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Barney Frank Foe is Onetime Town Hall Tormenter

4 years ago
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Rep. Barney Frank, the brainy but abrasive chairman of the House banking committee, is facing a Democratic primary challenge from a woman who decided to take him on after they had a nasty exchange at a town hall meeting last year.

When Rachel Brown asked the Massachusetts congressman in 2009 about the "Nazi policy" of health care reform, an annoyed Frank shot back that talking with her was "like arguing with a dining room table." The 29-year-old Brown said the clash inspired her to run in the Sept. 14 Massachusetts primary, although she told the Associated Press, "I didn't realize at the time that if you had a better idea, you should take their seat."
Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.)
Frank, who heads the banking panel which crafted the Wall Street regulation overhaul, hasn't mellowed on Brown, who is a devotee of economist Lyndon LaRouche, the AP said. "I regard her as an example of the price you pay for free speech," he said. "I don't think she is very rational."

Brown said she wants an end to government bailouts of huge financial firms and also thinks the nation needs an economy "based not on only surviving for the moment, but a policy increasing physical production and allowing new discoveries to be made." That could include human colonization of the plant Mars, she said.

Frank, who is in his 15th term and was reelected in 2008 with 68 percent of the vote, is a heavy favorite in the primary.

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bostbruins

The fact that Barney Frank has been elected 15 times is more of a comment on the mindless approach to elections that his constituency takes than it is to his effectiveness as a legislator. I am curious about how many of his constituents have lost serious value in thier homes and in the retirement accounts as a result of his policies and approach as head of the banking committee as well as other actions. The fact that he was key to that loss and that he was and is a "personal" friend of the disasterous head of Fannie Mae yet denies complicity speaks volumes. Regrettably, as indicated in his comments about the woman at the twon hall meeting, he is another governing person who looks with disdain on the electorate as the filthy unwashed. But as long as people don't hold him accountable, why should he view them in any other way??????

September 08 2010 at 12:00 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
donnal777

Frank is largely responsible for Freddie Mac & Fannie Mae's collapse. Frank being on the Senate Banking Committee is like asking the robber to investigate the robbery! Brainy but abrasive? Brainy when it comes to his own gain. The price you pay for free speech? He is clearly a Washington elite who thinks he knows better than us common Americans! Too bad the people of Mass are so liberal and blind, they re-elected Ted Kennedy for many years when he was clearly a fraud!

September 08 2010 at 9:44 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Janet

Yes bad home loans, credit cards and much more have caused the economy to be the way they are but the bottom line is people need to be more responsible. Just because a lender will give you that home loan doesn't mean you should take it or can afford it. And as far as Social Security goes, why can't I opt out. Stop taking Social Security from my check and when I retire I cannot draw from it. My retirement should be my responsibility. I am the only one that should be responsible and it has and can be done. The Amish do not pay into social security unless they work for a non Amish employer and the Amish do not draw from social security. There should be options and people should be more accountable for their own welfare and futures. Healthcare on the other hand I don;t know what to say. I think Insurance companies have too much say over the medical care of people. Most usurp even a doictors decision for what a patient needs and unfortunately as long as politicians pockets are lined by healthcare companies we won't see much change.

September 08 2010 at 9:29 AM Report abuse +5 rate up rate down Reply
franplatt

Rep. Frank is absolutely right: Trying to have a rational discussion with people like Ms. Brown really IS like arguing with a piece of furniture. The people who are dominating political debate in contemporary America, unfortunately, are people who are motivated by strong emotions and false beliefs based on the outrageous misinformation being spewed by right-wing talk show hosts and bloggers. They have no interest whatsoever in listening intelligently to all sides of the story and making rational assessments based on real data. It is a sad indictment of America that progressives like Frank are losing ground in the polls because their expectation that Americans will decide whom to vote for on the basis of open-minded, intelligent analysis is nowadays considered quaint and naive. I'm begining to think that it's time to move back to the Old Country (even though I've never been there) if I want to live in a civilized society.

September 08 2010 at 9:22 AM Report abuse -13 rate up rate down Reply
yannaro

So why did the teaser on the front page refer to how the lady was treated by Barney Frank at that meeting as the reason she's running against him when she started it by referring to the "Nazi health plan", you know, the health plan that will give health care to the tens of thousands of US citizens who die every year because they don't have access to a doctor? Go figure! And someone had to mention Reagan, the biggest fraud perpetrated on the American public in the last half of the 20th century. He was a democrat and head of the actors' union until he got rich. Some people think he transformed the presidency. What he did was unleash the likes of Cheney, Bush, Wolfowitz, Pearl, etc., listened to a wife who brought fortune tellers into the White House and had Alzheimer's from about the third year of his first term. Give me Barney's intelligence, sharp wit and don't fool with me attitude any time!

September 08 2010 at 8:58 AM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
Sheila

The rabid right has a very short memory. Bush actually bragged about being the president with the highest number of homeonwers in history. Republicans relished the Bush years, full of war, deficits, low taxes and spending. It didn't end well and Republicans refuse to accept blame, instead passing it to one lone Democrat. My biggest fear is that Republicans might win in November and start the crazy right back up again. By the way, Rachel Brown is a dining room table

September 08 2010 at 8:58 AM Report abuse -9 rate up rate down Reply
smrosiek

Crhis, Lyndon LaRouche followers are absolutely not "Tea Party" types. These are far lefties trying to ride the coattails of the conservative movement and who promote the "Hitler-moustache" photos/posted of Obama and try to sway general feelings against the Tea Party. You show your ignorance with your comments. On Frank, did you ever hear of the Community Reinvestment Act? Do you know what "red-lining" is? Did you ever see first hand how easy it was for unqualified people to obtain loans 3-4 years ago in the effort to "equalize lending practices". These actions are what caused the financial crisis and Frank's hands are all over them. Get educated fool.

September 08 2010 at 8:51 AM Report abuse +8 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to smrosiek's comment
jbmcjbm

Get your facts straight, sure some loans were bad but the reason the housing market ballon blew up was people were using their homes as private banks, borrowing against their home value each year to pay bills. When they couldn't pay these loans back thats when problems with the housing market began

September 08 2010 at 9:43 AM Report abuse -5 rate up rate down Reply
lsoxchance

Every year on the election day, no one has ran against him. I am from this area of Massachusetts that has no choice but to vote for him, so every year, I would write my name down, and so would my whole family. My name would be in the empty space on the bottom. He is a coward, he never comes to Fall River, expect for this, oh wait he went to UMass North Dartmouth. I think he came to Fall River, for the Damage from the Rains. I know he came to my brother in Laws Deployment. I think Mass has to many cocky people. I live in a city called Fall River, MA, its in the County of Bristol, and South of Boston, and about 20-30 minutes East Of Providence RI, and about 45 Minutes from the Cape Cod Area. I hope she does run, I have thought about running in that state, and using what I have, that would be hate towards him. I have met a lot of great men, the New Gov from VA, and my all time Favorite Chris Christy from NJ, I wish dirty Play didnt happen at the Repbulican National Committee in Boston MA, this past April. This state would have had a real local Gov. Not someone from another state, a small business owner and much more. Christy Mihos, He got burned. Do I even trust Mitt Romeny, no. Why, because the momement he was done being the Gov. He moved back to MI, so he did his job and left again, Where will Gov. Patrictric go, he will leave. Then you have this guy who was born and raised, Brocton MA, he donates money for the High School, who also went to high school hear, Raised a family in the Cape Cod area, also owns a business there as well. But when the state burned him, they burned him. I feel like this young lady, a few years younger than me, should do this. I would rather run in AZ, in a state that wants change, this health care bill. Scares me, I went out and bought my own insurance, my own care. But I have to go out and pay more. Have you noticed surgeries that are life savers in Canada doesnt happen that fast. Or the Enlands health care, killed my brother in Laws Dad. He was given the basic medical, and sent him to the US, and not even a few months later he passed away. You tell me that is a fair, or how would you like it if it happened to your family. I found massachusetts to not be a business friendly state. I find massachusetts ego is so mean and cruel, they dont care who they hurt. My name is Helene Alise Lauzier, I was born and raised in Fall River MA, I attended Bristol County Agricultural High School in Dighton, MA. Almost 20 years ago that school almost closed, but one mans vote kept it open. To see this high school and drive, but its amazing. But I happy its where and who we are. Small town high school family. Plus, no mega school. This state lost me right after I graduated High School. I travel everywhere, and I wish the politics can really see the hurt these communities really feel. I wish they could see what needs to be done, instead of just speaking of it. I wish they could feel the hurt, and also see what we are about. I will open a small little retail store near the new court house, hire family to work it. But as somepoint Leave it here for them. Then move back to AZ, and start more change. I wish Massachusetts can adopt some of the law AZ has, or wait even RI. Get rid of people who want a free ride. I can't afford it, and not even my nieces.

September 08 2010 at 8:50 AM Report abuse +7 rate up rate down Reply
Chris

I'm ambivalent on the topic of Barney Frank but to lay responsibility for the country's financial mess at his feet is just dumb. The far right and the Tea party mob (Rachel Brown) seem to enjoy selective collective memory on where the bank bailouts began. Here's a hint, republicans. Rachel Brown is yet another sound bite wannabe who's figured out how to make some money, just like the other Tea party huckster Sarah Palin.

September 08 2010 at 8:33 AM Report abuse -33 rate up rate down Reply
sysaphus71

Barney Frank is an example of why term limits need to be enacted. Only in government can an abrasive know it all even approach anything that resembles respect. A representative who scoffs and belittles the people who supposedly elected him needs to be removed...It is and was his sheer arrogance and self interest that promoted the ever lessening rules at Fannie and Freddie, In a just world Barnett should be under the jail for his contributions to the scam of the banking committee. I hope twenty people run against him...maybe finally he'd get the hint.

September 07 2010 at 8:28 PM Report abuse +127 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to sysaphus71's comment
george22552

Re: "A representative who scoffs and belittles the people who supposedly elected him needs to be removed..." There's no "supposedly" about it ! Voters in his district(68%)have been pleased with him for the past 30 years. Term limits would deprive those in his district of representation that they've been pleased with for an entire generation. Now, do YOU vote? My point: If you don't vote you don't count. Case closed.

September 08 2010 at 7:46 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
spindisk

Do a little research and discover which party enacted term limits for President of the United States (because they were going to lose to a 4th term I believe) and which party removed term limits for congress and senate.

September 08 2010 at 8:33 AM Report abuse -8 rate up rate down Reply

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