Robert Wexler

Robert Wexler

Robert Wexler

Robert Wexler (born January 2, 1961) is the president of the Washington-based S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.

Robert Wexler was a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Florida’s 19th congressional district, from 1997 until his resignation on January 3, 2010.

Robert Wexler was born in Queens, New York to Sonny and Sandra Wexler. Robert Wexler and his family moved to South Florida when he was ten. Robert Wexler graduated from Hollywood Hills High School in Hollywood, Florida and later attended Emory University for a year. Robert Wexler transferred to the University of Florida, where he received his Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 1982. Robert Wexler  received his law degree from The George Washington University Law School in 1985 and was a lawyer in private practice with Shutts & Bowen before serving in the House.

Robert Wexler served in the Florida Senate from 1990 to 1996 before being elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in the 1996 election, filling the open seat vacated by fellow Democrat Harry Johnston. Robert Wexler has been reelected five times, never facing serious opposition in one of the most Democratic districts in Florida. During the 2008 campaign, Wexler agreed to receive JStreet PAC’s endorsement and financial support and lost funding from Washington PAC as a result. Morris Amitay, the head of Washington PAC, made clear to candidates seeking support from his PAC that he does not view favorably those who receive funds from JStreet. Amitay said “There’s a striking resemblance between the people they support and the anti-Israel Hall of Fame,”

Rep. Robert Wexler

In an e-mail to supporters on November 7, 2007, Representative Robert Wexler, a member of the House Judiciary Committee, stated about H.Res. 333:

I will urge the Judiciary Committee to schedule impeachment hearings immediately and not let this issue languish as it has over the last six months. Only through hearings can we bring begin to correct the abuses of Dick Cheney and the Bush Administration; and, if it is determined in these hearings that Vice President Cheney has committed High Crimes and Misdemeanors, he should be impeached and removed from office.

In mid December 2007, Congressman Robert Wexler launched a website (http://www.Wexlerwantshearings.com) to promote his effort for impeachment hearings. The site included a You Tube video where he explained his position and a petition for like-minded people to sign. Robert Wexler set a goal of getting 50,000 Americans to join his cause. In just two weeks, over 200,000 people signed the petition and over 70,000 people watched his You Tube video.

Main article: What Happened

After the release of the controversial book What Happened by former White House Press Secretary Scott McClellan, Robert Wexler went on record as saying he would like McClellan to testify under oath about the alleged crimes of the Bush Administration. The Bush Administration has claimed that such proceedings would be a violation of executive privilege. At the time, Wexler was a member of the House Judiciary Committee. The testimony was offered on June 20 by former Bush press secretary Scott McClellan.

On March 2, 2007, Congressman Wexler endorsed Barack Obama as a candidate for the 2008 Presidential election. On May 31, 2008, he spoke at the Democratic National Committee’s Rules and Bylaws Committee meeting on behalf of the Obama campaign. He argued for a reinstatement of both pledged and superdelegates from the state of Florida to the 2008 Democratic National Convention, with both exercising a half vote at the Convention. He called this an „equitable solution“, allowing Florida to participate in the Democratic Party’s nominating process, and acknowledged that this would result in a net gain of nineteen delegates from Florida for Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was Barack Obama’s chief opponent in the nominating process.

On June 10, 2008 Wexler co-sponsored and signed Dennis Kucinich’s articles of impeachment for George W. Bush. He referred to the Congressional Oath of Office saying it was the duty of Congress to act, and stated: „President Bush deliberately created a massive propaganda campaign to sell the war in Iraq to the American people and the charges detailed in this impeachment resolution indicate an unprecedented abuse of executive power.“ Democratic leaders Steny Hoyer and Nancy Pelosi have opposed these efforts. Pelosi announced that she „would not support a resolution calling for Bush’s impeachment, saying such a move was unlikely to succeed and would be divisive.”

In July 2008, Fox news host Bill O’Reilly revealed that Wexler claims his mother-in-law’s home in Delray Beach as his official residence (though he is listed on the House roll as „D-Boca Raton“), but lives in a Maryland suburb for most of the year. Edward J. Lynch, a Republican running for Wexler’s congressional seat, has been researching Wexler’s living arrangements and took his argument to the Fox News program. „The house he lists on his voter registration is his in-laws‘ house, in a gated 55-and-older community,“ Lynch said. „Legally, he can’t move back with children under 18.“ After Wexler was confronted about the allegation, he stated that his mother-in-law does own the house in Delray Beach. But he also said he stays there when in Florida which, according to his office is, on average, about twice a month. As a Florida resident, Wexler does not pay personal income tax, and his vehicles are also registered in that state, despite his near-permanent residency in the Washington metropolitan area.

Robert Wexler, born in 1961, also does not personally meet the age requirements for his mother-in-law’s 55-and-older community. However, 55-and-older communities are required, both by Florida law, and federal equal housing laws, to permit a small percentage of younger residents. Wexler later obtained a separate address within Palm Beach County.

Robert Wexler ran unopposed in the 19982004, and the 2006 elections.

From the 1996 election:

Beverly Kennedy Robert Wexler
Party Republican Democratic
Subtotal 99,073 188,745
Absentee ballots 0 0
Totals 99,073 188,745
Percentage 34.4% 65.6%

From the 2000 election:

Morris Thompson Robert Wexler
Party Republican Democratic
Subtotal 67,782 171,068
Absentee ballots 7 12
Totals 67,789 171,080
Percentage 28.4% 71.6%

From the 2002 election:

Jack Merkl Robert Wexler
Party Republican Democratic
Total 60,477 156,747
Percentage 27.8% 72.2%

Wexler faced Lynch and independent candidate Ben Graber in the Nov. 4, 2008 election, defeating them both.[9]

From the 2008 election:

Edward Lynch Robert Wexler Ben Graber
Party Republican Democratic NPA
Total 83,357 202,465 20,214
Percentage 27.2% 66.2% 6.6%

[10]

Committee assignments and caucus memberships

Caucus memberships

The following is a partial list of Wexler’s congressional caucus memberships:

  • Congressional Caucus on Global Road Safety (co-founder and co-chairman)
  • Caucus on U.S.-Turkish Relations (co-founder)
  • Taiwan Caucus (co-founder)
  • Caucus on Intellectual Property Promotion and Piracy Prevention (co-founder/co-chairman)
  • Indonesia Caucus (co-founder/co-chairman)
  • Congressional Study Group on Turkey (co-chair)
  • Congressional Progressive Caucus
  • India Caucus
  • Serbia Caucus

Notable media appearances

Colbert Report interview

Congressman Wexler’s multiple appearances on The Colbert Report have elevated him to status of being a bona fide „friend of the show.“ On the July 20, 2006, episode, during an interview for the segment Better Know a District, Wexler went along with Stephen Colbert’s idea of making jokes about the use of cocaine. Led by Stephen Colbert, he first repeated what Colbert had said, then completed with the following statements (see video):

I enjoy cocaine because… it’s a fun thing to do.

I enjoy the company of prostitutes for the following reasons: …oh, because it’s a fun thing to do. Much like cocaine. If you combine the two together, it’s probably even more fun.

Good Morning AmericaThe Today Show (the ABC and NBC morning shows), and Fox News aired edited versions of the segment. In response, on the July 25, 2006 episode of his show, Colbert castigated those network’s morning shows for broadcasting edited versions of the interview in a misleading and negative light. He also told his viewers to „vote Wexler, the man’s got a sense of humor, unlike, evidently, journalists.“

On November 7, 2006, Wexler returned to The Colbert Report during the show’s „Midterm Midtacular“ special and joked about what he said in the earlier interview. When Colbert asked him if he would „reach across the aisle“ if the Democrats took back the House (video clip), Wexler was cautious and joked that he learned from the last interview he had to watch what he said.

The Hill

In August and September 2006, Wexler and his office staff were featured on The Hill, a six-part documentary on the Sundance Channel.

Family

Robert Wexler is married to the former Laurie Cohen. They have three children Rachel Wexler, Zachary Wexler, and Hannah Wexler. The eldest, Rachel Wexler, is currently pursuing a degree in English at Brown University. The middle child, Zachary, is currently attending George Washington University as a freshman.

References

  1. a b „Robert Wexler“. S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace.
  2. a b http://wexler.house.gov/ U.S. Representative Robert Wexler, Representing the 19th District of Florida[dead link]
  3. ^ „Current Vacancies“. Office of the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives.
  4. ^ J Street Shows Its Strength in NumbersThe Forward
  5. ^ „Congressman wants McClellan to testify under oath – CNN.com“CNN. May 30, 2008. Retrieved May 22, 2010.
  6. ^ Kucinich introduces Bush impeachment resolution from cnn.com
  7. ^ sun-sentinel.com, U.S. Rep. Wexler calling for impeachment of President Bush
  8. ^ Wexler residential ruckus rekindled West Palm Beach, Boca Raton, Treasure Coast local news, weather, live radar, investigative from Newschannel 5 | WPTV.com
  9. ^ Lantigua, John (2008-11-05). „Local News: West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Martin & St. Lucie Counties“. The Palm Beach Post. Retrieved 2010-08-23.
  10. ^ http://election.dos.state.fl.us/elections/resultsarchive/Index.asp?ElectionDate=11/4/2008
  11. ^ Farhi, Paul. „‚The Hill,‘ Where Staffers Have the Floor“The Washington Post, 2006-08-23. Retrieved on 2009-12-12.

[edit]External links

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Harry Johnston
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Florida’s 19th congressional district

1997–2010
Succeeded by
Ted Deutch
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