Western Union Electronic Mail filed suit yesterday against the National Conservative Political Action Committee for $23,000 that it says the Alexandria-based organization owes it in unpaid bills.

The suit was filed in Fairfax County Circuit Court by the company, a Western Union subsidiary in McLean that provides mailgrams and telegrams to high-volume users.

"We have been advised that they're having some financial problems," said Dwayne L. Garrett, the attorney for Western Union. Garrett said that his client had received a letter from NCPAC on Dec. 23 citing "serious financial difficulty" and that they "would get back to us."

The lawsuit says that NCPAC owes Western Union Electronic Mail Inc. $23,377.31 plus interest from Dec. 2 for goods and "We have been advised that they NCPAC are having some financial problems." -- Dwayne L. Garrett Western Union attorney services delivered. A spokeswoman for NCPAC, Sandy Scholte, had no comment yesterday. Terry Dolan, the head of NCPAC, also would not comment, a spokesman said.

NCPAC, once the premier conservative PAC, has been in financial trouble for some time, according to Federal Election Commission records. According to a report filed with the commission, NCPAC had $3.9 million in debts and obligations as of last July 31, commission spokesman Fred Eiland said yesterday.

Reports to the commission earlier in the year showed that NCPAC was $4.2 million in the red, with the largest debts -- $1.44 million -- owed to direct-mail pioneer Richard A. Viguerie's company.

Viguerie is known as the man who originated the idea of raising political funds with one of the largest mailing lists in the country. The Viguerie Co. also was sued recently by Western Union Electronic Mail Inc.

That lawsuit, filed on Dec. 20, seeks $18,213.69 for services. The Western Union lawsuit was one of eight filed in Fairfax County since last May against Viguerie and the direct-mail organization he owns at 7777 Leesburg Pike in Falls Church.