Accident Taught A Lesson to Privileged Pol


Money and status couldn’t protect Jared Moskowitz when the thug driving a stolen car ran a red light and t-boned his shiny late-model $80,000 Audi.

A life changing event.  A lesson that taught Moskowitz that at any time the mean side of life can intrude into his privileged world.

He wasn’t protected by his gold-plated upbringing – Daddy Mike Moskowitz is a wealthy lobbyist and Democratic state committeeman.

He wasn’t protected by his top shelf job — at 31-years-old, general counsel of AshBritt, the nationwide disaster debris cleanup company.

A Parkland commissioner since 25, he was once the youngest elected official in Florida. It didn’t matter.

Nor did his political work for Democratic bigshots, like President Obama. Or being anointed by party Pooh-Bahs for a seat in the state House next November. Or his hot young wife and home in leafy Parkland.


President Obama and Jared Moskowitz

None of it counted that night on New Year’s Eve weekend. Moskowitz was on his way to a Miami Heat game when he suddenly found himself in a disabled car, helpless in perhaps the roughest part of Miami – Overtown.

He climbed out of the wrecked car, running on adrenaline.  The lowlife who caused the accident had bailed.  Moskowitz was burning with anger.

Then he looked down at his damaged right hand.

“It was just hanging there,” the Parkland commissioner recalled.  “The bone was in the wrong place and looked like it was about to poke through.”

Suddenly swooning from the pain, he looked around. Overtown. Boarded up storefronts and beat up houses.

It was a South Florida most of those in Parkland only see on the evening news. Or from the tinted windows of their cars.

On the corner was a guy from the neighborhood.  He stepped off the curb and approached. Would he take advantage of the stricken suburbanite? Would he steal his wallet or worse?

He bent down and talked to Moskowitz.  In a quiet, calming voice.  Was everybody okay, the neighborhood guy asked? Could he help?

There are good people everywhere.

Somebody called for help. Within minutes, the corner was now awash in flashing blue lights.  The good Samaritan from the neighborhood, not needed anymore, gets up and drifts away. Cops and paramedics everywhere.

People pointed in the direction of where the punk fled.  Into a part of the ghetto called “The Swamp.”

Cops wouldn’t follow the suspect into “The Swamp.”  A waste of time. The car thief who smashed into Moskowitz was long gone, they said.  Disappeared into the rabbit warren of crumbling buildings and trash-filled alleyways.


It Ain’t Parkland.


Overtown is one of South Flortida’s smaller communities.  Like Parkland.

Similarities end there.

Overtown’s median income is $13,200. Parkland’s is $127,000.

Overtown is 75 percent black and 3 percent white.  Parkland is 91 percent white and 3 percent black.

Both in South Florida.  Very different places.

Moskowitz was lifted onto a gurney, loaded into an EMS van and taken out of Overtown to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The emergency room is usually a scene out of Dante’s Inferno, but it didn’t matter. Too much pain.

Finally wheeled into an operating room, what was scheduled as a quick procedure to set the bones turned into a nightmare.  It dragged on for hours. Doctors had to set the damaged wrist twice.

Lot’s of pain. “It was not fun,” Moskowitz said.

The next morning — back in the operating room.  Six-plus hours.  Titanium screws and plates. His hand wrapped like Boris Karloff in “The Mummy.”

Back to Parkland.

His wrist immobile, unable to function.  Everything from putting on clothes to signing checks complicated. Heavy drugs for the pain clouding everything.

Moskowitz’s job put on hold. His campaign for state House put on the back burner.

Just a lot of time to think.


Contemplating the Future

First thought: “Thank God. It could have been much worse.”

Then: “I’ve become more sympathetic to police officers and EMS personnel. They were on the scene within minutes and did their jobs with professionalism.  They were there when I needed them.  I won’t be taking any of their issues for granted.”

Moskowitz said he plans to make the accident an opportunity.  Like state Rep. Irv Slosberg, D-Boca Raton, who turned the traffic death of his daughter Dori into a crusade that led to tougher traffic laws.  Or John Walsh, who was inspired by the murder of his son Adam to launch America’s Most Wanted, which resulted in the capture of 1,200 fugitives.

Moskowitz plans to be a champion for traffic safety. Although there are few red lights in rural Parkland, he proposed red light cameras. He is doing what he can.

The accident “showed me the importance of traffic safety and safety devices. My accident couldn’t have been prevented by a traffic device – he ran a red light – but others could be saved.”

Ben Franklin once said: “Out of adversity comes opportunity.“

Moskowitz is following the Founding Father’s lead.


He will never look at life the same way again.  By next Thanksgiving, hopefully, after months of successful rehab, he will have so much more to be thankful for.

A painful lesson learned.

Evil and misfortune can creep into even the most fortunate lives.

All you can do it try to make the best of it, like Moskowitz.


20 Responses to “Accident Taught A Lesson to Privileged Pol”

  1. christine says:

    And here I thought the lesson would have been advocacy and measures to improve the lives of the residents of Overton. Red light cameras for the 3 traffic lights in Parkland. Yup, that accident was life changing all right…

  2. Joe the Plummer says:

    This has nothing to do with Overtown. That was just how Buddy decided to frame this article. Seriously this article could have been written by Bob Norman. Buddy are you outsourcing your journalism?

  3. Parkland Resident says:

    Beautifully written.

  4. John Henry says:

    Who cares what happens to this massengill.

  5. christine says:

    Joe, you are right in one respect. This article has nothing to do with with Overton. But Norman would not have written this fluff piece. He would hae mentioned the sizable contributions that Jared received from shell companies before his dad even kicked in a dime for his campaign.

  6. Oodles says:

    Sorry, but this story reads to me like a steaming pile of cow manure. A rich boy with a law degree who’s been on the hustle his whole life now thinks he’s found a gold mine: getting taxpayers to pay for red light cameras, and no doubt pocketing a handsome commission in the process. Buddy, get back to us when Parkland lawyer goes to work pro bono for lepers in Calcutta, okay? Otherwise, this is just some guy on the make who smells a juicy business opportunity.

  7. Holding back tears says:

    Yes, the red light camera would have caught the car thief. Sure, we hear about it all the time. Car theft is down in cities with red light cameras.

    (Dad does the sound sincere enough? Sure son)

    This would be a truly altruistic position if the candidate refused to take money from those involved in the red light camera business.

  8. Joe the Plummer says:

    You think this is a fluff piece? Boy I would hate to see your standard for journalism. Why don’t you just lite a Bon fire and throw the kid in. Would that make you feel better in your own miserable life? Would this article be acceptable had he been killed or left in a wheelchair for life? The kid did nothing wrong and yet something tells me you would have been happier had his injuries been more serious. This article and the anonymous comments are the reasons why Americans continue to be unsatisfied with their representation at all levels of government. Who would want to run for office when your treated like dirt? We have ourselves to blame

  9. Mark says:

    Joe: Give me a break, please. This kid has never done anything but plan for a career in politics, exactly what is wrong with our Country today. At least he has an opponent who has been in the real world. Gleason will win this state house seat.

  10. christine says:

    Kid? A married man in his 30s? Are you kidding me? For crying out loud he got hit by a car- so do thousands of folks every day. And now he is gonna make sure those 3 traffic lites in Parkland have cameras. Why glamorize this? it’s the least he can do as a PAID commisioner in Parkland.


    I don’t believe that writing about Jared Moskowitz “glamorized” him. I was writing about the life of one of our elected officials who has a very good chance to be in the state House in November. People deserve to know what motivates their politicians.

  11. christine says:

    oh and by the way joe, what’s YOUR name? Dad Moskowitz?

  12. christine says:

    I did not say it “glamorized ” Jared. I said “why glamorize this?” referring to putting up the traffic cameras in the 3 lights in Parkland.


    Thank you for clarifying your comment.

  13. Jack Shifrel says:

    The anonymous, cynical comments by cowards who are so quick to attack someone from under a rock, is disgusting. I know Jared Moskowitz. We’re not close personal friends, but I’ve met him & found him to be bright, ambitious & a very nice young man. Sure, he probably has wanted to be a public official since he was a kid. What’s wrong with that? Since when is someone having a desire to serve his or her community a bad thing? And by the way, he’s not a commissioner in Overtown. Until he gets to the legislature, & I believe he will, he can only make a real difference in the city he was elected to serve. I’d love to know what, if any, good the anonymous creeps who write here & elsewhere have ever done. Of course I’m sure they feel good about taking shots at a good & decent man. I guess not being anonymous will mean I’ll be next, but I’ll consider the source.

  14. Local D says:

    Nice piece Buddy, and glad to here Moskowitz is doing better. He’ll make a great legislator.

  15. christine says:

    Jack, No one is saying that Jared is not a “nice” guy.He is. I know he is. ( Take one guess where I live.) But to say or to paint him as an ubermensch now with a “mission” of installing 3 red light cameras because of his accident is well, laughable. Although his ambition may be large, his vision is small. That’s all.

  16. Pad pol adv says:


    let me guess… You have been hired by this guy or you aspire to be, because everyone in town knows you dont give a crap about a candidate unless you are getting paid.

  17. s only says:

    ladies and gentlemen: Let’s just wait and see what or if good can come from this incident. He was lucky, knows it (hopefully), and needs to “pay it forward”. Not necessarily in red light zones, but (again hopefully) REAL contributions to society.

  18. Fritz says:

    He is nothing more than a self-serving, opportunistic politician of the old order type with higher political aspirations who will do and say anything to maintain the appearance that he really cares. If you see anything else, then you really don’t know him. You can be sure that he couldn’t care less about the people of Overtown or their issues.

  19. swampting says:

    Agree with Christine. Could you try to kiss Mike M’s ass any more, Buddy? Sorry about this privileged white kids accident, but,…who cares. It changed his life so now he is going to dedicate time to traffic safety issues, right after he buys that new 80k audi. Wow. zzzzz. Maybe instead he should drive a used toyota and give some of that money to help educate under privileged kids in overtown.

  20. Jack Shifrel says:

    The fact is that I am not associated with Commissioner Moskowitz’ campaign, nor do I intend or expect to be. I wish him a speedy recovery & believe he will probably win, but I am not in any way a part of his campaign.

    And, for the record, I have given my time & energy freely to dozens of candidates & causes I believe in. When it comes to being hired by candidates, I do not solict their business. Candidates I work with on a professional basis are almost always referred to me by others or are candidates I’ve worked with in the past, either on their own or someone elses campaign.

    Only a coward who hides behind the cloak of anonymity & either doesn’t know me or doesn’t have the guts to identify him or her self, would say otherwise.