Direct mail round-up: Invoking partisan spirits for Amendment 2

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Amendment 2 supporters summon very different demons to spook Democrats or Republicans into a ‘yes’ vote.

The Amendment 2 is for Everybody PAC sent out different Halloween-themed direct mail pieces, each one laying out on a headstone the consequence of letting Florida’s property tax cap expire.

“Amendment 2 is for everybody,” said Ann Howard, Amendment 2 Ballot Initiative communications director. “Whether you have a Republican mind, a Democratic Heart, or an Independent Spirit, Amendment 2 is in your best interest.”

Florida voters in 2009 passed a property tax cap expanding the homestead exemption and allowing portability, but that cap expires on Jan. 1 if 60 percent of voters statewide don’t pass a new amendment.

In a piece sent to Democratic households, content focuses on the potential burden for renters.

A tombstone for Florida’s Property Tax Cap with the dates 2009-2019 carved in appears. At the bottom of the grave marker reads the couplet “Florida’s Tax Cap Was Laid To Rest/Low-Income Renters Now In Distress.”

A headline reads “What’s Scary For Democrats This Halloween?”

The flip side of the mailer includes silhouetted gravestones include pull quotes from articles in Florida Today and the Miami Herald about the amendment, as well as a James Madison Institute write-up published on Sunshine State News.

A similar mailer targeted Republican voters, this one with a few notable differences.

The tombstone poem on the splash page ends with the line “Now Small Businesses Are In Distress.”

On the back side, the Herald article gets replaces with a different quote from the Madison Institute piece that focuses on business development instead of seniors and renters, and also includes a Florida TaxWatch analysis of the financial impact statewide.

A third mailer aimed at independents uses a mix of the Democratic and Republican-targeted content. The tombstone swapline reads “The Economy Is In Distress.”

The mailers all swap party ID out in parts, like in a bold line on back issuing a Democratic/Republic/Florida Voter alert about the expiration date of the tax cap.

For the committee behind the amendment, the multiple mailers seek to show the broad reasons voters have for supporting the property tax cap.

“”Our campaign slogan is ‘Everybody is for 2 because Amendment 2 is for everybody’ and our mail reflects that,” Howard said. “We want everyone to understand this ballot initiative is good for Democrats, Republicans and everyone.”

Jacob Ogles

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 [email protected].


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