Parting Shots

Barney Frank Goes Out Swinging

One of the House’s most spirited and controversial members will be retiring in 2012. Rep. Barney Frank of Massachusetts announced he will end his 16-term run. Frank, who in 1987 became the first member of Congress to publicly declare that he is gay, is a Democrat and chair of the House Financial Services Committee. Announcing his decision Monday, Frank blasted his Republican colleagues for "dropping the ball" on financial regulation, and the media for creating partisan echo chambers. "It would have been a tough campaign. In some ways, if you’re an incumbent representing people you haven’t represented, you get the worst of both worlds,” he said, referring to a redrawn district map that includes more than 300,000 new constituents.