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Smith describes anti-Davis mailing as fair game

State Sen. Rod Smith brushed off calls Tuesday to denounce an attack ad against his Democratic rival for governor, U.S. Rep. Jim Davis.

The mailer to South Florida voters, paid for by a sugar industry-backed group called Florida's Working Families, rips Davis for missing last month's vote in Washington condemning the terrorist attacks against Israel.

Smith told The Miami Herald's editorial board that the missed vote was fair game, considering that Davis has racked up the second-worst attendance record in the House of Representatives since he began campaigning in early 2005.

"This is not about his support for Israel,'' Smith said. "It's about whether or not you show up to do your job at a time when Israel needs your support.''

Two Jewish members of Congress -- Debbie Wasserman Schultz of Weston and Robert Wexler of Boca Raton -- defended Davis' record on Israel and urged Smith to denounce the mailing. Davis has repeatedly voted to give military and economic aid to Israel, and he assailed the Hezbollah attacks before the congressional vote.