GOP, DEMS TRADE BLOWS IN PRE-CONVENTION ADS

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Sen. Bob Dole may not have much money to spend right now, but the post-primary battle is kicking off in earnest as Democrats, Republicans and the Clinton campaign start the bulk of their pre-convention ad spending.

Because Sen. Dole has nearly spent his pre-convention limit, the Republican National Committee has stepped in quickly with its own advertising. It has launched one campaign on welfare and a larger one that charged President Clinton had turned down a tax cut.

"You mean we owe them money?" asks a woman about her income taxes in one of two versions of TV spots from Greg Stevens & Co., Alexandria, Va. "What about the $1,000 tax credit for two kids?" "Clinton vetoed that" is the reply that follows a graphic saying the GOP-controlled Congress passed a middle-class tax cut.

RUNNING IN 22 STATES

Republicans say they will spend more than $1.5 million running TV and radio versions of the spots in 22 states.

And spots from Stuart Stevens Group, New York, which also handles Dole advertising, are running in about eight markets; they rip President Clinton for vetoing welfare reform.

Democrats earlier this month claimed the ads distorted President Clinton's record, prompting the GOP to revise the spots.

The Democratic Party, which did some advertising in the primaries and earlier started their congressional pushes, has been airing two spots with one specifically targeting Sen. Dole.

"The facts? The president proposes a balanced budget protecting Medicare, education, the environment. But Dole is voting `No,"' says one commercial from Squier Knapp Ochs, Washington. A second one never mentions Sen. Dole by name.

"Access to health insurance for all. President Clinton. Child support collection for mothers and their children. Education, job training, more police .*.*. What President Clinton, the Democrats want for America," said one of the spots from Squier.

The Democratic National Committee has launched its own campaign in targeted districts, accusing Sen. Dole of being soft on crime. "Their old ways don't work," says the spot, part of a purported $16 million buy. The latest spot cites GOP moves to repeal limits on gun sales as well as votes against hiring more police.

The AFL-CIO launched its first ads for this election year in a planned $35 million campaign. All ads in the first wave are on the minimum wage, from Greer, Margolis, Mitchell, Burns & Associates, Washington.

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