The Campaign Spot

Bailout Recipient Gave Barney Frank a Free Ride on His Private Jet

That headline is not a veiled metaphor.

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.

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

Is there a member of Congress more sanctimonious about the greed and avarice of the private sector?


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