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Overdraft Jingle Jangles Gingrich in Re-Election Bid With PM-Gingrich Jingle-Box

June 12, 1992

ATLANTA (AP) _ A radio ad, sung to the tune of ″Old MacDonald Had a Farm,″ has gotten under the skin of U.S. Rep. Newt Gingrich.

″Congressman Newt Gingrich bounced 22 checks ... For more than 26 grand,″ goes the jingle by Gingrich’s opponent in this year’s Republican primary.

″With a bounced check here and a pay raise there. Here a check. There a check. Everywhere a bounced check. ...″

The lyrics don’t quite fit the tune, but the 60-second jingle has annoyed Gingrich, the No. 2 Republican leader in the House. Overdrafts at the now- closed House bank have helped defeat several members of Congress and caused many others to retire.

Gingrich, a right-wing activist who rose to prominence attacking former House Speaker Jim Wright, dismisses the jingle as a desperate stunt by former state Rep. Herman Clark, his opponent in Georgia’s July 21 primary.

Gingrich said his 22 overdrafts - including one to the Internal Revenue Service for more than $9,000 - weren’t enough to ruin his chances for re- election. Incumbents with overdrafts who have lost re-election campaigns ″had five, 10, 15 times as many checks as I had,″ he said.

But Emory University political scientist Merle Black said the overdrafts could hurt Gingrich significantly.

″He’s certainly had to explain it. He’s embarrassed by it,″ Black said. ″If Clark can make fun of a real Gingrich weakness, that would be a plus for him. It would take Gingrich away from any positive message.″

Clark also has drummed on Gingrich’s support for congressional pay raises and the limousine - with a driver paid $67,000 a year - that Gingrich gave up April 15, one day before he admitted to overdrafts totaling $26,890.

One refrain manages to touch all three subjects:

″ ... Twenty-two bounced checks and 130 grand a year ... I bet you thought that was all ... But don’t look now here comes Newt Gingrich ... In his $67,000 chauffeured limousine. ... ″

″These are issues that go to the heart of the congressman and his credibility,″ Clark said. ″I’ve been using these tactics for months now. There’s no desperation about it.″

In 1990, Gingrich defeated Democrat David Worley by about 1,000 votes. Voters said they felt Gingrich was more fascinated with being the House minority whip than being their congressman.

This time, Gingrich is campaigning heavily at local GOP functions. He tells voters who ask about the checks that, ″It was embarrassing to make a mistake.″

He said the radio jingle makes Clark sound ″desperate and negative.″

″I don’t think the year of Ross Perot i 0 PM-BBA--Angels-White Sox,0518

CHICAGO (AP) - California’s experienced lineup helped lead to some memorable moments for two Angels pitchers and frustrating ones for the losing Chicago White Sox.

The Angels’ Joe Grahe saved Bert Blyleven’s 281st career victory, when he replaced Scott Bailes in the seventh inning Thursday to notch his first career save in California’s 4-0 victory.

Grahe became the only Angels pitcher besides Bryan Harvey to record a save this season. Harvey was placed on the disabled list last weekend with elbow trouble.

″Sure, I thought about getting the (first) save,″ Grahe, 24, said. ″And with Bert getting the win, it’s neat to say I had a part in his 300 victories. I got it for a future Hall of Famer.″

The 4-0 triumph snapped a six-game losing skid by the Angels and a four- game winning streak by the White Sox.

Blyleven (2-0) came off shoulder surgery that sidelined him for all of last season and allowed only four hits in six innings. He walked only one and struck out four to boost his career total to 3,647, third on the all-time strikeout list behind Nolan Ryan and Steve Carlton. Blyleven’s ERA dropped to 1.71 after four starts.

″Because of my age, a lot of people said I couldn’t come back, but they don’t know Bert Blyleven,″ he said. ″My goal is to be consistent every time out. That’s the driving force.″

For the White Sox, it was a game of missed opportunities.

″We didn’t get the big hit today,″ said Chicago manager Gene Lamont. ″We had our chances, but didn’t get the one to get us over the hump. I thought we had a good chance in the fourth with the bases loaded and also in the seventh. We simply couldn’t get the big hit.″

Chicago loaded the bases in the fourth inning on singles by Tim Raines, Frank Thomas and Matt Merullo, but Blyleven got Lance Johnson to bounce into an inning-ending double play.

In the seventh, Johnson and Carlton Fisk got back-to-back, one-out singles, but Steve Sax grounded into another double play.

Luis Polonia scored California’s first run in the third when he walked with two outs, stole second and scored on Chad Curtis’ single. Polonia has six stolen bases in his last two games.

Polonia began another rally when he led off the Angels’ sixth with a single to left, and moved to second after Curtis walked. Junior Felix forced Curtis at second and Hubie Brooks struck out, but Lee Stevens doubled into the left- field corner, scoring Polonia and Felix to make it 3-0.

Rene Gonzales made it 4-0 in the ninth with an RBI single that scored Brooks, who had doubled.

Hard-luck loser Alex Fernandez (3-7) gave up four runs on seven hits, struck out five and walked three in going the distance for the third time in 12 starts.

″Alex threw well today. He has come a long way,″ Lamont said. ″I still feel comfortable when he’s out there.″

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