Few would argue that former congressman Robert Wexler isn't a mensch, which is District 19 vernacular for a man of honor and integrity.
Whether or not you agreed with his politics, the self-described “Fire-Breathing Liberal” represented his district with uncompromising passion.
Halfway through his most recent term, Wexler jumped ship to take a better paying job with a Middle East-oriented think tank. He made no secret of why he was leaving. The man’s got kids to put through school—who could blame him?
We now learn that the primary and general election to replace Mr. Wexler will cost the taxpayers of Broward and Palm Beach Counties—which Dist. 19 straddles—some $1.7 million, at a time when local governments are already stretched to the limit. To compound the insult, county taxpayers who do not even live in Dist. 19 must also kick in to pay the tab for Mr. Wexler’s step up the financial ladder.
What started out as an understandable change in career is now beginning to look like an unconscionable act of selfishness.
Presumably, Mr. Wexler still has control over a sizable campaign kitty, which federal law allows him to do with as he pleases. Here’s a suggestion: Rather than keep it for himself, or use it to bolster the campaigns of like-minded pols, he should reimburse the two counties he represented for the cost of replacing him.
Why? Because it’s the right thing to do. It’s what a mensch would do.