"I wouldn't know him if I saw him," says Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) of Boston radio talk-show host Chuck Morse. But Morse definitely recognizes the ultra-leftist Frank -- Frank is in Morse's political crosshairs. The talk-radio host is challenging Frank for the Massachusetts 4th District seat in 2004.
"Barney Frank's policies are hurting America," Morse told me on Monday.
"Barney Frank has voted for appeasement," says Morse. "He's voted against every defense budget going all the way back to Ronald Reagan." Morse points out that Frank is the author of the 2001 Family Reunification Act, which would allow deported foreign convicts back into the United States. "Barney is into some liberal utopian ideas about creating a peaceful universe by surrendering America's military might."
On tax policy as well, Morse wants drastic changes: "I want to form a caucus to examine every government agency, do a full modernization, a streamlining and even an elimination of unnecessary government agencies." Morse also proposes going over the heads of the pork-barrel politicians by submitting a full report to the American people, in language they can understand.
Morse is taking the tough road to the Capitol. Barney Frank is exceedingly popular in his district despite his pornographic past, which includes a 1990 reprimand from the House of Representatives for paying a male prostitute, Steve Gobie, to be his live-in boyfriend and for using his congressional powers to fix 33 of Gobie's parking tickets. In the 2002 election, Frank ran unopposed. In 2000, Frank won 75 percent of the vote. In 1998, he ran unopposed. In 1996, he won 72 percent of the vote. Frank is simply dominant.
But Morse has high hopes. The 4th District, he notes, almost went for Republican Gov. Mitt Romney in the 2002 election. Morse feels that deep change within the 4th District constituency has been accruing since Sept. 11.
There's another reason Morse feels he has a fighting chance against Frank: He's a talk-show host. In the past, this would have been laughable -- a career as a talk-show host being an advantage? With the rise of talk radio, however, that idea is nothing to scoff at.
"Besides the name recognition factor, a talk-show host is delving into public issues every single day," explains Morse, whose show had roughly 1 million listeners. "We're studying very hard, we're drawing opinions on issues, we're in touch with people on the street, we hear callers, we have a pulse regarding what people believe. Talk radio is one of the last bastions of democracy, along with the Internet, and to me a talk-show host is perfectly tailored to go into Congress and lend a fresh eye to what's going on there."
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