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« Stirfry

Caveman Caucus targets Barney Frank

By Bertram de Souza (Contact)

Published June 15, 2010

Untitled document

It didn’t take long for members of the Caveman Caucus in the Mahoning Valley to turn the announcement of Congressman Barney Frank’s visit in August into a homophobic rant, peppered with some religious bigotry.

This writer had warned Mahoning County Democratic Party Chairman David Betras that inviting Frank, one of the most powerful members of Congress, to be the keynote speaker at the major fund-raising event would bring out the worst in this region. It did — as evidenced by the reaction on Vindy.com to last Saturday’s news story. Frank’s sexual orientation and religious roots have nothing to do with his being a member of Congress from Massachusetts, or his serving as the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. And yet, they were the topic of on-line discussions.

Such mindless chatter simply confirms the observation of an outsider who came to work in Youngstown and has since left: Yours is an area that time forgot. While the rest of the nation moves forward, there are individuals determined to keep the Valley in the dark ages.

Their voices must be drowned out by thoughtful residents who recognize the benefits of having a member of Congress of Frank’s standing meet with business, community and political leaders. The financial services committee is playing a key role in the financial regulation reform effort on Capitol Hill, which makes an appearance by Frank timely and important.

It’s one thing to disagree with the congressman’s political ideology or the way the Democrats are leading the country; it’s quite another to indulge in personal attacks. Homophobia and religious bigotry are the hallmarks of little minds.


1EliotNess_DC(86 comments)posted 6 years ago


1) I used to live three miles away from Barney on Capitol Hill ... he's a walking self-parody of everything that is wrong with career statist politicians.

2) Barbara Walters has aptly been criticized for being a 'power groupie.' The same term applies to those in Youngstown who are pork-crazy and therefore would 'Ooh and Aah' just because a 'powerful' member of Congress comes to town to prop up Tim Ryan.

3) Barney's appearance is a measure of how much the Democrats fear Traficant ... and well they should!

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2burford(95 comments)posted 6 years ago

Homophobia and religious bigotry are the hallmarks of little minds.


There were two articles on this site about Betras inviting Frank to Youngstown.

June 11th-Powerful Congressman to speak at annual dinner-there were 29 comments.

A honest review of the comments, and most were critical, reveals that the overwhelming majority were about Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and the housing collapse. There were a number of comments about Frank being a career politician, for big government, big taxes, taking our money, a loser Democrat, a socialist, a liberal and a lack of integrity.There was 1 comment about a male prostitution ring, 1 direct homosexual reference, 1 post calling him a pervert (although a congressman running a prostitutiion ring should not be dismissed whether hetero or homo).  There were a couple Freddie Mac comments that made fun of Frank's lisp.

There was NO comments about Frank's religion.

June 12th-Mahoning Dems dinner with Barney Frank-there were 22 comments.

Again most comments were about Freddie, Fannie and the collapsed housing market.  2 maybe 3 gay references.

Again there was NO comments about Frank's religion.

So out of nearly 50 comments there may have been 5 or 6 totally out of bounds. Foir the internet that does not warrant a broad condemnation of posters.  And the bogus attempt to increase the false outrage by attaching the gay issue to a non-existent religious bigotry issue is despicable.

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3Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

The least that Barney can do when he comes to Youngstown is to bring federal funds to build a public bathhouse . This would be a big hit and gain him a lot of support . Barney could return at the grand opening for a gayla celebration . Bertram could cover the event to ensure no biased reporting .

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4exposed(66 comments)posted 6 years ago

The left, pro-gay rights group has always tried to buttress their appeal by latching on to other groups traditionally discriminated against. First they tried the civil rights movement. That failed in large part because most blacks are very socially conservative and overwhelming oppose gay marriage and other issues. Now Bertram tries to merge his complaints with anti-semitism. I agree with Burford. I could not see any anti-semitic comments in the posts.

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5author50(1121 comments)posted 6 years ago

Barney Frank is gay? Barmey Frank is Jewish?

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6Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

Bertram sez . . ..

"Yours is an area that time forgot. "

So Bertram, we didn't have enough nightlife around here to suit ya ?

I envision a time when we will dam up the Mahoning River and turn Youngstown into the Party Capitol of the USA !


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7walter_sobchak(2672 comments)posted 6 years ago

Barney is the poster child for term limits on all public offices. He has ammassed his power base and no one can vote him out. His conflicts of interest, Fraddie, Fannie, the male prostitution ring out of his home... he should have been removed years ago

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8howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 6 years ago

Barney is too conservative and establishment oriented, just another corporate hack. Why not get some progressive democrats with real balls to come here like Dennis Kusinich, Mike Gravel, or Barbara Lee.

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9Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

The excitement of bringing Barney to The Valley has been overshadowed by his past dealings . Is it politically correct to bring up his past ? Should he be given a banket exemption for all of his actions ? Should Barney set an example for all of our politicians ? Why wasn't Marc Dann exempted from his follies ?

"The New York Times reported on July 20, 1990 that the House Ethics Committee recommended that Representative Barney Frank receive a formal reprimand from the House (which resulted in a vote 408-18 to reprimand him) for his relationship with a male prostitute; Attempts to expel or censure Frank, failed. "

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10Jake(112 comments)posted 6 years ago

Barney Frank is a liar and a fraud. He blocked any attempts to fix Fannie Mae before the mortgage collapse, insisting everything was fine when someone in his position had to know otherwise. Meanwhile, he and his cronies were sucking as much cash out of it as they could, and continue to do so until this day.

Unfortunately, people like Bertram and Betras would rather focus on the few neanderthals who care about his sexual orientation than focus on Frank's own behavior.

I don't give a damn about his sexual orientation. Frank represents everything wrong with Congress by his actions as a Congressman. If Bertram and Betras think he's someone we should admire, it tells me all I need to know about them.

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11howardinyoungstown(591 comments)posted 6 years ago

Stan(3) why and how exactly do you know about bathhouses? and why do you think that Youngstown needs one?

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12Education_Voter(1153 comments)posted 6 years ago

Nothing could make Bertram's point better than the subsequent comments here.
For those who really might wonder if Frank was running a prostitution ring from his apartment (he wasn't), here's a link to a news story from that time period:

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13Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

howardinyoungstown :

"Stan(3) why and how exactly do you know about bathhouses? and why do you think that Youngstown needs one?"

Well Howie, I read the news coming out of Frisco where the gay community is living in what they term as bliss . Their lives pivot around bathhouses . So Howie, a bathhouse in Youngstown would bring gay culture here into the twenty first century . This would give Barney a place to go and meet his most ardent supporters when he came to town .

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14Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

Education_Voter :
"Nothing could make Bertram's point better than the subsequent comments here."

Now just what is Bertram's point ? If his weak judgement was good for Barney why wasn't it good for Marc Dann ?


At the least, Frank's judgment was appallingly naive. After an initial encounter in which he paid Steve Gobie $80 for sex, the Congressman says he tried to lift the younger man out of drugs and prostitution by hiring him to run errands. He wrote letters to Gobie's probation officer and paid his psychiatric bills. He allowed Gobie the use of a car and sometimes his apartment when he was out of town.

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15Stan(9923 comments)posted 6 years ago

There is no need to tolerate Barney as he can be voted out . There is no need to tolertate those who support him as they can be voted out .

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