Congressman Walter Jones (R-NC) is facing a tough primary battle on multiple fronts. His primary competition seems to come from D.C. lobbyist Scott Dacey, who has is now attacking Jones as being bought and paid for by none other than billionaire ultra-Leftist George Soros.
So as with most campaign mudslinging, this ad goes heavy on smearing Jones as doing Soros’ bidding, all the evidence that Jones promotes policies that are anathema to Soros’ “radical liberal” goals notwithstanding.
So, what is Dacey referencing here by suggesting Jones votes for the Soros agenda?
Well it could be Jones’ introduction of a bill to repeal the Johnson Amendment from the U.S. tax code. What is the Johnson Amendment?
The Johnson Amendment is a provision in the U.S. tax code, since 1954, that prohibits all 501(c)(3) non-profit organizations from endorsing or opposing political candidates. That means a church could lose its non-profit status if the pastor exercises his free speech a little too pointedly from the pulpit on political issues.
President Donald Trump explicitly singled out the Johnson Amendment for repeal while on the campaign trail in 2016, specifically to allow churches to engage in political speech. This pokes a big hole in one assertion of the ad; that Jones “opposes the Trump agenda.”
Jones’ explanation of the bill:
“This bill would repeal the Lyndon B. Johnson Amendment of 1954, which prohibited churches and other tax-exempt organizations from participating in political campaigns or supporting or opposing candidates for public office. It would return freedom of speech to our nation’s houses of worship so that they may speak out on issues of the day without fear of reprisal from the IRS.”
However, some contend that such a repeal would open the flood gates for political activists like Soros to use non-profits to push political agendas.
“Jones claims that his bill would allow religious leaders to endorse political candidates but the real effect is to open the door to anyone who can create a nonprofit organization to solicit tax-deductible contributions and funnel them to support political candidates. This robs the government of much-needed funds and expands the power of big money donors like Soros and the Koch Brothers.”
With Soros obviously a big political player and donor to non-profits with thinly shrouded agendas, his support of Jones on the issue of Johnson Amendment repeal would make sense. Hence Dacey’s implication that Jones is bought and paid for by the admittedly despicable Soros.
But does Jones deserve such a broad stroke of the brush?
If Jones was really bought and paid for my the likes of George Soros, it’s hard to imagine him introducing and supporting so many pieces of conservative legsislation, not to mention his opposition to much of the Big Government bills that would fit nicely into Soros’ political agenda.
“H.R. 7 – No Taxpayer Funding for Abortion Act and Abortion Insurance Full Disclosure Act of 2017: This bill would institute a permanent, government-wide ban on taxpayer funding of abortion.
H.R. 36 – Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act: This bill would protect unborn children starting at 20 weeks gestation.
H.R. 354 – Defund Planned Parenthood Act of 2017: This bill would immediately prohibit Planned Parenthood and its affiliates from receiving federal funding for a one-year period.
H.R. 644 – Conscience Protection Act of 2017: This bill would prohibit the government from discriminating against health care entities that refuse to participate in abortion.”
It follows, logically, that Jones would have an interest in allowing non-profits such as churches to promote pro-life political policies from the pulpit as well, thus repealing the Johnson Amendment.
What is not logical in the least is that Walter Jones, the maverick conservative that consistently stands his ground on principles, even when it means bucking his own party, is some sort of stooge for George Soros.
Whether you believe the amendment should be repealed or not – it’s hard to see how allowing more political speech from non-profits would change the tide when both sides of any given issue could utilize it in the same way – it does not stand to reason that Jones is in the pocket of George Soros.
Rather, Soros sends funds to politicians pushing particular issues which he favors, just like every other wealthy political activist.
For Eastern North Carolina, Scott Dacey will have to do a better job of offering himself as a worthy alternative to Jones than crudely linking him to George Soros. Perhaps he could start by convincing voters he won’t immediately become part of the Establishment Swamp in D.C. considering his career lobbyist status.