Al.com: Can Roy Moore, Doug Jones legally speak at churches?

Connor Sheets
Dec 8, 2017
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The final weeks of Alabama's divisive U.S. Senate campaign have seen multiple churches across the state opening their doors to allow one of the two nominees to speak to their members.

While it's something of a ritual for Alabama politicians to speak at churches during campaigns, experts say such events can run afoul of federal tax law barring churches and other 501(c)3 nonprofits from engaging in too much political activity.

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"The provision in the House version of the tax bill, not currently in the Senate version, would allow churches to engage in partisan political activity, but it would also allow charities - any entities under section 501(c)3 of the tax code - to engage in politics," said Brendan Fischer, director of the federal and FEC reform program at the Campaign Legal Center, a campaign finance reform nonprofit in Washington.

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