Curt Clawson’s latest ad looks a lot like a spot for Leslie Waters circa 2002 & 2004

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The Miami Herald‘s Marc Caputo tweeted this afternoon that Republican Curt Clawson’s latest television ad “might be the cleverest” in the special election in Florida’s 19th Congressional District. 

I couldn’t agree more.

That’s because Jack Hebert and I pretty much produced the same ad for state Representative Leslie Waters in 2002 and 2004 (for the record, I only worked on the 2002 spot). 

Here’s the ad for Waters:


Clawson’s ad is different enough from Waters’ spot that it’s not a direct rip-off, but the two spots are more alike than they are different.

Both Clawson and Waters were running in tough campaigns in which thousands of dollars of negative TV spots were airing. Both spots are set at the beach (Waters’ spot was filmed at Fort De Soto beach, in fact). Both capture the  waves rolling in. Both ads allow the sound of the water crashing, rather than voice-over, to dominate the spot. Both ads even complain about all of the “negative political ads.”

There are, um, differences: Where Waters’ ad called for a “refreshing break,” Clawson’s offers “a few moments of peace.”

There’s no disputing the cleverness of Clawson’s ad. Hopefully Clawson’s campaign consultants can win an Addy award for their work, like The Mallard Group did for its efforts.

Update – 2:05 p.m: Lizbeth Benacquisto’s campaign is touting a tweet from a Hotline reporter that says this is not the first time Clawson’s consultants have used this theme in an ad.

Here is Clawson’s ad: 

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including,,, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.