Rival blasts Barney Frank’s swanky free jet ride

CAJ note: Oooh, that must have left a mark on Barney’s carbon footprint!

Dave Wedge
The Boston Herald

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, immersed in one of the toughest political fights of his career, took a free private jet to the Virgin Islands courtesy of a Maine congresswoman’s billionaire fiance — whose company received a $200 million federal bailout, the Herald has learned.

Frank, who’s facing feisty Republican challenger Sean Bielat, flew to the tropical paradise for a vacation in 2009 on a $25 million jet owned by Paloma Partners honcho S. Donald Sussman, the fiance of U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine). Paloma Securities — a subsidiary of Sussman’s Greenwich, Conn.-based hedge fund — received $200 million in 2009 as part of the $180 billion federal bailout of troubled insurance giant AIG, records show. [Emphasis CAJ]

Frank, who chairs the House Financial Services Committee, said his partner, Jim Ready, lives in Pingree’s district and the couples are “personal friends.”

…Republican National Committee spokesman Parish Braden said: “Barney Frank’s acceptance of a lavish gift from a hedge fund manager, an industry he is responsible for regulating, is a troubling conflict of interest that raises serious questions about his judgment.”

Bielat added: “Typical. Barney keeps showing how career politicians work — they use our dollars for their favors. It may be legal, but it’s wrong and that’s why we need a change.”…

Read the rest at the Boston Herald.

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