WASHINGTON — Barney Frank is not the only person who thinks he would be a suitable temporary senator. His bid has now drawn the attention of a group that backed the Senate candidacy of Elizabeth Warren, architect of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.
The recently-retired Massachusetts congressman, and key member of the House Financial Services Committee, Frank expressed interest earlier this month in getting a short-term appointment to fill Sen. John Kerry's seat. Frank, who put his name to the landmark Dodd-Frank Act, said having a chance to be involved in talks to solve the nation's fiscal problems was appealing. (Kerry is awaiting confirmation to become secretary of state.)
Even though it falls to Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick to decide who fills the seat until a special election determines Kerry's ultimate successor, a liberal activist group has so far recorded over 33,000 names on a petition backing Frank for the temporary appointment. (The former lawmaker says he has no interest running in the special election.)
The group, the Progressive Campaign Change Committee, is attracting attention to the petition with its website www.appointbarneyfrank.com. The group was reportedly involved in similar efforts to back Warren, who defeated former incumbent Scott Brown in the fall election.
"As Elizabeth Warren opposes any cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid benefits, we can't afford to have our other senator be lukewarm, undecided, or uncertain," the group said in its plea to Patrick on the website. "We need someone who we are 100% confident will fight right alongside her. Barney Frank is that person. Please appoint him as our interim senator."