Christian Coalition dogged by debt

April 10, 2006 at 11:27 AM

WASHINGTON, April 10 (UPI) -- The conservative Christian Coalition organization is down to a single Washington lobbyist and is in more than $2 million debt, The Washington Post reports.

The 17-year-old movement was founded by the Rev. Pat Robertson and Ralph Reed as the political fundraising and lobbying engine of the Christian right. Both men have left the group, and last month, one of its most effective chapters, the Christian Coalition of Iowa, cut ties with the national organization and reincorporated itself as the Iowa Christian Alliance, saying it "found it impossible to continue to carry a name that in any way associated us with this national organization."

Ten years ago, the coalition employed 12 lobbyists in Washington but now has a single employee who works out of his South Carolina home, the newspaper said.

Roberta Combs became the head of the Christian Coalition five years ago, and said the organization was in worse financial shape then with debts approaching $4 million.

"People have been writing our obituary for years," Combs told the Post. "But you go out in the hinterlands and talk to the grass roots, and it's a whole different story. People call us every day and want to be involved."

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