The 30 minute debate held on New England Cable News (NECN) and moderated by Jim Braude was indicative of the pace Americans have set for themselves during the 6 – 6:30 pm time frame. It was frantic, consolidated and efficient.
Braude was actually masterful in minimizing Frank’s predictable quips and complaints and managed the time distribution to the candidates far more equally than the morning debate heard on WRKO with hosts Todd Feinberg and former Massachusetts house speaker Tom Finneran (D- Jamaica Plains).
I was pleasantly surprised by the fairness in the quick evening debate.
Once again Frank showed a fragmented personality. One from 2003 when he saw no possibility in the threat to safety and soundness of the GSEs Fannie and Freddie and so he pushed and shoved risky mortgage access to people who had next to no shot at paying them off.
The second Barney surfaces post meltdown but this Barney insists that he was warning about this sort of scenario right after he saw his wrong in 2003. Despite the digital record showing reckless defense of these kinds of loans even as he prepared to chair the House Financial Services Committee, Frank is sticking to his story: " It Wasn’t me, it was Bush."
Here is a copy of the letter by Frank and 73 other house Democrats to President Bush on June 28, 2004:
“We urge you to reconsider your Administration’s criticisms of the housing-related government sponsored enterprises (the GSEs) and instead work with Congress to strengthen the mission and oversight of the GSEs.
We write as members of the House of Representatives who continually press the GSEs to do more in affordable housing. Until recently, we have been disappointed that the Administration has not been more supportive of our efforts to press the GSEs to do more.
We have been concerned that the Administration’s legislative proposal regarding the GSEs would weaken affordable housing performance by the GSEs, by emphasizing only safety and soundness. While the GSEs’ affordable housing mission is not in any way incompatible with their safety and soundness, an exclusive focus on safety and soundness is likely to come, in practice, at the expense of affordable housing. Our position is not based on institutional loyalty, but on concern for the GSE’s affordable housing function.
We appeal to you to agree to work on legislative proposals that foster sound oversight and vigorous affordable housing efforts instead of mounting assaults in the press. We also ask you to support our efforts to push the GSEs to do more affordable housing. Specifically, join us in advocating for more innovative loan products and programs for people who desire to buy manufactured housing, similar products to preserve as affordable and rehabilitate aging affordable housing, and more meaningful GSE affordable housing goals from HUD. In closing, we reiterate that an exclusive emphasis on safety and soundness, without an appropriate balance in focus on the affordable housing mission of the GSEs, is misplaced.”
Here is Barney Frank on December 11, 2010 just before he took over as HFS Chair and just after the Democratic congressional sweep in November of 2006.
Tough to argue with the record Mr. Frank.[poll id=”