Kamala Harris Records Cringe Campaign Video for Terry McAuliffe That Will Air at 300 Virginia Churches
“I believe that my friend Terry McAuliffe is the leader Virginia needs at this moment,” VP Harris said before urging churchgoers to go vote.
CNN reported Saturday that Vice President Kamala Harris had recorded a campaign video on behalf of Virginia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Terry McAuliffe that was set to air at some 300 black churches ahead of the November 2nd election in the state.
In the video clips, which you can see below (the total speech time was around three minutes), Harris spoke about how she was taught in the Oakland church she says her family went to when she was growing up about how it was “our sacred responsibility to raise our voice and lift up the voices of our community.” She stated that one of the “most significant ways” we can use our voices was through voting.
She then proceeded to urge churchgoers to vote for McAuliffe. “I believe that my friend Terry McAuliffe is the leader Virginia needs at this moment,” she proclaimed before telling people why she believed they should send McAuliffe “back to Richmond.” Towards the end of her remarks, Harris encouraged church attendees to go and vote after church services or to schedule a time to go vote during the early voting period.
NEW — More than 300 Black churches across VA will hear from @KamalaHarris btwn Sun. and November 2 in video message that will air during morning services as part of outreach effort aimed to boost @TerryMcAuliffe.#VAGOV
— Eva McKend (@evamckend) October 16, 2021
VP Harris implores congregants to vote following church service. The McAuliffe campaign has embraced “Souls to the Polls,” block-party style events featuring top campaign surrogates after church near polling locations, to drive turnout.#VAGOVhttps://t.co/vaefXtWqUe pic.twitter.com/yGuIL6e7Fz
— Eva McKend (@evamckend) October 16, 2021
Beyond the speech causing cringemeters across the country to explode as is often the case when she speaks in public, critics of Harris’ video were quick to point out that for the churches, this seemed to be a pretty clear violation of federal law:
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) October 17, 2021
'Harris implores congregants to vote following church service.' The churches are, of course, tax-exempt charitable organizations forbidden from engaging in partisan political activities. https://t.co/OvPwnlqiu9
— Byron York (@ByronYork) October 17, 2021
Here’s the specific text from the IRS website:
Under the Internal Revenue Code, all section 501(c)(3) organizations are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office. Contributions to political campaign funds or public statements of position (verbal or written) made on behalf of the organization in favor of or in opposition to any candidate for public office clearly violate the prohibition against political campaign activity. Violating this prohibition may result in denial or revocation of tax-exempt status and the imposition of certain excise taxes.
This provision of the tax code is otherwise known as the “Johnson Amendment,” and it’s something former President Trump lobbied to get repealed during his administration due in part to the frequent criticisms from Democrats including the Obama-Biden administration of alleged partisan activity by churches on behalf of conservative/Republican candidates.
In response to the targeting of churches by the Obama IRS, Republicans in Congress also tried to change or get rid of the Johnson Amendment during the first couple of years Trump’s time in office but were unsuccessful.
That said, regardless of one’s view of whether partisan politicking by churches on behalf of political candidates should be allowed, the Johnson Amendment is still on the books. And we all know that Democrats would be absolutely howling at the moon if Trump or former Vice President Mike Pence were still in office and had been the ones cutting this campaign video on behalf of Republican nominee Glenn Youngkin. But the rules, as always, are different for Democrats, and beyond a smattering of “Republicans pounce and seize on Kamala video” reports from the media, we won’t hear much else about the illegality of what took place.
Beyond that, Harris campaigning for McAuliffe at this late stage in the race is a sign that his campaign is in trouble, reflected in polls which show that this race has tightened considerably since McAuliffe said the quiet part out loud a few weeks ago during a televised debate about how “I don’t think parents should be telling schools what they should teach.”
Not only has he brought in Harris, but also recently campaigning on his behalf among others have been First Lady Jill Biden, former President Barack Obama, and failed Georgia Democratic gubernatorial nominee Stacey Abrams. The latter is a rather interesting choice considering McAuliffe’s repeated and false claims about Youngkin allegedly not believing the 2020 presidential election was fairly decided.
McAuliffe has proven to be his own worst enemy in the final weeks of the campaign, with past statements and current ones coming back to bite him in the you-know-where in a big way. It remains to be seen if a Harris endorsement will help him over the finish line, but considering she was so unpopular with Democrat voters that she dropped out of the 2020 presidential campaign race in 2019 before the first primary votes were even cast, all signs point to “probably not helping.”
As always, stay tuned.
— Stacey Matthews has also written under the pseudonym “Sister Toldjah” and can be reached via Twitter. —DONATE
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