Local News

Some Election Ads Not Run by Candidates

Posted October 25, 1996 12:00 a.m. EDT

— As Election Day nears, battles between candidates heat up, but there's a grass roots effort afoot which isn't connected with any candidate.

A group called Mothers Against Jesse in Congress, or MAJIC, has created an attack ad of its own, and it's aimed directly at the incumbent Republican U.S. Senator.

Patsy Clarke is a member of MAJIC, but says she used to be a Helms fan.

But then Clarke's son died of AIDS, a disease Helms has expressed little sympathy for. Clarke wrote to Helms appealing for him to be more compassionate about the issue. Helms replied that he "wished (Clarke's son) Mark had not played Russian Roulette with his life, but there is no escaping the reality of what happened".

Clarke, a 67-year-old Republican grandmother decided to team up with another mother who had lost a son to AIDS, Eloise Vaughn. Together, they formed MAJIC in memory of their sons, Mark Clarke and Mark Vaughn.

The ad produced by MAJIC will begin airing Sunday. Helms campaign staff won't comment on the ad before it airs, but WRAL TV5'sAmanda Lambcaught up with Helms at a campaign stop in Wilson.

Clarke says she hopes other women will listen to her story.

The Helms campaign is threatening to sue any television stations that air the commercial, but WRAL checked with the Federal Election Commission.

They say MAJIC is a federally registered political committee and is up to date on its filings of contributors and expenditures.

It is not affiliated with Harvey Gantt or any non-profit AIDS organization.