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Terry Jones Complaint

Terry Jones Complaint

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Published by: rabdill on Jun 21, 2012
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06/21/2012

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June 20, 2012 Lois G. Lerner, Director Exempt Organizations DivisionInternal Revenue Service1111 Constitution Ave., N.W.Washington, D.C. 20224 Dear Ms. Lerner, Enclosed is some information about a church in Florida that I believe has violatedfederal law by intervening in the presidential election. Dove World Outreach Center in Gainesville earlier this month erected a gallows onits property from which it hung an effigy of President Barack Obama. The church’s pastor, Terry Jones, has vigorously opposed Obama’s re-election in videos and instatements to the media. If these were Jones’ private activities in opposition to the president, they would not be a violation of the law. But the situation is more complex. In this case, it appearsthat Jones has utilized the church to express his opposition to Obama’s candidacy.The gallows containing the effigy – a clear sign not to vote for Obama – are on thechurch’s lawn. I believe this alone constitutes a violation of the Internal RevenueCode, which bars houses of worship and other tax-exempt 501(c)(3) entities fromendorsing or opposing candidates.In an interview with a local newspaper, Jones openly discussed the partisan politicalintent behind the effigy. He called the display “a symbolic action saying we do not,of course, want him re-elected. It is death -- of course, not to him. To his politicalcareer.” In addition, Jones has released a video attacking Obama that includes footage of thegallows and the Obama effigy. Jones claims that this video was produced by a grouphe has formed called Stand Up America Now. But Dove World Outreach Center andStand Up America Now share the same mailing address and phone number. I believethese entities are one and the same. Thus Jones is using his church for partisan political purposes.(The video can be accessed here:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdrMBj_Y46M&feature=youtu.be) I should also note that Jones himself is running for president. Thus his use of hischurch to attack Obama can be seen as an effort to boost his own candidacy. The
National Office 1301 K Street, N.W. Suite 850, East Tower  Washington, D.C. 20005 (202) 466-3234 (202) 466-2587 fax americansunited@au.org www.au.org

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