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Who Is Robert Wexler?

Florida Congressman Ally to Poker Players


Robert Wexler has served as a Democratic member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 1997, representing Florida's 19th congressional district. That district includes portions of Palm Beach and Broward Counties. Rep. Wexler ran unopposed in the 1998, 2004, and 2006 elections, probably because he got over 70 percent of the vote when he was opposed.

One of the Good Guys

Who is Robert Wexler? I will confess, he is my kind of politician and lately I am disgusted with politicians. After seeing Attorney General Alberto Gonzales stumbling in the Senate Judiciary hearing in order to cover up his improper firing of eight prosecutors, after reading that President Bush commuted Libby's sentence, and after watching the systematic violation of human rights for the last five years at the U.S. Navel Base in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, I find it refreshing to get familiar with the work Rep. Wexler has been doing for many years.

His Accomplishments

Rep. Wexler is a very busy guy. He recently traveled to France to try to convince President Sarkozy to add Hezbollah to the European Union's terrorist list. He urged President Bush to discuss the Holocaust restitution issue with Polish President Kaczynski, although Bush didn't do so. He successfully introduced a bill to ensure that indigent federal defendants would be treated fairly. He authored a bill called the "Honor Thy Parents Act," which proposed an inexpensive and comprehensive Medicare prescription drug benefit for seniors.

His Awards

Rep. Wexler was named one of the "50 Most Effective Legislators in Congress" by the prominent magazine Congressional Quarterly during his second term. In 2004, he was named on the "Forward 50" list as one of the most influential luminaries in the American Jewish community.

His Courage

And today, as Congress reconvened after the July 4th holiday, he introduced a Congressional resolution censuring President George W. Bush for his egregious and politically motivated commutation of "Scooter" Libby's prison sentence.

His Personality

Yesterday, Rep. Wexler was in Vegas and he was interviewed for Card Player TV. Please check it out! I had the pleasure of dining with him and his aide, Senator Al D'Amato, Howard Lederer, Chris Ferguson, and Greg Raymer. Rep. Wexler is delightful, engaging, articulate, well traveled, principled, passionate about fairness and is a natural leader.

We discussed the future of poker and, while Howard and Wexler discussed how to prove poker was a game of skill, Senator Al talked about the change on Capitol Hill and how more and more Congressmen are becoming allies. It was a fun day for Senator Al because he was asked to conduct the opening ceremonies for the World Series of Poker main event with the ceremonial line, "Shuffle up and deal."

A Toast to Wisdom

Senator Al led the toast to Rep. Wexler, commending his wisdom to author a bill that exempts skill games from current law. Of course, I added to the toast my commendation for his resolution to censure Bush.

Rep. Wexler's bill, The Skill Game Protection Act (H.R. 2610), seeks to carve out poker and other games of skill (bridge, chess, and mah jong) from the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act passed by Congress in October, 2006.

Both Rep. Wexler and Senator Al explained that nothing will happen without Rep. Barney Frank, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee, who is supportive of making online poker legal. Both Congressman also agreed that what will likely happen is that at some point the bills will be combined.

A Resolution to Censure Bush

After dinner, Rep. Wexler had to rush back to Washington so that he could introduce his resolution to censure President Bush. This is the final paragraph of the resolution for your enjoyment:

Resolved, That the United States Congress does hereby censure George W. Bush, President of the United States, and does condemn his decision to commute the portion of Mr. Libby's sentence that required him to spend thirty months in prison, his unconscionable abuse of his authority with regard to the deceitful chain of events concerning the falsifying intelligence on Iraqi nuclear capabilities and the exaggeration of the threat posed by Iraq, his involvement in the clear political retaliation against former Ambassador and Ms. Wilson, and his decision to reward the perjury of Mr. Libby, which effectively protected President Bush, Vice President Cheney, and other Administration officials from further scrutiny.

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