Two weeks before the election, Nebraska Gov. Kay Orr (R), seeking reelection, and Rep. Thomas J. Tauke (R-Iowa), running for the Senate, replaced their New York-based media consulting firm, Dresner Sykes, after discovering discrepancies between the amount of broadcast advertising the campaigns were told was purchased during the crucial month of October and what actually was purchased.

Orr and Tauke lost in close races. Neither campaign made public its discovery of the discrepancy until after the election.

Dick Dresner, a partner in the media firm, insisted in an interview that the two campaigns owe him "a ton of money" and that he has canceled checks to prove that he paid television stations for the amount of advertising that was ordered by the campaigns. But public records contradict Dresner's claim, showing that he did not place all the ads he was paid to place. "What was on public file is different from what was run," Dresner responded. "It's possible the stations didn't run everything."

Tauke said in an interview, "I can say without reservation that the advertising we paid for was not purchased. There were major discrepancies -- gaps of 20 to 50 percent in the amounts paid and what was purchased." As for owing money to Dresner, Tauke said, "It is true we haven't paid him his full consulting fee. Small wonder."

Figures provided to the Omaha World-Herald by Nebraska television stations and Orr campaign reports showed in the case of one Omaha station, for example, that Dresner Sykes placed only one-sixth of the advertising that the campaign paid for.

"Although you can't exactly weigh the negative impact of the {advertising} loss, when you lose by 4,000 votes it's easy to make a case that it made a difference," said Orr campaign manager Scott Matter.

Dresner Sykes also represented defeated Kansas Gov. Mike Hayden (R), defeated Texas GOP gubernatorial nominee Clayton Williams and successful California gubernatorial nominee Sen. Pete Wilson (R).