Mike Moskowitz As I Knew Him




Let me tell you about the Mike Moskowitz that I knew.

Moskowitz, 68, died last week after a year-and-half battle with pancreatic cancer. His funeral was this week. 

I knew him professionally for at least four decades. He was a key Broward lobbyist and lawyer.

I even met him socially a few times outside of work.




Mike Moskowitz, left, at a 2014 fund raiser for Charlie Crist, Democratic candidate for governor 





Our relationship goes back to the early 1980s.  I was a young journalist in Broward.  Moskowitz was beginning to make waves among Democrats who were tightening their grip on Broward politics. 

Another young Democrat I met during that era was Mitch Ceasar, a lawyer who eventually became Broward and state Democratic chair.

Ceasar met Moskowitz. They became life-long friends.

“Our life experiences were similar,” Ceasar recalled. “Our Brooklyn upbringing — I lived 10 blocks away from him growing up. We both had goofy Brooklyn natures. We both were young lawyers, however he was much smarter than me.”

The scrappy Brooklyn Law School graduate was rarely out-lawyered, even by snooty Ivy Leaguers. 

Over the years I watched from newspaper city rooms as Moskowitz’s influence grew.

He became the ultimate insider, always around the County Commission and campaigns. I increasingly sought him out for explanations of what was going on behind the scene. I asked what were the real motivations driving the vote. 

He graciously never failed to talk to me. He was always honest with me, something I can’t say about many in the political world.

I used Moskowitz to cut through the spin and the blather that the politicians were spouting. He used me to make sure the story was accurate and that it was fair to his client. 

A quote from him seldom appeared in the Sun-Sentinel under my byline because he asked I not quote him. But his fingerprints were all over my column. 

The decades passed and Moskowitz became very successful as a lobbyist. Like most lobbyists, his politics meshed with his work. 

His job was to convince politicians, some he helped elect, to vote for his clients.

Lobbying gave Moskowitz a comfortable life. 

Just look at some of the fees he earned, according to printed reports: 

He got $18,640 in 2001 to review legal documents and meet with three County Commissioners for E S & S, a company which ultimately won the contact for electronic voting machines. 

A decade later he got $25,000 to attend one County Commission meeting for a developer client.

The amount of money indicates how good Moskowitz was at his job. And how hard he worked. Nobody ever outworked him.

Dozens of companies and governments like the Palm Beach County School Board and Broward County could have gone to anybody. They went to Moskowitz because he got results. 

And don’t forget Moskowitz was a terrific lawyer. Moskowitz is who  Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony tapped to defend him when his eligibility for office was challenged.

To the end Moskowitz remained a hard core Democrat. For a time he was even Broward County’s elected state Democratic committeeman. It must have been frustrating. He could have been earning hundreds an hour. Instead, he sat at party meetings watching the state party slide into irrelevance.

Through all the success, Moskowitz remained dedicated to the Jewish community. He used the same tactics to help the Jewish community as he did to support politicians — raise and donate money.

“The JCC (Jewish Community Center) would hold a regular auction to raise money and Mike was the auctioneer. He was hysterical,” Ceasar remembered. “He would say things to a bidder like, ‘You make a lot of money. Raise your bid.’

“He was a very funny Brooklyn guy,” Ceasar said.

I never saw what Ceasar called Moskowitz’s “goofy” side. I think he was a little scared to let his hair down in front of me. Perhaps he was worried I would write about it in my column.

Moskowitz was part of a wave from Brooklyn in the 1970s and 80s. Most of them ended up playing mahjong and hunting for the Early Bird Special. The “goofy” kid from Brooklyn ended up hosting Bill and Hillary Clinton at his Parkland house.

I saw him then, too, with the Clintons and the collection of high rollers. He was the hospitable host, like always. 

What can I write to finish this piece about somebody who was such a part of the fabric of Broward and is now gone? How I can say goodbye to Mike Moskowitz, who was part of my work life for over four decades?

Goodbye, Mike.  

You were a real mensch. 

You will be sorely missed. 

6 Responses to “Mike Moskowitz As I Knew Him”

  1. Suzanne says:

    Nice tribute Buddy.

  2. Anonymous says:

    You didn’t write about his generosity. He gave thousands away to the needy and organizations, asking for nothing . He made lots of $$$ and shared it with others

  3. Ben Graber says:

    Nice tribute Buddy.


    Thank you, so much.

    (Dr. Ben Graber, a physician, is a former state representative, Broward County Commissioner and Broward County Mayor.)

  4. Joey Epstein says:

    Well done Buddy!


    Thanks so much, Joey.

  5. Sam the Sham says:


    You forgot:
    Dr. Ben Graber….

    And don’t hesitate to post this. Ben is proud of it.

  6. Bob Adams says:

    Beautiful tribute Buddy… and so well deserved!