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Robert Wexler, passionate Florida liberal, quits Congress

Florida Rep. Robert Wexler at Radio Free Euope

It's kind of a shocker for political groupies, news that a popular and not-in-any-way-endangered Democratic incumbent has decided to leave Congress.

Robert Wexler, a staunch liberal voice from Boca Raton, railed against Republicans who impeached President Clinton and fought for a paper-verification of all ballots after Florida's flawed (remember hanging chads?) election in 2000.

During last year's election, he was an early and avid supporter of Barack Obama despite strong support for Hillary Clinton in his district. Trying to deflect talk in January that he might be rewarded with an appointment in the new administration, Wexler said, "I have a dream job, a job I love."

Today he announced that he's resigning after 19 years in Congress to head a Washington think tank called the Center for Middle East Peace & Economic Cooperation, founded by Slim-Fast founder S. Daniel Abraham.

The decision has left some analysts scratching their heads. "What Is Wexler Thinking?" asked the Washington Independent's Spencer Ackerman, speculating that perhaps the move is part of some "inside-outside game" by the administration in which the think tank would push Israel toward the negotiating table from the outside while the White House pushed from the inside.

If so, Wexler gave no clue today in a presser, saying only, "We are at a unique and critically tense moment in the history of the Middle East," he said, "with both significant opportunities to succeed in the Arab-Israeli conflict as well as major challenges involving Iran, Hamas, and Al Qaeda." 

The district is a Democratic stronghold, and the Miami Herald is reporting that special election candidates could include Democratic state Sen. Jeremy Ring, who said he was "still in a little bit of shock over all of this," as well as state Sen. Ted Deutch, West Palm Beach Mayor Lois Frankel, Broward County Mayor Stacy Ritter and former Broward County Commissioner Ben Graber.

-- Johanna Neuman

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Photo credit: Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty
 
Comments () | Archives (14)

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I say: Good riddance to bad rubbish. My only regret is I won't be able to vote against him in the next election.

Curious why there is no mention in this article of the fact that Wexler lived in Maryland, but claimed residence in South Florida at his "mommy's condo" which is only for residents 55 years and older, and he (Wexler) has children living at home. After he was exposed by The O'Reilly Factor, Wexler apparently decided to buy a home in South Florida.

Funny too, the fact that Maryland has a large state income tax and Florida has none. How convenient!! Does he owe the federal government back-taxes for living in Maryland and claiming Florida as his residence; you can be sure he does. Do any reporters give a crap? As I said, "good riddance to bad rubbish".

Does this mean he is a quitter?

He must be getting a big bump in pay. How much is he getting and will Barney Frank try to control it?

Don't let the door hit ya' where the good Lord split ya' you PUNK!!!

An indictment is coming down. Just rumor, but it makes sense.

The governor recently announced a corruption probe that partially centers areound Wexler's district. He also has ties with the doctor also under investigation.

Watch the news... he'll be indicted soon.
And I thought Pelosi was going to drain the swamp! LOL!

I hope he reads the new book, just out, documenting how various Muslim advocacy groups (and no, I am NOT saying all Muslims back terrorism) such as CAIR are fronts for radical Muslim groups and supporters of Hamas, the Muslim Brotherhood, etc. The allegations are backed by thousands of pages of documentation by undercover people.

The book is 'Muslim Mafia' by P. Gaubatz and Paul Sperry.

If the Jewish community cared at all about Isreal, they'd try to get a republican in that seat.

One idiot down many more to go

With Obamanomics in overdrive, he's a lame duck. He's smart to get out now rather than waiting until 11/10.

Robert Wexler had one of the biggest mouths in Washington. I felt sorry for the jewish people he represented in Florida, and wondered why they choose to vote for him because he is jewish. Vote for the best man, not his religion, or party. I pray another "Big Mouth", Charles Schumer will follow him away from us.

given wexlers ties to radical islam it could be he is getting out while the getting is good. if the muslim mafia investigation is allowed to go further there will be several members of both house of congress possibly being indicted for giving aid and comfort to hamas and other terror groups.

Whooopeee! Boy are we glad Wexler will finally be leaving Florida, hopefully for good…the air smells much better today… The word “Cooperation” however is not in his vocabulary.

Perhaps our next representative will actually live here and not in Maryland. I don't think that's an unreasonable expectation. It's only in the Constitution...

The rats are always the first to jump off a sinking ship!


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About the Columnist
A veteran foreign and national correspondent, Andrew Malcolm has served on the L.A. Times Editorial Board and was a Pulitzer finalist in 2004. He is the author of 10 nonfiction books and father of four. Read more.
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