Group asks IRS to investigate Hutchinson speech at Ark. church

November 12, 2006: Posted at 4:30 PM CST.

Hot Springs, AR. (ap) _ The election is over and Republican gubernatorial nominee Asa Hutchinson has conceded defeat to Democrat Mike Beebe. But Americans United Against Separation of Church and State say one issue remains undecided. The group has asked the Internal Revenue Service to investigate whether Hutchinson's appearance and speech at a Hot Springs church last month violated the constitution's separation of church and state principle.

Lakeview Assembly of God hosted Hutchinson on October 15th. The church ran an ad in the local newspaper that read: ``Come hear Republican gubernatorial candidate Asa Hutchinson speak.'' Priscilla Strother, an assistant to the pastor at Lakeview Assembly, says Hutchinson called the church and asked if he could speak. She says the event did not have a patriotic focus and Hutchinson did not discuss the Governor's race. She says the church invited Beebe to speak after Hutchinson expressed an interest in speaking at the church. Churches risk their nonprofit status if they violate IRS laws governing involvement in politics.