Former Democratic U.S. Rep. Robert Wexler, who a decade ago called Democratic state Rep. Irving Slosberg an “agent of the Republican Party,” now says Slosberg is a loyal Democrat.
Wexler’s 2006 quote, issued in the heat of an epic Democratic state Senate primary between Slosberg and eventual U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, is featured prominently in a TV ad and mailers by state Sen. Jeff Clemens, D-Atlantis, who is facing Slosberg in an Aug. 30 Democratic primary in Senate District 31.
The TV ad and some of Clemens’ mailers print Wexler’s quote with the date “4/15/06” after it, so eagle-eyed viewers can see it’s a 10-year-old statement. But at least one mailer by the pro-Clemens committee Each Vote Counts wrongly lists the date of Wexler’s quote as “4/15/16” and another of the committee’s mailers quotes Wexler with no date.
“The problem with what Clemens is doing is it’s creating a false impression. He’s using a set of quotes from over a decade ago in a totally different context and he’s creating a totally false representation to the voters,” Wexler said Thursday.
“Irv’s done a very credible, excellent job as a representative and he certainly has been a loyal Democrat,” said Wexler, who said he isn’t endorsing a candidate in the race.
Wexler, who initially said Clemens should stop using his quote, said today that using his 10-year-old words is OK, but “it should be corrected and make sure everyone understands that these are not current comments…Democrats have two good choices and suggesting that either is not a strong Democrat would seem to be an exaggeration.”
Clemens, in line to become Senate Democratic leader in 2018, says Slosberg is part of a Republican plot to unseat him. He notes that Slosberg’s campaign has paid more than $125,000 for advertising to National Campaign Strategies, a Wyoming firm that Clemens’ consultants have linked to Republican media consultants.
“We’re 100 percent confident that Irv is being supported by Republicans and his campaign is being run by Republican consultants,” Clemens said.
Slosberg didn’t dispute Clemens’ claim, but said it’s irrelevant.
“Everybody works for everybody,” Slosberg said of consultants.