The Herb Moses episode
Shortly after coming out from the closet as homosexual, in 1987, Barney Frank met and began to date Herb Moses, an economist and an activist in the LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender) movement. They would set up home together in Washington, DC and the relationship would last for eleven years, until they parted ways amicably in July 1998.
Barney Frank always referred to Herb Moses as ‘his husband’. Herb Moses was the first partner of an openly gay member of Congress to receive full spousal benefits. The two were considered to be Washington’s most powerful and influential gay couple. As a powerful Washington politician, Barney Frank was well-placed to move his husband into lucrative employment.
From his position on the House of Representatives Financial Services Committee, Frank successfully lobbied executives at Fannie Mae to give Herb Moses a job. Thereafter, Barney Frank was a pivotal member of a menage a trois, comprising Barney Frank, Herb Moses and Fannie Mae. Interestingly, the year that Barney Frank and Herb Moses separated, Herb Moses and Fannie Mae also experienced a parting of the ways. By then, of course, Barney Frank and Fannie Mae were locked into their own torrid romance.
Barney Frank helped to write legislation deregulating Fannie Mae during his lengthy liaison with Herb Moses. In 1991, the year that Moses was hired by Fannie Mae, Barney Frank pushed the agency to loosen regulations on mortgages for two- and for three-family homes, even though such householders were defaulting at twice and five times the rate of single homes respectively.
Moses was assistant director for product initiatives at Fannie Mae and was in the forefront of relaxing lending restrictions at the company for impoverished rural customers. He helped to develop many of Fannie Mae’s affordable housing and home improvement programs, writing out lucrative sub-prime mortgage contracts, thus bringing home large bonuses to share with his ‘wife’.
Challenged by the Boston Herald as to the ethics of such an arrangement, Frank replied: “If it is a conflict of interest then much of Washington is involved in similar conflicts. It is a common thing in Washington for members of Congress to have spouses work for the federal government. There is no rule against it at all.”
In Washington, DC, it would seem that there are no rules against anything for members of the federal government. Herb Moses not only brought home his own bacon for Momma, but he made sure that Momma’s re-election coffers were well-filled by Fannie Mae campaign contributions throughout the period of their love-in.
The rest, as they say, is history. At long last, Fat Momma is removing her pantry from the nation’s capital. Surely that pantry will not be bare. Momma’s waistline will be well-taken care of throughout her hard-earned retirement.