From the politics makes strange bedfellows file: The Democratic Party has gone into business with US Sprint, the long-distance telephone company.
The Democratic National Committee will receive a commission from every long-distance phone call made by those the DNC persuades to use US Sprint.
DNC Chairman Ronald H. Brown explained the solicitation to Democrats in a letter, saying the party must find "new ways to raise the funds necessary to finance successful coordinated campaigns for Democrats across the country."
While party officials have not set specific fund-raising goals, Brown said money raised through the effort will "help Democrats win elections" and "build our war chest" for the 1992 presidential campaign.
US Sprint -- the nation's third largest long-distance company behind AT&T and MCI with about 11 percent of the market -- said its involvement is not political. "We are not donating to the Democratic Party. It's strictly a business relationship," Sprint spokesman Steve Dykes told the Associated Press.
Under the program, the DNC will try to persuade Democrats who use another long-distance carrier to switch to Sprint. If they are already Sprint customers, they are being asked to get a Sprint calling card with a special logo. In return, Sprint will give the DNC 5 percent of the cost of every long-distance call the customer makes.
Brown said this undertaking is meant to enhance, not replace, the party's traditional fund-raising methods. "As beneficial as we expect this program to be, it will not replace the need for donations on a local or national basis," he said.