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    TV ad about tax plan gets wrong legislator

    By STEVE BOUSQUET, Times Tallahassee Deputy Bureau Chief
    © St. Petersburg Times
    published January 29, 2002

    Sen. Alex Villalobos of Miami doesn't mind being the target of TV ads criticizing him for supporting Senate President John McKay's tax plan. But he sure doesn't like it when a TV ad confuses him with Sen. Alex Diaz de la Portilla.

    But that's what happened.

    A Spanish-language ad offered to Miami stations shows Diaz de la Portilla's face and his phone number, but the announcer tells viewers to call "Alex Villalobos" to register their opposition.

    Pat Roberts, the lobbyist for the Florida Association of Broadcasters, said he has been producing ads for 10 different Florida markets, targeting 14 senators who support the tax proposal. Roberts accepted responsibility for what he said was a production mistake at the Orlando TV studio that produced the commercials.

    "They overlaid the wrong audio on the wrong video. It's been corrected today, and it's being shipped overnight," Roberts said. "And I apologized to him."

    Said Villalobos: "I guess they must think we all look alike."

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