X

Thank you for sharing!

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.
It’s rare for religious organizations to hire D.C. law firms and lobby shops. But two gospel ministries have enlisted government affairs firms to intercede with a higher authority: the Senate Finance Committee. Late last year, committee ranking member Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) requested information from six Christian ministries about their finances and affiliated businesses. At least one responded with a blanket refusal, but Tampa’s Without Walls International Church has hired Holland & Knight to lobby on “IRS church audit procedures,” and Fort Worth’s Kenneth Copeland Ministries signed on with Miller & Chevalier in January, according to lobbying registrations made public last week. The firms may have to defend more than their clients’ tax-exempt status: Grassley’s letter to Without Walls requests the square footage of the ministry leaders’ multiple homes as well as their expenditures on plastic surgery and a Bentley convertible. In a public statement, the frugal Grassley questioned whether religious leaders should be buying luxury items “when Jesus came into the city on a simple donkey.” Wherever the inquiry leads, the ministry leaders should be prepared. Miller & Chevalier’s John Gilliland is a former counsel for the Senate Finance Committee, and two other Miller attorneys were once liaisons to it. Among the lobbyists at Holland & Knight is Kathleen Nilles, a former House tax counsel specializing in nonprofit work. Both ministries have already mastered one aspect of surviving a congressional inquiry: staying quiet. A spokesman for Copeland declined comment, citing “ongoing dialogue with Senator Grassley’s office and others.”
Jeff Horwitz can be contacted at [email protected].

This content has been archived. It is available through our partners, LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law.

To view this content, please continue to their sites.

Not a Lexis Advance® Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Not a Bloomberg Law Subscriber?
Subscribe Now

Why am I seeing this?

LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law are third party online distributors of the broad collection of current and archived versions of ALM's legal news publications. LexisNexis® and Bloomberg Law customers are able to access and use ALM's content, including content from the National Law Journal, The American Lawyer, Legaltech News, The New York Law Journal, and Corporate Counsel, as well as other sources of legal information.

For questions call 1-877-256-2472 or contact us at [email protected]

 
 

ALM Legal Publication Newsletters

Sign Up Today and Never Miss Another Story.

As part of your digital membership, you can sign up for an unlimited number of a wide range of complimentary newsletters. Visit your My Account page to make your selections. Get the timely legal news and critical analysis you cannot afford to miss. Tailored just for you. In your inbox. Every day.

Copyright © 2021 ALM Media Properties, LLC. All Rights Reserved.