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."