As we read yet again of Barney Frank’s grandstanding over executive salaries while remaining silent over his own cozy relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, I recall Mr. Frank has an ethics problem which Congress has yet to investigate.
As you may recall, while the Massachusetts Democrat served on the House Banking Committee in the 1990s (now the House Financial Services Committee which he chairs), he was living with Herb Moses, then an executive at Fannie Mae, a government-sponsored enterprise (GSE) regulated by his committee. Since a heterosexual Congressman would have stepped down from a committee if it regulated the industry where his wife worked, a gay Congressman should step down in similar circumstances.
Frank led Democratic efforts to thwart reforms of Fannie and its sister GSE, Freddie Mac.
So, learning of Frank’s outrage over AIG, I decided to do something I had intended to do when the Democrat’s conflict of interest came to light, write to my Congressman, Henry Waxman, asking him to refer the matter to the House Ethics Committee.
I just mailed (and e-mailed) the letter and encourage you to contact your federal representatives and ask them to do the same. I include a copy of my letter below the “jump.”
To ignore this matter, would, as I have written previously, be tantamount to downgrading gay relationships.
The Honorable Henry Waxman
United States House of Representatives
2204 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515
Dear Congressman Waxman:
As you may know, during the 1990s, your colleague Barney Frank had a partner, Herb Moses, who helped make policy for Fannie Mae at the same time Frank, then a member of the committee he now chairs (then the House Banking Committee). This was a clear conflict of interest. (In case, you’re not aware of this story, I include a copy of one of the few articles to address it.) Had Congress treated gay relationships as it does straight ones, Mr. Frank would have been asked to resign from the committee.
Given how frequently Mr. Frank has thwarted proposed legislative reforms of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, there is some evidence that his relationship with Mr. Moses may have caused the Massachusetts Congressman to dismiss concerns about the financial soundness of those two government sponsored enterprises.
If you believe we should hold gay relationships to the same standards as we hold straight ones, you will refer this matter immediately to the House Committee on Standards of Official Conduct and request that Mr. Frank step aside as Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee until the Ethics Committee completes its investigation.
To fail to investigate this conflict of interest would be tantamount to downgrading gay relationships. To respect the relationships and ideals of relationship of your gay constituents, including myself, you must immediately refer Mr. Frank’s conflict to the Ethics Committee.
I look forward to your response. Thank you very much.
B. Daniel Blatt