A federal judge ordered direct mail fund-raiser Richard A. Viguerie yesterday to stop implying to potential donors that their money would be used to further the aims of a conservative group at odds with Viguerie.
U.S. District Judge Albert V. Bryan Jr. yesterday extended a temporary order he issued Monday against Viguerie and the Viguerie Co., which uses mass mailings to solicit funds for conservative causes.
However, the judge rejected a request from the National Tax Limitation Committee that Viguerie be barred from using mailing lists received from the California group.
Thomas Cawley, Viguerie's attorney, argued that Viguerie has done nothing wrong. "The order is essentially what always has been the practice of the Viguerie Co.," he said.
Viguerie, who did not appear in court, declined to comment on the court order, which is the latest action in a long-running round of suits and countersuits between Viguerie and the tax group, which held a contract with the direct mail company until December.
In a $2.5 million lawsuit filed in federal court in Alexandria, the group alleged that since January, Viguerie's solicitations have implied that he was still connected to the committee. Viguerie was "deceiving plaintiff's contributors into thinking they were contributing" to the committee, the complaint said.
It also alleged that Viguerie's implied to potential contributors that their money would be used to lobby for a balanced budget amendment and tax limitation measures, the primary aims of the committee.
But since January, the defendants "have engaged in no lobbying effort, whether federal or state, in support of a balanced budget amendment or generally in support of the tax limitation cause," the suit alleged.
In court papers, the committee said it believes money raised since January "will be pocketed" by Viguerie to "liquidate prior debts . . . [which] have no relation to balanced budget and tax limitation advocacy."