This November we face a tough decision both nationally and locally; who do we, as fourth congressional constituents believe is best to represent our interests in Congress. For almost 30 years the same man Barney Frank has represented us. A native of Newton and someone who shares the cultural and intellectual background of almost all in Newton, Barney Frank is a familiar and comforting face to many. Yet underneath this visage of familiarity is a more troubling and unfamiliar character.
Championing himself as a stalwart of the Democratic cause Barney has vaulted himself into one of the most powerful positions in the Congress – Chairman of the house finance committee. This is the same committee that oversaw the ultimate collapse of the entire financial services industry in September 2008. Most in Chairman Frank’s camp will levy blame on the Republican controlled house before his chairmanship and most importantly levy blame on the Bush administrations failed financial policies.
There is some merit to this argument but it is slyly slinking away from any responsibility or intellectual explanation. Luckily today, with the advent of Youtube Chairman Frank cannot, albeit some voters will choose to ignore, run away from his comments of the past. Pressed for space I will not recount these ignorant statements made from 2003 – 2007 highlighted by the famous “dice-roll” as well as his tryst with Bill O’Reilley.
Instead I will focus on the man poised to offer Barney his first real challenge in 20 years, Sean Bielat of Brookline. A member of the Marine Corps and a former program manager at IRobot, Sean possesses the experience and passion to provide a viable alternative candidate. Positioning himself as having a strong knowledge base in military affairs both from the private sector as well as the volunteer soldier side, Sean would be a great tag team with our current Senator Scott Brown who sits on most Senate Military committees.
Focusing on cutting military spending by streamlining the defense industry in the United States Sean would align himself with much of fourth districts interests, cutting defense spending while maintaining a strong and viable defense community. Sean has focused specifically on differentiating himself from Chairman Frank who wants to uniformly cut defense spending. An issue that Sean has championed is getting rid of the Joint Strike Force alternate engine program. This program that has been heralded as a great success for Barney, for Massachusetts, this program actually bleeds unnecessary money. Barney has used it as a carrot to coalesce voters in the fourth district.
Ignoring the scandals and the infamous statement by Mr. Frank that he is “embarrassed” by the actions of Israel, he has shown himself to be a crony in Washington. Not a crony of Obama or Pelosi, but a crony to his own progressive agenda bent on luring in the voters of the fourth district by engaging in wild eyed double speak. Sean Bielat offers a great alternative, committed to smaller government, less spending, job creation, deficit reduction, smart national defense and a strong alternative energy policy. Abandon the mindless check mark next to Barneys name this November, all I ask is check out Sean and follow the race – if you do I am sure he will garner your vote.