Standard Newswire is a cost-effective and efficient newswire service for public policy groups, government agencies, PR firms, think-tanks, watchdog groups, advocacy groups, coalitions, foundations, colleges, universities, activists, politicians, and candidates to distribute their press releases to journalists who truly want to hear from them.

Do not settle for an email blasting service or a newswire overloaded with financial statements. Standard Newswire gets your news into the hands of working journalists, broadcast hosts, and news producers.

Find out how you can start using Standard Newswire to


VIEW ALL Our News Outlets
Sign Up to Receive Press Releases:

Standard Newswire™ LLC
209 W. 29th Street, Suite 6202
New York, NY 10001, USA.
(212) 290-1585

Americans United's 'Reminder' to Churches Appears to be an Indirect Attempt at Evangelical Vote Suppression

Contact: Bradley A. Smith, Center for Competitive Politics, 614-236-6317


ARLINGTON, Va., Nov. 3 /Standard Newswire/ -- Former FEC Commissioner Bradley A. Smith blasted Reverend Barry Lynn and his group for attempting to suppress turnout by right-leaning churchgoers in Tuesday's midterm elections. Smith, Capital University law professor and chairman of the Center for Competitive Politics said, "The admonition is clearly a partisan effort designed to intimidate conservative churches from exercising their Constitutional rights to educate congregants, just because those congregants may tend to vote Republican. The admonition says nothing about liberal churches or the Left."


In its Tuesday, October 31, 2006, press release (Churches Should Reject Religious Right's Biased Voter Guides, Says Americans United), Americans United for Separation of Church and State appears to be trying to frustrate the flow of candidate information to Evangelical congregants likely sympathetic to conservative political views, thereby suppressing their vote.


AU says it "advised houses of worship to be extremely wary of supposedly 'non-partisan' Religious Right voter guides, many of which are being issued this week just before the mid-term elections." AU claims to have reviewed "many of these [Religious Right] guides...and found them to be significantly flawed." Says AU, "[A]ny church that distributes them may be putting its tax- exempt status at risk." Barry W. Lynn, executive director of AU, said "[t]hese guides are clearly partisan and deceptive. Houses of worship should not be part of the Religious Right's unethical and legally problematic campaign to intervene in elections."


"AU's release is disturbing on many levels," say Smith. "First, the admonition does not apply to all 501(c)(3) organizations, when all (c)(3) organizations are subject to the IRS prohibition on campaign intervention. The IRS's investigation of the non-religious NAACP is the highest-profile intervention case coming out of the last election cycle. Second, the admonition does not apply to any 'liberal' churches or 'Religious Left' organizations, when the most prominent church intervention case in the last election cycle is All Saints Episcopal Church of Pasadena, California, being investigated for advancing the candidacy of Democratic Presidential candidate John Kerry."


Smith noted that, "When Republican Congressional candidate Tan Nguyen issued a letter warning some 14,000 immigrants likely to support opposition candidate Lisa Sanchez that voting may place them in legal jeopardy, he was excoriated for engaging in voter suppression. But AU is trying to suppress tens of thousands of votes by telling evangelical churches that distributing voter guides may cause those churches to lose their tax exempt status."


"The fact is, the law clearly allows churches to distribute non-partisan voter guides created by other organizations that include balanced explanations of the candidates' positions on issues central to the election," Smith said. "Churches might ask, 'why is Barry Lynn suddenly so eager to provide legal advice to churches whose beliefs he has so relentlessly criticized?' The fact is, organizations like Focus on the Family, the Christian Coalition and National Right to Life know they must meet IRS standards for voter guides. They have outstanding compliance attorneys and every incentive to comply. Churches should not unnecessarily fear distributing voter guides from reputable organizations. Instead, they should ask themselves just why Barry Lynn and AU don't want their congregants to know about the platforms and voting records of incumbents and their challengers."


The Center for Competitive Politics is a non-profit organization founded in August 2005 by Smith and Stephen M. Hoersting, a campaign finance attorney. CCP's mission, through legal briefs, studies, historical and constitutional analyses, and media communication, is to educate the public on the actual effects of money in politics, and the results of a more free and competitive electoral process.