “not participate in, (or intervene in including the publishing or distributing of statements) any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for public office.”
“The Minnesota Council of Nonprofits believes that this is a bad idea,” said Rebecca Lucero, Public Policy Director at MCN. “U.S. nonprofit organizations, which includes religious organizations, are best able to advance their missions when they are nonpartisan.”
Nonpartisan 501(c)(3) nonprofits are able to serve as true problem solvers working in partnership with government and other community stakeholders with shared values and a common vision that moves well beyond any current political cycle.
We believe the Johnson Amendment does not unfairly limit the speech of churches or nonprofits. Religious institutions and other nonprofit organizations who want to give up their public charity status are free to expend their funds for or against political candidates and partisan election activity and keep their tax exempt status as a (c)(4), or Section 527 organization.
Minnesota Council of Nonprofits urges the Minnesota Congressional delegation to reject these proposed changes and prioritize the many other issues impacting our communities. ###