Washington – Hartford Mayor Eddie A. Perez asked Congress today to investigate the IRS’ threat to strip a church of its tax-exempt status over Barack Obama’s speech to a church convention in Hartford in 2007.
“If the IRS is successful, every church synagogue and mosque that invites an elected official to speak on issues such as the war in Iraq, abortion, the environment, labor and other issues of social justice could fear loss of their non-profit status,” Perez said.
“This IRS action should outrage members of both parties and people of faith throughout the country,” Perez said.
He is asking U.S. Sens. Christopher Dodd and Joseph Lieberman and U.S. Rep. John B. Larson to intervene.
A letter from the IRS to the church says candidates are permitted to speak at church functions, but if a candidate is speaking “in his or her capacity as a candidate, then other candidates running for the same office must also be invited.” [courant]