The most recent Barney Frank scandal involves the congressman accepting as a gift a round trip fight on a luxury jet from S. Donald Sussman of Paloma Partners, a hedge-fund manager who had previously received a $200 million federal bailout as a subsidiary of AIG. As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank oversaw the dispersion of the bailout funds. Frank reported the cost of the 2009 flight from Maine to the Virgin Islands, estimated to be worth $30,000 each way, to Congress as worth only $1,500. Not reported on his congressional report was his free stay at the AIG-affiliated hedge-fund managers luxurious mansion or of any other possible additional favors or gifts.
Scandal is nothing new to Barney Frank. The Boston Globe asked him to resign in 1989 after it was revealed that he had fixed parking tickets for a male prostitute who was running a brothel out of his Dupont Circle condominium. The criminal investigation into the matter was cursory at best. Frank was reprimanded by his colleagues in Congress, and the New York Times reported that due to the scandal Frank was formally excommunicated from Judaism by a Beth Din Zedek, a High Rabbinic Ecclesiastical Court. Frank's excommunication was recognized by two major rabbinic groups, the Rabbinical Alliance of America and the Union of Orthodox Rabbis, which, although not participating in the excommunication, ''expressed approval of it.''
While serving on the House Financial Services Committee, Frank consistently supported the expansion of questionable mortgage loans through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac while his partner, Herb Moses, was an assistant director of Fannie Mae responsible for relaxing mortgage standards. This policy, of which Frank was a prime mover, led to the largest credit implosion in the history of civilization. The Business and Media Institute reported that Moses, who "developed many of Fannie Mae's affordable housing and home improvement lending programs," left the agency in 1998 and ended his relationship with Frank a few months later. Frank, who continued to promote dangerous credit expansionary policies throughout the Bush years, subsequently partnered with Sergio Pombo, who was an employee of the World Bank.
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Frank consistently reaped campaign money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac as well as from various banks. According to Investors Business Daily, Frank took in campaign cash from Fannie and Freddie to the tune of $40,100 over two decades. The general records regarding the contributions of Fannie and Freddie to congressional candidates, estimated to be in the neighborhood of $200 million, are presently sealed due to the fact that both quasi-public agencies have been placed into receivership.
As chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank inserted a special provision into bailout legislation to grant $12 million in TARP funds for One United Bank, a bank connected to the husband of Rep. Maxine Waters. Rep. Waters is now under investigation, and Frank might be yet again caught in a web of corruption. This investigation is serious and of a criminal nature. If prognosticators are correct and Barney Frank is dragged into the criminal aspect of the unfolding probe, due to release its findings early next year, Frank would likely be forced to step down – finally.
Since Frank faces an excellent and eminently qualified and capable challenger this election, Republican Marine captain, Harvard graduate and businessman Sean Bielat, the voters of the 4th District of Massachusetts should elect him if only to spare the state yet another disgrace emanating from the sordid and disastrous career of Barney Frank.
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Chuck Morse is the author of "The Nazi Connection to Islamic Terrorism: Adolf Hitler and Haj Amin Al-Hussein."