Pastor’s political activity scrutinized
The IRS prohibits nonprofits from participating in politics. Over the weekend, the Albuquerque Journal explored one megachurch pastor’s involvement in politics in that context.
The pastor is heavily involved in politics. Check out this link to a web page for the radio program New Mexico News and Views in which Smothermon called for the resignations of Attorney General Gary King and then-Albuquerque Public Safety Director Darren White.
The Journal went in-depth into Smothermon’s disputes with Albuquerque Mayor Richard Berry and Albuquerque School Board Member Kathy Korte, and his support for politicians including former Albuquerque City Council candidate Greg Payne.
And though Smothermon said his support is different from the church’s, the Journal documented Smothermon talking with his congregation about politicians, including slamming Berry as someone who “won’t stand up for anything” and praising Payne as someone who “espouses our beliefs.”
Smothermon was quoted as saying he doesn’t seek out candidates. They come to him.
From the newspaper:
“In a Journal interview, Smothermon stressed that he is a pastor, not a politician, and that candidates approach him, not the other way around. He said he has ‘never solicited one candidate’ to show up at Legacy.
“Instead, ‘candidates constantly call me,’ he said.
“He will introduce them to the church, Democrats and Republicans alike. He reads a few bullet points, and the candidates don’t get to speak during the service. They can set up a table outside where churchgoers can question them.”
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