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Rep. Dan Burton (R-Ind.), a former teen caddie who boasts one of the best golf games in the House, recently introduced a bill called the Caddie Relief Act. Burton says the bill, which would allow country clubs to treat full-time caddies as independent contractors, will prevent the clubs from replacing caddies with golf carts in order to avoid paying federal taxes. In a dramatic press release, Burton called on members to “help save America’s youth” and said, “If the IRS has their way, we can add caddies to the Endangered Species list.” But is Burton just trying to help out country clubs? Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) thinks so—calling the bill a boon for “country club Republicans.” Alec French, head of the Career Caddie Coalition, which opposes the bill, claims that the majority of the country’s estimated 60,000 caddies are “unskilled” and that to “expect them to negotiate good agreements for themselves is absurd.” But French isn’t motivated only by a desire to save America’s youth, either. His coalition lobbies on behalf of a Virginia employment agency that supplies full-time caddies to country clubs.

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is the first thing despots go after. An unwavering commitment to it is probably what draws you to Mother Jones' journalism. And as we're seeing in the US and the world around, authoritarians seek to poison the discourse and the way we relate to each other because they can't stand people coming together around a shared sense of the truth—it's a huge threat to them.

Which is also a pretty great way to describe Mother Jones' mission: People coming together around the truth to hold power accountable.

And right now, we need to raise about $400,000 from our online readers over the next two months to hit our annual goal and make good on that mission. Read more about the information war we find ourselves in and how people-powered, independent reporting can and must rise to the challenge—and please support our team's truth-telling journalism with a donation if you can right now.

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