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Barney Frank says staff handled Massa matter appropriately

By Carol D. Leonnig
Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank on Thursday said a member of his staff alerted his chief of staff that then-Rep. Eric Massa had taken one of their junior staffers to a private dinner.

The chief of staff then alerted Massa's chief of staff, Joe Racalto, who was already aware of the unusual dinner between the member and a young staffer, Frank said in a written statement.

"Joe said that he already knew about the situation and was considering how to address it," Frank said in the statement. "I am proud of my staff for immediately responding in an appropriate manner to the information."

Massa (D-N.Y.) resigned last week amid allegations he was under investigation for allegedly sexually harassing junior male staffers. The Post reported Wednesday that Racalto had alerted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's office about this dinner and other concerns about Massa's behavior with young male staffers in October. A source familiar with those conversations said that Pelosi's staff did not consider the warning serious or something they could act upon.

On Thursday morning, the House voted overwhelmingly for a resolution calling on the House ethics committee to reopen an investigation in the allegations against Massa, including what House Democratic leaders knew about the claims and what they did with them. The House ethics committee on Wednesday afternoon had decided to shut down the investigation.

By Carol D. Leonnig  |  March 11, 2010; 2:15 PM ET
Categories:  44 The Obama Presidency , Capitol Briefing  
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Comments

As a former Hill staffer, since when is it either against House rules or illegal for a member of Congress to take a junior staff member out? I find it creepy but I hate to break it to people - not unusual.

I had one female friend (a young staffer at the time )who went out with John Kerry b/f he married Teresa Heinz. I knew a number of others who went out with House members (some married, some not). Pete Stark dated and later married a 21 yo intern from his office. I am sure they are plenty of others and it is completely bi-partisan.

Was Pelosi supposed to ask the Ethics Committee to investigate because Massa was asking out a man out instead of a woman? Is Pelosi supposed to ask the Ethics Committee to look into every time a member asks a staffer to the dine with them? The Committee would be awfully busy.

I think what gets lost is that House Leadership acted immediately when they had something actionable - a sexual harassment charge.

This is the exact opposite of what happened when Mark Foley was found out to be hitting on pages who minors under the supervision of the House. The Republican Leadership swept it under the rug.

Posted by: millsjohn63 | March 12, 2010 10:38 AM | Report abuse

barney frank a homosexual is protecting another homosexual.no wonder he wants the "don`t ask don`t tell" repealed.this guy should have been thrown out of d.c. a long time ago with all the backroom scandals he has been invoved with such as frannie and freddie.

Posted by: SISSD1 | March 12, 2010 9:53 AM | Report abuse

Amidst unemployment near 10%, health care costs soaring 40% per year, and the atmosphere warming at a dangerous rate, the Republicans in Congress have finally found an issue they care enough to act on: former Rep. Massa's sex life.

Just amazingly pathetic juveniles, that party. Twelve year olds have a more mature and responsible outlook than the GOP.

Posted by: B2O2 | March 12, 2010 1:50 AM | Report abuse

Barney Frank who once ran a homosexual male prostitution ring out of his D.C. apartment.

Gee do you suppose Frank's "junior staffers" are homosexuals? Hmm?

Posted by: screwjob11 | March 11, 2010 11:02 PM | Report abuse

How did Massa survive for 22 yrs. in the Navy? If the DOD ends the "Don't ask don't tell" policy, we will see this type of behavior multiply geometrically in the armed forces. Homosexual superiors trying to seduce junior enlisted men with promotions and privileges, totally destroying unit morale and cohesion for a start. Just what a ship's captain or company commander needs!

Posted by: obeewan | March 11, 2010 9:14 PM | Report abuse

How did Massa survive for 22 yrs. in the Navy? If the DOD ends the "Don't ask don't tell" policy, we will see this type of behavior multiply geometrically in the armed forces. Homosexual superiors trying to seduce junior enlisted men with promotions and privileges, totally destroying unit morale and cohesion for a start. Just what a ship's captain or company commander needs!

Posted by: obeewan | March 11, 2010 9:12 PM | Report abuse

Heterosexual congressmen have been groping each other for decades. It is a super friendly way of greeting a pal. Since the Massa scandal a pat on the shoulder has replaced the cheerful grope. A new mental disorder has come to Washington, it is called Gropophobia.

Posted by: melvin_polatnick | March 11, 2010 7:57 PM | Report abuse

What's up with these Catholics? First you have your "Gay American" governor of New Jersey sexually exploiting a staffer and now you have another Catholic bimbo doing the same.

Child molesting not enough for these folks?

Posted by: FarnazMansouri | March 11, 2010 7:07 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank- Everything is fine with these loans that we Democrats promote, profit from and insist that institutions make and we back with tax payers money at our welfare program known as FNMA. We've being doing this for years. Nothing wrong with these loans.

Months later after crisis,

Barney- The evil Wall Street....

Posted by: Maxim49 | March 11, 2010 6:37 PM | Report abuse

OMG! The guys title is Director of Members Services.

Members??

Really!

This is so funny.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | March 11, 2010 6:15 PM | Report abuse

So I guess the Media runs to Frank on all things 'Gay' and Sharpton on all things 'Black'?

Kennedy was right - the media in this nation SUCKS!!!

Posted by: question-guy | March 11, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

Once a pimp, always a pimp.

Posted by: Cornell1984 | March 11, 2010 6:14 PM | Report abuse

If there is perversion or corruption involved in DC, you can be sure Frank's name will arise somewhere.

Posted by: pgr88 | March 11, 2010 5:26 PM | Report abuse

sounds like barney is stocking up the chicken coop foe his young aids and jr.staff.kick him out to .

Posted by: dagner49 | March 11, 2010 5:21 PM | Report abuse

Can Barney and Pelosi just turn in their reignations and walk quietly away?

When the new House and Congress is seated, and ethics violations left un-prosecuted come up, they will contact them.

Posted by: dottydo | March 11, 2010 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Another one bites the dust, hopefully one day soon we will be rid of all of the crooks, liars, tax cheats and perverts in DC.

Posted by: confusedwithgovernment | March 11, 2010 5:16 PM | Report abuse

my last comment was 'held' for review.

I guess that says enough

Christine Whitman has been bought and paid for.

I'll take 50 snorkling offenses over heading into nuclear energy again.

Posted by: LactoseIntolerantNot | March 11, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

As my wife explains to me what she found Snorkel to mean -

I figured it was going down on, but oh now.

The Navy claims Massa tried to Snorkel ?

you place your balls in the eye sockets and then the big piece down the throat-

MY GOD

That Frank's is openly gay- hey - I'm ALL fine with that - but to picture that - it's just HARD to do - two balls gently fitting into the eye sockets of..

Again, hey - get as kinky as you want - whatever - all fine with me - hey - throw some white stockings on a horse and I'm interested - but - my god - this image just won't leave my head now.

I'll never be able to watch c-span again !

Posted by: LactoseIntolerantNot | March 11, 2010 4:28 PM | Report abuse

Why bring Frank into this.

Posted by: LactoseIntolerantNot | March 11, 2010 4:25 PM | Report abuse

It's just a free-for-all homosexual orgy on the democrat side of the aisle with one groping homosexual looking out for another groping homosexual. That's what I get from this article. Washington DC has surpassed California and New York as the center of sodomy in America.

Posted by: penniless_taxpayer | March 11, 2010 4:09 PM | Report abuse

The word was out, so no choice but to cannibalize one of their own - token in nature of what exist within that body of “leadership”.

Posted by: larada | March 11, 2010 4:03 PM
-----------------------
Glenn Beck has a smoking gun on that one, you should check out his interview.

Posted by: Terrorfied | March 11, 2010 4:08 PM | Report abuse

The word was out, so no choice but to cannibalize one of their own - token in nature of what exist within that body of “leadership”.

Posted by: larada | March 11, 2010 4:03 PM | Report abuse

It's getting harder to find a stall kicking partner in the congressional bathroom.

Posted by: newbeeboy | March 11, 2010 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Who needs Barney Frank's approval. He is the one with the male prostitute problem years ago.

Posted by: PK1123

I don't care if Barney Frank had a male prostitute or male prostate problem - he is entitled to express his opinion, same as you.

Posted by: jams2 | March 11, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

What Massa (most likley) did was inappropriate, but since he's a Democrat, at least it wasn't hypocritical. Note to Republican congressmen: It's ok if you're gay, dude, we don't care. Better that than a hypocrit.

You know he really reminds me of Jon Lovitz.

Posted by: Terrorfied | March 11, 2010 3:56 PM | Report abuse

Of course they did Barney, just like they did for you..they looked the other way, ignored your obvious malfeasance, and just generally tolerated your obnoxious presence. You and Chris Dodd bear full responsibility for the present sad state of this country. You are an absolutely disgusting individual.

Posted by: flintston | March 11, 2010 3:53 PM | Report abuse

Bawney is just upset that Massa never invited him over for a tickle party.

Posted by: BillDeBurgh | March 11, 2010 3:49 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank takes the top prize for the most disgusting person on Washington DC. Fat, unkempt, gluttonous, sexually perverted, and politically corrupt.

If he ever loses his seat in Congress, he can easily find a part in any remake of "I, Claudius."

Posted by: pgr88
_________

Wow, I would rather have an unpolished, intelligent man in congress than some well dressed snake who cared nothing about the people. He is gay,so what? Unlike some other senators of both arties, He works hard for the American people, even if you don't always agree with his policies.

Posted by: cadam72 | March 11, 2010 3:48 PM | Report abuse

Why discriminate against homosexuals?
There is a BLACK caucus.
What's wrong with a HOMOSEXUAL caucus?
They certainly have an alliance of drunks.
The thieves are probably not networked.

Posted by: craigslsst | March 11, 2010 3:46 PM | Report abuse

Who needs Barney Frank's approval. He is the one with the male prostitute problem years ago.

Posted by: PK1123 | March 11, 2010 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Sorry to change the subject but what in the world is Israel doing building 1600 new settlements on the west bank. The US told them not to do this but it's no wonder the Arabs hate us.

Posted by: farmsnorton | March 11, 2010 3:42 PM | Report abuse

seems there is a gay network in the house...
it should never be about sex, but is there any wonder there are so many unemployed...

Posted by: DwightCollins | March 11, 2010 3:37 PM | Report abuse

Such hateful comments.

Posted by: rlj611 | March 11, 2010 3:08 PM | Report abuse

Barney Frank takes the top prize for the most disgusting person on Washington DC. Fat, unkempt, gluttonous, sexually perverted, and politically corrupt.

If he ever loses his seat in Congress, he can easily find a part in any remake of "I, Claudius."

Posted by: pgr88 | March 11, 2010 2:50 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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