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Direct mail round-up: Republicans attack Rob Levy for supporting popular Amendment 4

New attack ads criticize state Senate candidate Rob Levy for supporting Amendment 4. The problem? Most polling shows that referendum cruising to passage on Tuesday.

“Senate candidate Ron Levy wants convicted felons to vote,” blares a headline on a mailer from the Florida Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Amendment 4, if passed, will automatically restore voting rights for those convicted of felonies once their restitution and sentencing concludes. The amendment exempts those convicted of murder and felony sex crimes.

Still, the splash page for the mailer in bold type lists groups who could soon return to voter rolls: “Drug Dealers,” “Human Traffickers,” “Child Abusers,” “Kidnappers.”

“Levy believes convicted criminals deserve a voice just the same as those victimized by their crimes,” text on the flip side reads. “Putting felons at parity with victims and tipping the scales against honest, law-abiding citizens.”

Of course, a lot of people also believe that. The coalition of support for Amendment 4 extends to far left civil libertarian groups like the ACLU of Florida along with far right evangelical organizations focused on redemption like the Christian Coalition of America.

The mailers screenshots a Facebook post by Levy, one linking to a Florida Politics story about Amendment 4 with a message of support from Levy.

But again, Levy is hardly the only supporter of the amendment. Numerous polls, including a survey for Florida Politics by St. Pete Polls, show the measure easily clearing the 60-percent threshold required to amend Florida’s constitution.

In fact, the Republican Senatorial Campaign Committee, which presumably wants Republican Gayle Harrell to win Florida Senate District 25 over Levy, exists to strengthen a Republican majority in the Senate that includes numerous Amendment 4 backers. State Sen. Jeff Brandes, for example, already filed implementing legislation.

Granted, the most recent St. Pete Polls survey did find the measure least favorable among Republicans, who disapprove 53-40. But the mailer appears to be targeting independent voters, a group that favors passage 61-33.

Written By

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at jacobogles@hotmail.com.

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Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jim Rosica, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Dan McAuliffe, Michael Moline, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Bob Sparks, Andrew Wilson.
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