Pastor Joe Fuiten, the evangelical conservative leader of Bothell’s Cedar Park Church, walks a fine line as he champions his political views. Last night, he sent out an e-mail giving a link to his “personal endorsements” in the election. Obviously cognizant of rules that prohibit churches from endorsing candidates if they want to keep their tax-exempt status, Fuiten was sure to note that “neither my church nor my denomination endorses candidates.” But he’s getting his picks out there nonetheless. Unsurprisingly, he’s supporting the McCain-Palin ticket, as well as Dino Rossi for governor, Steve Beren in his race against Congressmember Jim McDermott and Congressmember Dave Reichert over Darcy Burner.
In the same e-mail, he links to another voter guide of recommendations that he says “meet the IRS guidelines and are suitable for distribution at church." Careful not to endorse any candidates, it notes where candidates stand on issues important to the religious right like stem cell research, partial birth abortions and “English as the official language of government.” It’s not hard for parishioners to know which candidates they’re meant to support.