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Will holiday travelers help Charlie out on amendment?

Among the tidbits included in the latest filings by the Yes on 1 committee is this: More than $100,000 worth of in-kind donations from companies in the billboard business has been donated to the group pushing to pass the Jan. 29th constitutional amendment on property taxes.

This is an interesting outreach tactic. Given the holiday season, and the soon-to-come barrage of television ads from Republican candidates, those running the campaign - which include people who helped Gov. Charlie Crist get elected - have opted to put up billboards touting approval of the amendment. The key question is timing: Will these billboards be seen by those likely to vote on the amendment, or will they be the rush of holiday travelers who may not live in Florida?

Vivian Myrtetus said Thursday that the billboards should be going up as soon as next week in "high traffic" areas such as Interstate 4, Interstate 275 and Interstate 95. She said the billboards will feature Crist's picture as well as the address of the Yes on 1 website.

The more than $100,000 in donated advertising space comes on top of the $2.43 million that Yes on 1 and Crist, who has become the main person campaigning for the amendment, has raised in cash donations.

Besides the Florida Association of Realtors, which gave $1 million to kickstart the campaign, the big donors are Florida Power & Light, which has now given $500,000, Dwight Schar, a home builder who gave $100,000, Ashbritt Inc. gave $125,000 and tobacco executive and Fisher Island resident Bennett LeBow has given $50,000.

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