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Barney Frank

Barney Frank has been a member of the U.S. House of Representatives, representing the 4th District of Massachusetts, since 1981 (map). He is a Democrat, and is chair of the House Committee on Financial Services. Frank is the most prominent openly gay politician in the United States.
2008 Financial Crisis
In 2003, Frank said, “These two entities — Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — are not facing any kind of financial crisis. The more people exaggerate these problems, the more pressure there is on these companies, the less we will see in terms of affordable housing.”
In 2004, Frank said at a hill hearing that a Office of the Federal Housing Enterprise Oversite (OFHEO) report of illegal activity by Fannie Mae does not “raise safety and soundness [of Fannie Mae investments] problems at issue”.
HUD Secretary
On May 9, 2006, Frank called for an investigation into comments made by Alphonso Jackson, the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, in which he implied that he cancelled a contract because the recipient expressed a negative opinion about President George W. Bush.
Steve Gobie
In 1990, the House voted to reprimand Frank when it was revealed that Steve Gobie, a household employee he had hired in 1985, was running a prostitution business from Frank’s apartment. Frank had dismissed Gobie earlier that year after learning of Gobie’s activities.
The Boston Globe, among others, called on Frank to resign, but he refused. The House Ethics Committee recommended Frank be reprimanded because he “reflected discredit upon the House” by using his congressional office to fix 33 of Gobie’s parking tickets. Attempts to expel or censure Frank failed; instead the House voted 408-18 to reprimand him.
Politics and Frank’s sexuality
During an anti-gay GOP campaign, Frank threatened to out a number of gay-baiting Republican fellow congressmen. He stated that it is unacceptable to out a closeted gay person, unless that person uses their power or notoriety to hurt gay people. Many members of the LGBT community adhere to this rule in their own relationships with prominent individuals.
In 1995, Majority leader Dick Armey made a stir when he referred to Frank as “Barney Fag” in a press interview. Armey apologized and claimed it was a slip of the tongue. Frank later summarized the incident, saying “I think Dick Armey was a much better rank-and-file member than majority leader,” Frank said. “When he was rank-and-file, he was quite thoughtful. … Once he became majority leader he abandoned a lot of that and became a right-wing apparatchik.”

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