(This story was written by our friend Greg Flynn and initially posted at Blue NC)
International Christian relief and evangelism charity organization Samaritan’s Purse run by Franklin Graham contributed $150,200 towards newspaper and TV advertising in support of the NC Marriage Amendment, according to an Independent Expenditure report filed with the NC State Board of Elections.
A total of $272,593.70 was reported spent by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association on full page ads in NC newspapers featuring the image of Billy Graham and words attributed to him and, on TV ads with similar content all with the legend “Paid for by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association”. $190,200 was reported as contributions from other persons or entities leaving $82,393.70 as the assumed direct contribution of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Of the $190,200 contributed by others $150,200 came from Samaritan’s Purse based in Boone, NC. $20,000 came from Mark DeMoss of Duluth, GA, and another $20,000 came from Dick Furman of Boone, NC. Mark DeMoss is an evangelical who runs a Christian PR agency and serves as an advisor to Mitt Romney. Dick Furman is a doctor who founded World Medical Mission which is part of the Samaritan’s Purse organization, on whose board he sits.
In soliciting donations on its website Samaritan’s Purse states:
Your gift to “Where Most Needed” equips Samaritan’s Purse with the resources—including personnel, materials, supporting services, buildings, and equipment—to fulfill our mission of relief and evangelism worldwide.
Nowhere on the charity’s website does it state that funds will be used for political activity or to influence elections though Franklin Graham was very public in support of the Constitutional Amendment that calcified existing state marriage law and banned civil unions. The only references to marriage found on the site relate to abstinence and faithfulness programs. While the bills were directly paid by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association the major source of funds was Franklin Graham’s Samaritan’s Purse at 55% of the total while the Billy Graham group contributed at most 30%.