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PATAKI WILL SHUN ROLE IN STATE TOURISM ADS

Gov. Pataki will not appear in new "I Love New York" television advertisements this year because it's an election year, aides say.

Appearances by Pataki and his family in last year's tourism spots prompted criticism from Democrats that they represented a taxpayer-funded campaign to raise Pataki's popularity.

The three 30-second television ads for 1998 highlight the scenic beauty of New York -- a vineyard, canals and white-water rapids -- and at first make it seem as if the backdrops are France, Venice or the American West. At the end, the viewer is told the scenes are actually in New York.

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