Bombastic Barney was a junket junkie in 2008

Looks like Barney Frank and John Tierney created quite the carbon footprints with all of those free trips last year.

The congressional crackdown on special interest junkets hasn’t grounded Bay State Democrats who continue to rack up frequent flier miles with trips around the globe for them and their staff members.

U.S. Rep. John Tierney (D-Salem) had his passport stamped the most, taking a $16,000 trip to Jordan for a conference on Islam in February and a $9,000 jaunt to Paris in August 2008. The tabs for both were paid by the nonpartisan think tank Aspen Institute.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank (D-Newton), meanwhile, took $6,500 in free trips in 2008, traveling to conferences in New York and Chicago and to Hollywood to appear as a guest on HBO’s “Real Time with Bill Maher.” The show picked up his $1,998 tab.

But Frank defended his trips, saying, “None of them are vacations. Every one of those relates to the job I’m supposed to do. They were all things I did because they advanced the kinds of causes I’m in politics to advance.”

“Shows like Bill Maher are very useful,” he said. “It’s not just entertainment. I think it’s a very valuable public resource. Plus, there’s nothing they want from me, so there’s no quid pro quo.”

They should pay him to stay off the air if you ask me.

Gay donors continue to drop out of DNC fundraiser

Last week, the DOJ filed a brief which defended the Defense of Marriage Act and cited cases of incest and kissing cousins to back up their argument.  It’s not going over so well.

“This is not appropriate time” for the Democratic party to be hitting up gays and lesbians for money, says Richard Socarides, a former Special Assistant to President Clinton, who’s not attending next week’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) fundraiser for the Democratic National Committee.

And add gay Democratic donor Bruce Bastian, who told the Washington Blade he “will continue to support certain congressmen, congresswomen and senators whom I believe will continue to fight for our rights, but I don’t think blanket donations to the Democratic Party right now are justified, at least not in my book.” He said he found the filing “very offensive.”

At last check, Bombastic Barney is still slated to speak at the event.

First Claire now Barney

Barney Frank is not pleased with Obama over the DOJ’s brief in support of the Defense of Marriage Act.

U.S. Rep. Barney Frank, one of the nation’s leading gay rights champions, blasted President Obama yesterday over a controversial anti-gay marriage court filing and is calling on the commander in chief to explain himself.

“I think the administration made a big mistake. The wording they used was inappropriate,” Frank (D-Newton) said of a brief filed by Obama’s Department of Justice that supported the Defense of Marriage Act.

The DOJ brief, which has touched off a firestorm of anger in the gay community, argued that states should not have to recognize same-sex marriages from other states, just as states don’t have to recognize incestuous marriages or unions involving underage girls.

“I’ve been in touch with the White House and I’m hoping the president will make clear these were not his views,” Frank said.

Meanwhile, there is talk of a boycott of an upcoming gay/lesbian Democratic National Committee fund-raiser in DC next week.  Frank is a co-host and the velvet tongue, Joe Biden, will be the keynote speaker.

The controversy has prompted some prominent gay political donors and activists to boycott a gay/lesbian Democratic National Committee fund-raiser being co-hosted by Frank next week in Washington, D.C., Vice President Biden is slated to be the keynote speaker, but protests could mar the $1,000-a-head event.

“There are a lot of people who aren’t boycotting,” he said. “I think it’s a mistake to deny money to the DNC.”

Among those who’ve already pulled out of the fund-raiser are noted gay bloggers Andrew Towle and David Mixner, a former adviser to President Clinton.

Frank said he understands the rage but vowed that the fund-raiser – one of the gay community’s biggest of the year – will go on.

So he’s mad, but not mad enough to take a real stand and walk away from the money. Shocka!