You have to give McKay Coppins credit. The Buzzfeed writer today managed to work in hints of anti-Mormon skepticism and the complaints of the gay rights lobby into his January 24 story -- "What's With Mitt's Mormon Money?" -- on Romney's tax records.
It's a liberal bias trifecta!
Mitt Romney's tax records show he gave, [gasp] "$4.1 million in tithes to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints between 2010 and 2011," the "lifelong Mormon" Coppins noted complaining that, "the candidate's controversially low effective tax rate of just 13.9 percent was made possible, in part, by the hefty deductions he got for his charitable contributions to the church."
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Oh sure, "A large chunk of tithing money funds the church's expansive missionary program," the former Newsweek staffer noted, but the LDS church is "not disposed to transparency when it comes to its money" and what's more, some of its finances went to helping defend traditional marriage in Calfornia:
But while Romney's tithing undoubtedly went toward a lot of traditional charity work, the issue is complicated by the fact that the LDS Church controversially engaged in one high-profile political battle in recent years: California's 2008 referendum on same-sex marriage.
Since Mormon leaders called on members in California and elsewhere to help pass a ballot initiative constitutionally banning same-sex marriage, the church has come under fire for providing "in-kind donations" to a political cause--by paying for the travel of church leaders organizing its efforts, and the like. Mormon leaders argue that, for them, Prop. 8 was a moral issue, not a political one. And the total amount spent on the ballot initiative came to $190,000--a small fragment of even Romney's tithing, let alone the church's total expenditures.