Barney Frank, asleep at the switch once again

By his own account, Barney Frank isn’t the most observant guy around. Years ago, his live-in boyfriend ran a male prostitution ring out of Frank’s apartment. Frank claimed he did not know about it.

Now Frank is again pleading inattention to the obvious, this time in a less dramatic but more significant context. Frank is chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (a travesty in itself, given his role in bringing about the financial services meltdown). By a unanimous vote, that Committee approved the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act. As Keven Mooney reports in The Examiner, one provision in that legislation, inserted by Michele Bachmann, would prevent organizations that have been indicted for voter registration or voting fraud from receiving housing counseling grants and legal assistance grants.

ACORN, the voter fraud outfit with which President Obama and other Democrats are closely allied, is under investigation for voter fraud in a dozen states and some of its workers have been indicted. Therefore, ACORN’s eligibility for grants awardable under the new legislation would be jeopardized by the provision Bachmann inserted. Not that ACORN is in any risk of being left high-and-dry. Even in a worst case scenario, it would remain eligible for up to $3 billion through the stimulus package and up to $5.5 billion in the 2010 budget. Clearly, it won’t get all of that money, but given its influence among Democrats it likely will do well enough.

Nonetheless, Barney Frank wants a do-over. He plans to strip Bachmann’s provision out of the legislation even though he voted for it in committee. Frank explains that he did not “read [the legislation] carefully.”

Translation: “I voted for the legislation, along with my entire committee, because no reasonable person would approve funding an organization that is under indictment, but I forgot that ACORN is in trouble with the law.”

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