Texas millionaire John B. Connally apparently failed to collect enough money during his abortive bid for the Republican presidential nomination two years ago.
Custom Print Inc. of Arlington filed suit in Arlington Circuit Court against Connally, two campaign aides and his Northern Virginia-based presidential committee this week for $28,728.48 in unpaid printing costs.
The printing firm billed The John Connally for President Committee for about $62,000, according to reports filed with the Federal Elections Commission. The reports show that the committee paid the firm more than $33,000 but that the amount the suit seeks remains unpaid.
"They promised they would make payment, as they could, and they have, but very sparsely," said Custom Print owner Leon A. Benikas.
Connally, a former Texas governor and a cabinet member in the Nixon administration, could not be reached for comment. The treasurer of his presidential committee said the group is still attempting to pay off debts from the 1980 campaign. "We have made pro rata payments to them the printing firm along with the other clients," said treasurer Presley Werlein III, who was named as a defendant in the suit. "It's a situation that takes a long time and is ongoing."
Connally's committee owed creditors about $1.6 million this spring but only had $214,570 in cash, federal election records show. The largest debt listed by the committee is a $538,111 loan Connally made to his campaign at an interest rate of 15 1/2 percent.
Printer Benikas said four other 1980 presidential candidates--Ronald Reagan, Jimmy Carter, John B. Anderson, and Philip M. Crane--paid off their bills promptly.