Rep. Barney Frank, an influential lawmaker now in the fight of his political life against a Republican challenger, has loaned his own campaign for reelection $200,000.
Frank, the chairman of the powerful House Financial Services Committee, raised more than $316,644 last quarter and has more than $1 million on hand for the stretch run in his campaign against Republican Sean Bielat, Politico
reported Wednesday. Bidding for his 16th term in a heavily Democratic district, Frank even brought in former President Clinton to campaign for him earlier this fall. A poll last month showed Bielat had shaved Frank's once-wide lead to 10 points.
Bielat, a 35-year-old business consultant and Marine veteran who says people in the district "are tired of Barney Frank," raised $400,000 last month.
Frank, 70, usually wins re-election by wide margins, but is being pressed enough by Bielat that he has cut down on contributions to colleagues. Normally a generous giver, he has donated only $35,000 to 12 Democratic hopefuls this cycle, compared to $248,000 to 86 candidates two years ago, according to the Center for Responsive Politics and the Wall Street Journal.
Frank, as chairman of a panel commonly referred to as the banking committee, was in the middle of efforts to deal with the financial meltdown in 2008 and the reform of Wall Street regulations enacted earlier this year.