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AD BLIZZARD PUSHES WINTER GAMES

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Olympic cheerleaders and jeerleaders are intensifying their campaigns to influence votes in the Nov. 7 Olympic referendum, still preparing radio, television and newspaper advertisements for airing 11 days before polls open.

Olympics for Utah Inc., the group hoping to persuade voters to support the Games, unleashed a major portion of its $100,000 ad campaign this past week.Utahns for Responsible Public Spending and the Utah Independent Party will go forward with their comparatively modest anti-Olympic crusade, too.

Utah voters go to the polls Nov. 7 to vote "yes" or "no" on a statewide ballot costing $125,000. While the referendum is non-binding, state and Olympic leaders have pledged to abide by the will of the people.

Pro-Olympic forces say they are confident of adequate support for the Games, based upon recent polling. Olympics for Utah, in its tracking polls conducted by Dan Jones & Associates, has found that 65 percent of those surveyed support the Games.

The poll questions include references to spending public money, Olympics for Utah spokesman Skip Branch said. Organizers want to build Olympic facilities with $56 million in money raised from a sales tax diversion.

While support for the Games has been unwavering, Olympics for Utah Executive Director Vicki Varela said the group still wants to ensure those numbers will translate into votes at the polls.

"One of the biggest challenges we face is that we know that the polls look good, but we don't know if people will get out and vote," Varela said.

To solidify support, Olympics for Utah began airing a 30-second television ad Thursday that will continue until the election, Varela said.

The fast-paced ad includes no spoken narrative but flashes on the screen the question, "What can . . . energize Utah's economy . . . boost Utah's image . . . unite our community? . . . Utah's Olympics," amid scenes of the Wasatch Front and its people.

Olympics for Utah will run advertisements Sunday in Utah daily newspapers. Another is planned for Tuesday. Four radio ads also have been prepared and are now being broadcast, Varela said.

What's more, the Great Utah Olympic Torch Relay, a statewide running event sponsored by Questar Corp., parent company of Mountain Fuel Supply Co., ought to generate interest in the Games, Varela said. The event, scheduled for Nov. 1-4, will focus on a symbolic torch carried from five corners of the state, culminating in a celebration at the State Capitol.

Meanwhile, Olympics opponents are continuing to take their message to Utahns.

"We want to alert the voting public to the massive use of public funds," said Alexis Kelner, honorary chairman of Utahns for Responsible Public Spending. Kelner is opposed to the use of $56 million in sales tax dollars to build Olympic facilities.

Utahns for Responsible Public spending plans several more press conferences, including one possibly on Halloween night, Kelner said. "They'll be a recap of what voters have not been told," he said.

Kelner said his organization has been collecting $300 daily in contributions over the past week, money that could be used in an 11th hour radio blitz, he said. Kelner said the group is negotiating with one donor offering to pay for a newspaper ad.

Meanwhile, Utah's Independent Party will hand-distribute some 30,000 "neutral" tabloids discussing pro- and anti-Olympic issues prepared by the Wasatch Mountain Club, which refuses to support the Games.

Party Chairman Merrill Cook said this week that party members would be distributing the literature in major population areas along the Wasatch Front.