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Sen. Burr voices support for Helms name on post office

U.S. Sen. Richard Burr is voicing his support for naming the historic Century Post Office in downtown Raleigh after the late U.S. Sen. Jesse Helms.

Congresswoman Renee Ellmers recently introduced legislation to name it the Jesse Helms Federal Building and United States Courthouse but encountered opposition from some who called it "morally wrong to reward intolerance," a reference to the senator's record.

"Jesse Helms was a transformative figure in our state’s history who placed service to his constituents above all other priorities in his public life," Burr said in a statement issued by his office Thursday. "Whether they agreed with him on political issues or not, North Carolinians had a dedicated advocate in Washington in Jesse Helms, and this bill will help to commemorate his legacy and his service to our state."

Helms Center president calls Robinson's TV ad 'disgusting'

In his shocking TV ad, congressional candidate Vernon Robinson calls himself the "black Jesse Helms."

But the folks at the Jesse Helms Center are not pleased. "I personally find that ad disgusting and I am sure Senator Helms would agree with me," said John Dodd, the center's president.

Don't tell Robinson, though. The third-time candidate tries so hard to link himself with the former U.S. senator that Helms' name is mentioned no less than four times in a minute-long spot. He even touts the endorsement of Helms' son. 

As a nonprofit foundation, the center doesn't endorse candidates but the implication is Helms gives Robinson his blessing, Dodd said.

"I find it sad," he added, "that Mr. Robinson is trying to imply an endorsement by Senator Helms, who has been deceased for 3 1/2 years."

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