BY BUDDY NEVINS
State House candidate Jared Moskowitz is not going to take it anymore.
He is a commissioner in the sleepy Parkland, where the agenda is filled with small town business. Most of the media ignores Parkland’s government.
It all changed when Moskowitz began running for the Legislature. He suddenly drew the attention of combative conservative websites.
For months the sites have been battering him, mainly because he currently lives outside the district. Lately there has been a new wrinkle: his wife, Leah Moskowitz.
Media Tracker Florida recently noted that Leah was elected a Democratic committeewoman from Parkland, which is outside the district where her husband is running.
“They view things through their lens, not necessarily the truth…When the facts aren’t on your side, you pound the table and make it up,” said Moskowitz, 31, who styles himself a moderate Democrat.
Here are the facts:
Moskowitz indeed currently lives in Parkland, outside the Coral Springs-based House District 97.
But he intends to lease a home in Coral Springs and establish his legal residency in the district.
That’s all the vague law requires. Even that isn’t required until he takes office in November.
It is really a non-issue in my opinion.
The conservative websites obviously don’t remember that the most flagrant case of a legislator living outside the district was the Republican darling Ileana Ros-Lehtinen. I remember because I was running the Sun-Sentinel’s Dade County office at the time.
In 1985, State Rep. Ileana Ros married state Rep. Dexter Lehtinen. The two represented different districts in Dade.
She quickly became pregnant, so you can decide whether they were living together.
A year later, both ran for Senate from different Dade districts together. The issue came up in the campaign.
They told the media that they each had a house in their different district. The couple and their child moved back and forth between the two houses to live.
The voters bought the explanation. They won and became the first couple serving in the Senate together.
I believe the conservative websites are pushing this largely bogus issue because they have a weak candidate James Gleason, who raised roughly $3,000 to Moskowitz’s $134,000.
The conservatives are pushing the issue because big name Republicans like E. Wayne Huizenga and GOP-friendly corporations are supporting Moskowitz.
“If you look at my record (in Parkland), we cut the size of government. We’ve outsourced services,” Moskowitz said. “So what are the going to say about me except this stuff.”