Monday, July 28, 2008

Barney Frank 1980's Wild Man

GOOD POLITICS GONE BADStephen Gobie never did write his tell-all book, Capitol Offenses, but he still has a juicy story to tell. A male gigolo, in 1985 he placed an solicitous ad in Washington, D.C.'s weekly gay paper, the Washington Blade: "Exceptionally good-looking, personable, muscular athlete is available. Hot bottom plus large endowment equals a good time." That was all that U.S. Representative Barney Frank needed to hear. A powerful Democratic representative from Massachusetts and one of the few openly gay politicians at the time, Frank met with the hunky Gobie on April Fools' Day, 1985.
At first their (paid-for) relationship was all sunshine and twittering birds. Gobie and Frank became inseparable friends, with benefits. Gobie joined Frank's team in the Congressional Softball League and, according to him, became "the star player." He attended a bill signing at the White House with Frank and they all but skipped through the Rose Garden.
But a darker underside was about to surface. Gobie lived loose. He had a felony past with convictions for cocaine possession, oral sodomy and "production of obscene items involving a juvenile." Gobie also had a habit of not paying his parking tickets.
Frank did what he could to extricate Gobie from his legal troubles. Using his congressional position, he successfully urged the sheriff to dismiss at least 33 parking tickets for Gobie. He also went on to hire Gobie as his personal aide, housekeeper, and driver. Gobie later explained the job was a "cover" concocted for his probation officers.
Meanwhile, Gobie had settled comfortably into the congressman's Georgetown brownstone. One night while lounging around the home, he was watching The Mayflower Madam on TV, a movie about an upscale madam. That story inspired him to become a pimp. Over the next few months, he ran a prostitution ring from the congressman's home. In 1987, the Washington Post broke the story.
An attempt to expel Frank from the House of Representatives failed on a vote of 390-38, but he was censured with a vote of 408-18. Happily, Frank's political career has survived and he still serves in the House of Representatives. PHIL BUSSE

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