The tortured shape of Barney Frank's Massacusetts 4th District (above) calls to mind the original gerrymandered congressional district of 1812 that gave the tortured political sleight of hand its name. It included our own Chelsea-by-the-Sea as the tail of the serpent. As we blogged last April, we've chosen our next political battle, skipping over our own far less powerful MA 8th District Rep. Michael Capuano, to go straight for the jugular of the man who did so much to precipitate the nation's current economic woes. Frank (MA-4) has three Republican challengers, including businessman and US Marine Sean Bielat, our candidate of choice.
Barney "Frank wrote a special provision into the TARP legislation designed specifically for OneUnited Bank," writes Jonathan Well at Bloomberg Opinion, shedding a little light on the culture of corruption that must be rooted out in the "term limits by other means" that are the November elections (h/t Sean Bielat):
For all the strange details to emerge in the Maxine Waters bank-bailout scandal, this one might be the most surprising: It turns out members of Congress are prohibited from doing “special favors” for anyone, even if they receive nothing of value in return.
Who knew? Here I had been living under the impression that handing out special favors is something Washington lawmakers do all the time — be they free pens, tax breaks or earmarks. And, of course, it is.
Yet under the Code of Ethics for Government Service, it is against the rules for any federal employee to “discriminate unfairly by the dispensing of special favors or privileges to anyone, whether for remuneration or not.” That’s what it says in Count III of the ethics charges against Waters, which were unsealed this week by the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct. The House of Representatives adopted the code in 1958.
No wonder Waters and Charlie Rangel are crying "Racism!" It's the last refuge of scoundrels:
The bank eventually received $12 million under the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, in December 2008. That’s because an even more powerful lawmaker intervened, Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank, the chairman of the Financial Services Committee.
Frank wrote a special provision into the TARP legislation designed specifically for OneUnited. It instructed Treasury to consider assisting banks with less than $1 billion of assets that had suffered severe capital losses on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac preferred shares …The reason OneUnited wasn’t healthy is it made poor investment decisions. But for Frank’s efforts, the bank would have collapsed.
Enter stage right Sean Bielat, an authentic small-government American original who speaks for us tea partying red staters hunkered down here behind deep blue enemy lines in Taxachusetts. We'll be interviewing Bielat tomorrow or Monday, so please let us know any questions you'd like us to ask him. Meanwhile, twitter/blogfriend Brian O'Connor of Red Dog Report attempts to answer the question "Who is Sean Bielat?":
Barney Frank has been in the United States Congress since 1981, and he has been collecting a taxpayer funded paycheck for the last 37 years.
Sean Bielat, on the other hand, has served in the Marine Corps and has actually taken a paycheck from the private sector; first at McKinsey & Company and later at iRobot …
Barney Frank recently spearheaded the White House's massive Financial Regulation Bill, which restricts how banks can make profits, but then funds bank bailouts if the CEO's make bad decisions, causing the bank to fail.
Sean Bielat, on the other hand, would rather see free market solutions to business and industry.
"The unemployment rate in Barney Frank’s district is particularly high, at over 12% according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics," notes the Massachusetts Conservative Feminist, who adds "The Commonwealth’s average unemployment rate has remained between 9.2 and 9.5% for the year, starting at 5.6% in January of 2009, according to the Boston Globe." It calls to mind the fact that the bluer the state — that is, the more heavily a state went for Obama in the 2008 election — the greater the per capita debt today.
A reminder: Let us know your questions for Sean Bielat. This from our inside source:
Just be fair and not afraid to ask tough questions, like, can he win, etc? Given that I see myself as an advocate, I often give them some leeway, discuss the interview first off-record, telling them, I don't mind helping them to get their message out — but I won't let them make me look like a shill, either. I would think his big goal is convincing people he can win — that impacts fundraising — so he shouldn't duck the question. To some extent, I want to hear their rationale for themselves and for their campaign being able to win. That usually serves both me and them to put out there.
Update: Instalanche! Thank you, Professor Reynolds.