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Church Politicking Legal, Not Wise

Chuck Wilkes, the pastor of True North/Hayden, is also a lawyer, with a strong opinion about pastors who get involved in the political process, as some here in Kootenai County did during the recent GOPrimary. The Coeur d'Alene Press interviewed him about the controversy surrounding this crossing of religious and political lines. Wilkes sees no problem in a pastor giving his personal opinion. But a church, as a corporate body, are risking their tax exempt status by doing so. State Rep. Ed Morse, R-Hayden, has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service based on his belief that local pastors violated IRS laws barring non-profit organizations from political campaigning. The Press reports: "Morse took issue with a voter guide distributed by several local pastors in the week leading up to the election. Created by the Kootenai Family Council PAC, the fliers rated Republican candidates on two issues: The state healthcare exchange and the Common Core education curriculum." Full story here.

Question: Do you think Rep. Morse has a legitimate beef?

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D.F. Oliveria
D.F. (Dave) Oliveria joined The Spokesman-Review in 1984. He currently is a columnist and compiles the Huckleberries Online blog and writes about North Idaho in his Huckleberries column.

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