Sen. Jesse Helms probably doesn't appreciate it, but he has something in common with a dead skunk--both are featured in the works of a North Carolina songwriter.
The Charlotte Observer reported today that Helms (R-N.C.) is featured in the offbeat lyrics of songwriter Loudon Wainwright III, whose recording "Jesse Don't Like It" is scheduled for release July 23.
Wainwright, who hails from Durham, N.C., hasn't had a hit since 1973, when his song "Dead Skunk," about a dead skunk in the middle of a road, made the Top 20 charts.
"Jesse Don't Like It" rails against Helms for his conservatism, especially his opposition to the use of taxpayer-supported National Endowment for the Arts funds for what the senator considers obscene works. The song goes:
If Jesse says it's dirty, it don't get any funds.
They use that taxpayers' money on tobacco and guns.
And your freedom of expression is being denied.
But if you're not sure what you like, just let Jesse decide .
Helms could not be reached for comment, and his campaign spokeswoman, Beth Burris, said she has not yet heard the record.