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Florida: "Without Walls" church staffers may have been directed to contribute to Crist's 2006 campaign

The St. Petersburg Times reports: Staff members of Tampa Bay s largest church were directed two years ago to make $500 contributions to the campaign of Gov. Charlie Crist, a television network has charged.

The church denies the allegation.

MSNBC, in a report posted on its Web site this week, said it obtained an e-mail in which a staff member of Without Walls International Church wrote to others: I need each of your checks for $500 made payable to: Charlie Crist for Governor. I need to send these our sic tonight.

Tax-exempt churches are banned by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service from supporting candidates for public office.

A roster of Crist contributors includes a $500 contribution on Feb. 2, 2006, from Marisol Mendoza, assistant to Pastor Randy White of Without Walls. Crist received simultaneous $500 contributions, the maximum allowed in Florida, from three Tampa Bay area residents whose terse descriptions of their occupations appeared to link them to Randy or Paula White, who was his wife and co-pastor then. -- Religion: Were Crist campaign donations coerced?

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