Monday, December 3, 2007

Donald Tobin and Johnny Rex Buckles Publish Dueling Articles on Political Campaigning By Charities

Professor Donald Tobin (Ohio State) and Professor Johnny Rex Buckles (Houston) posted abstracts of dueling articles about political campaigning by charities on SSRN's Nonprofit and Philanthropy Law Abstracting Journal.  Professor Tobin's abstract of his Georgetown Law Journal article, "Political Campaigning by Churches and Charities: Hazardous for 501(c)(3)s, Dangerous for Democracy," states that "[t]his article argues that the ban [on political campaigning by charities] is both meritorious and constitutional[,] that [charities] should not be permitted to intervene in political campaigns and that allowing them to do so will pose significant risks for the democratic system in the United States."  Professor Tobin's abstract continues by calling for the "enforcement efforts with regard to the political campaign ban [to] be made public and delegated to an independent commission, outside the IRS, charged with enforcing campaign related prohibitions in the Internal Revenue Code."  In response, Professor Buckles' abstract of his University of Richmond Law Review article, "Is the Ban on Participation in Political Campaigns by Charities Essential to Their Vitality and Democracy? A Reply to Professor Tobin" states that Professor Tobin's "arguments do not establish that the ban on political campaign participation by charitable organizations is essential (1) to protect the vitality of the charitable sector in general, and churches in particular, or (2) to maintain a properly functioning democracy in the United States."  Buckles' abstract continues by concluding that "some electioneering by charities is proper, and that alternatives to the ban would better address the most compelling concerns raised by Professor Tobin."


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