Christian Coalition Loses Tax Exempt Status

The Internal Revenue Service has reportedly ruled that the Christian Coalition is so thoroughly partisan that it does not deserve tax-exempt status, a development welcomed by People For the American Way Foundation President Carole Shields, who called the ruling "long overdue but worth the wait."

"For a decade we have urged the IRS to recognize the Christian Coalition's clear partisan nature," said Shields. "We welcome this clear signal that everyone has to play by the rules, even Pat Robertson."

Last year, People For the American Way Foundation sent a letter to the IRS urging such a conclusion and sending additional evidence of the Christian Coalition's partisanship gleaned by PFAWF researchers from court filings in an unrelated Federal Election Commission lawsuit against the Christian Coalition.

Shields said it is too early to tell how the Christian Coalition's planned restructuring will affect its political operations, but she noted that Pat Robertson has recently concentrated control of the organization in his own hands and announced plans to raise and spend more than $20 million for efforts directed at the 2000 elections.

PFAWF has available its 1996 report, "Breaking the Rules: The Christian Coalition and Elections," which documents the group's abuse of its tax status, its use of slanted voter guides and its partisan activities at the 1996 Republican National Convention.

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