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GANTT VS. HELMS: THE AIR WAVES

GANTT VS. HELMS: THE AIR WAVES

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Helms on schools

FACTS: 30-second TV spot paid for by the Jesse Helms for Senate Campaign, produced by the Helms campaign.FORMAT: Commercial opens with split screen with Harvey Gantt's photo on the right and script on the left. It moves to a shot of the cover of the Congressional Record, for authenticity, then continues with script as an announcer reads. Helms does not speak.

SOUNDBITE: ``On Feb. 20, Senator Helms voted for the dropout prevention program, the one Gantt implies Helms didn't support. Harvey Gantt's record on education. None.'

THE RECORD: Helms did vote the way the ad says. But the ad doesn't talk about other votes this year against education programs and spending, including cutting $25 million to develop national teaching standards, cutting $15 million for teacher competency standards and against spending $414 million to aid in science education, help schools deal with drug abuse and high dropout rates, and reward excellent teachers.

MESSAGE & GOAL: This ad responds to a Gantt spot that says Helms doesn't care about education and has the worst education record in the Senate. Helms is seeking to show he has voted in support of education programs and note that Gantt, who has not served in any office where issues on education are voted upon, has not. It also seeks to suggest that Gantt isn't telling the truth about Helms.

RESPONSE: Susan Jetton, spokeswoman for the Gantt campaign: ``It's one more effort to distort and try to draw attention away from his real Senate voting record. In fact, he does have the worst voting record, he's been rated by educators as having the worst record.'

Helms on big oil

FACTS: 30-second TV spot paid for by the Jesse Helms for Senate Campaign, produced by the Helms campaign.

FORMAT: Commercial opens with split screen with Harvey Gantt's photo on the right and script on the left. It continues with script as an announcer reads. Helms does not speak.

SOUNDBITE: ``Harvey Gantt is blasting the oil companies. But who owns big oil stock and offshore drilling stock? Harvey Gantt.'

THE RECORD: Gantt owns between $15,000 and $50,000 in stock in USX Corp., which owns Marathon Oil, and less than $5,000 worth of stock in Energy Service Co., an oil and gas exploration firm. Gantt started running a commercial last week saying Helms accepted about $100,000 in contributions from the energy industry and hasn't endorsed legislation aimed at punishing oil companies that profit unfairly from the Middle East crisis. Helms' response doesn't mention his record.

MESSAGE & GOAL: Helms wants to blunt Gantt's contention that Helms is too cozy with the big oil companies by suggesting that Gantt stands to profit from higher oil prices.

RESPONSE: Susan Jetton, Gantt campaign spokeswoman: ``He's a small potatoes stockholder. But this should reassure the voters of North Carolina, that if he were acting in his own financial interest, he would not support a bill that would prohibit price gouging and would not be opposing offshore drilling. Obviously, Harvey Gantt's no friend of big oil.'

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