Criticized recently by her opponent for missing key legislative votes during her years in Annapolis, Sen. Nancy Jacobs fired back this week with a late-election campaign to raise money by pointing out Art Helton’s own missed votes while he was serving in the state senate.
In his robo-call to residents of District 34 (southern Harford/western Cecil), Helton, a Democrat, has referred to Jacobs, a Republican, as “No Show Nancy” – a name he asserted she was given after missing many votes. Jacobs claims she missed very few votes and those few absences were excused because she was dealing with the deaths of both her parents as well as her husband’s battle with cancer.
This week, Jacobs unleashed her new “Stop Art Helton’s Money Bomb” drive – an attempt to convince voters that the deep-pocketed Helton is trying to buy the District 34 senate seat, while also taking a swipe at Helton’s own spotty voting record.
Here is an excerpt from a mailer Jacobs disseminated Friday, in which she chastises Helton for lying about her and throwing his personal fortune into the campaign:
“First off and unfortunately, my opponent, Art Helton, has been attacking me with downright lies and misleading campaign innuendo. He is using his personal wealth to try to drown out any attempts to correct the record by already spending close to $300,000.
Helton is advocating for at least two new tax hikes and increased spending beyond the current $6.5 billion deficit. He just doesn’t get it.”
In this excerpt, Jacobs hammers home on Helton’s voting record while he was a state senator and lays out the design of her “Stop Art Helton’s Money Bomb” plan:
“When he was in office, Helton missed over 1,000 votes. He now chastises me for missing 18 votes in 16 years to deal with emergency family matters including a death in the family (my father) and cancer surgery (my husband). We need to stop Art Helton.
That’s why I’m writing you. Right now, I’m running a “Stop Art Money Bomb” today with the goal of raising $10,000–$10 for every one of Art’s missed votes by Election Day, Tuesday, November 2. Your support will help me to pay for the extra advertising and mail pieces needed to answer Art’s unfounded charges.
Please help me send a strong message to Art Helton: he’s already wasting his own personal wealth and I know you don’t want him in Annapolis wasting your tax dollars too!”
The campaign finance figures for the most recent filing period show that Helton has spent $159,558 and Jacobs has spent $147,505 on their respective campaigns.
Helton declined to comment on Jacobs’ “Money Bomb” campaign, but one of his longtime supporters, Steve Johnson, said Jacobs’ ads show a measure of desperation for a candidate who is not used to being a runner-up in the fundraising department.
Johnson, who claims Jacobs has spent more than $1 million on her political campaigns since she’s been in office, said many of the high-dollar campaign contributors who typically line up for Jacobs are supporting Helton’s candidacy in this election.
“She’s always had the advantage of being the big dog and getting all the big dollars,” Johson said.
Johnson said Jacobs “hasn’t been there” for her constituents and the result is a lack of support, and corresponding reduction in donations, for her campaign.
“There’s a reason she doesn’t have the money this year that she usually does and nobody’s done this to Nancy, but Nancy,” he added.
“I do think it’s an act of desperation. It’s the first time she’s been in this position,” Johnson said.