Florida State Rep. Frank Artiles (R) doesn’t live in the district he represents. Not only is that not right, it’s also punishable by a fine. And… he was busted by a blogger.
Artiles got up from watching the Miami Heat trounce the 76ers on the couch and answered the door in socks and a pair of gym pants when I knocked on the front door about 9:45 p.m. Monday night. (It has to be late or early to establish residency). “Representative Artiles,” I asked, though I recognized him right away. “Yes,” he said. “Can I help you?” I extended my hand, he shook it as I introduced myself and I told him I was a political blogger. “And, um, you are not supposed to be living here,” I said. He answered: “I’m moving to West Kendall next week.” I asked where as I pulled out my little tiny camera (was it too much to hope he would pose next to the house numbers?). But he shut the door, ending the surprise interview (damn, last time I take out a camera so early!) and sprinted behind a wall to what Ladra assumes was the kitchen. There’s a fine line between journalism and stalking, so, after kind of whining a little — “Oh, c’mon. Representative? Why can’t we talk about this?” — I left
According to the Miami Herald, the fine for living outside the district is one day’s salary per day; that’s what happened to the last person who did that. For Mr. Artiles, that could amount to over $13,000.