That would be a good question for Democratic Florida Congressman Robert Wexler. It was a segment on the O’Reilly factor last night.
Bob Norman at the Daily Pulp describes the scene where A Fox reporter speaks to Wexler in the driveway of his Maryland home.
A Fox News producer named Griff Jenkins caught up with Wexler in the front yard of his home in Potomac. When Jenkins walked up on his driveway, Wexler — looking 100 percent the goofy suburban dad in a green hat, green t-shirt, and shorts — didn’t even wait for a question.
“No, I’m not doing this,” Wexler said. “If you want to call my office, that’s fine, I gotta drive my daughter to work.”
Jenkins, like any good reporter, kept charging, asking Wexler by the congressman’s silver Volvo SUV if his residency was in Delray.
“That’s correct, that’s my residence,” he said.
Jenkins noted that it belonged to Wexler’s in-laws.
“Is that true? You live with your mother-in-law?” Jenkins asked with a straight face.
That’s when the fire-breathing liberal got what football coach Bill Curry likes to call the “brook trout stare.” His eyes went blank and you could practically hear his brain leaking out of his head.
“Uh, the, mm …”
The stammering only lasted a second or two, but it seemed like an hour in at the DMV.
“My in-laws own that house, that’s correct,” he finally said.
“So you live with your mother-in-law?”
“My in-laws own that house, yes, that’s my official residence.”
To summarize, Wexler’s Republican opponent in November is accusing Wexler of not living in the Florida Congressional district he is elected to represent. His residence is actually the home of his in-laws, who live in a senior community which doesn’t allow children. Wexler has three children, at least two of whom I have read attend a school in Maryland.
Bob at the Daily Pulp, hardly a conservative, sums up the Wexler situation very nicely.
You might think this seems a small matter and you might not like the vigor that O’Reilly goes after Wexler (fresh liberal meat, you know). But it’s about more than partisan politics or even the fact that Wexler hasn’t lived in his district for ten years and lists a sham residence in official papers. Put bluntly, this is a sleazy and unethical move by Wexler. For one, he gets a housing deduction from Congress to help him maintain two residences. Unless, he’s paying Mrs. Cohen rent when he sleeps on the pull-out, he’s just pocketing that little federal benefit.
Another thing is that he might be using the sham Delray house for tax purposes — as in, to not pay them. Florida doesn’t have a state income tax, Maryland does. That means his little deceit might be bringing him more than a little coin. It’s not proven, but his cars are, weirdly, registered in Florida and it deserves to be looked into.
Basically, this could be tantamount to fraud and it could actually have some legs, though I seriously doubt we’ll see any criminal charges and I’m quite certain his loyal voters will quickly forgive him. He’s good ol’ Bobby Wexler, after all.
I doubt this story will cause more than a slight stir politically for Wexler. The Florida 19th is strongly Democratic, and Wexler has never had any serious opposition with the exception of the 1996 Democratic primary.(Which basically determined who would win the seat, after former Congressman Harry Johnston’s retirement.)
As for the fraud, there may be a case there. Though unless a federal prosecutor gets involved, nothing will happen. Barry Krischer is the State Attorney in Palm Beach County, and he has done almost nothing when it comes to local corruption. Two former County Commissioners and two former West Palm Beach Councilmen pleaded guilty to corruption charges in the last two years, but in each case the charges were brought by a federal prosecutor.
As for the local media hammering Wexler, it isn’t likely to happen either. As Bob pointed out also, the Palm Beach Post is notoriously cozy with the local congress people. They knowing about Mark Foley’s true sexual orientation for years, but never reporting it among other matters.
I’ve repeatedly stated how I don’t like Wexler. For the first 17 years I was a voter, I supported two moderate Democratic Congressmen who held the seat Wexler now holds. Wexler’s far left politics has always turned me off, and has resulted in me giving him three of my Knucklehead award. I think he is a hypocrite and a showman. That all said, Wexler is likely to be re-elected to Congress for many years to come unless he gets the bug to run for statewide office. He’s had several chances already, so Wexler is here to stay. Unfortunately.
A big tip of the hat to Bob Norman at The Daily Pulp, who I quoted heavily for this post. Good work Bob.