October 13, 2005
The Christian Coalition, once one of the most powerful forces of the religious right, is running a much leaner operation these days.
The group – once based in Washington – now has its headquarters in Charleston, S.C., where it is coping with a vastly reduced budget of $1.3 million, down from the $26 million it enjoyed a decade ago.
… “The Christian Coalition is - how shall I put it? – it’s moribund,” said Richard Cizik, director of public policy for the National Association of Evangelicals.
… The group has been fighting off creditors and coping with the lack of a charismatic spokesman, such as former Executive Director Ralph Reed or [founder Pat] Robertson. Mr. Reed departed in 1997 to start a political consulting firm and Mr. Robertson stepped down in 2001. He was replaced by Roberta Combs, director of the group’s South Carolina affiliate.
… An Oct. 8 article by the Virginian-Pilot described the Christian Coalition’s “trail of unpaid bills from Texas to Virginia,” as well as a small army of creditors that have filed at least a dozen claims against the group.
Among them is a lawsuit filed in June by mailing company Pitney Bowes for more than $13,600 in unpaid postage. The case has since been settled out of court.
In 2002, Focus Direct, a San Antonio direct mail firm, sued the group over a fundraising problem. Mrs. Combs said the claim was settled for $200,000.
Christian Coalition’s former law firm, Huff, Poole & Mahoney of Virginia Beach, asked a judge last year to garnish the group’s assets for $75,530 in unpaid bills. Since then, the law firm has secured a partial payment of more than $21,000, the Virginian-Pilot reported.
… When Mrs. Combs took over as the group’s president in 2002, she also hired her daughter’s husband, Tracy Ammons, as a lobbyist. But when the marriage between Michele Combs and Mr. Ammons dissolved in 2003, he sued the group for $123,500 in unpaid compensation.
He and his lawyer, Jonathon Moseley, filed more than 80 pleadings and motions in Arlington Circuit Court, for which Circuit Judge Joanne Alper slapped Mr. Ammons with $83,000 in sanctions for frivolous pleadings. Mr. Moseley said the matter is now under arbitration.
“Roberta Combs is one of those people who routinely doesn’t pay people,” Mr. Moseley said. “She has a habit of forcing everyone to sue her.”
I guess that must be a loose interpretation of Matthew 6:12.
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