The Christian Coalition - a tax-exempt organization that says it doesn’t take sides in elections - rented a mailing list of 36,000 of its supporters to Oliver North’s 1994 Senate campaign.
Two people familiar with the group’s mailing practices said the list rental was unusual, perhaps unprecedented. The organization’s mailing lists normally are closely guarded, the two said, commenting only on condition of anonymity.
The rental, while legal, adds to evidence that the coalition is more a political organization than the tax-exempt educational and religious group it claims to be, said Frances Hill, a professor at the University of Miami Law School.
A spokesman for the Christian Coalition acknowledged the transaction, but emphasized the list was rented at fair market value. “We don’t endorse specific candidates,” said communications director Arne Owens.
Owens said that the list, for which North’s campaign paid $5,131 in the spring of 1994, would have been made available to any candidate who wanted it.
North’s opponent in the fight for the GOP nomination at that time, former Reagan administration budget director James Miller, said he had sought the Christian Coalition’s help and was rebuffed.