The Other McCain

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INTERVIEW: Sean Bielat Says He’ll Make 2012 Campaign Decision ‘Next Week’

Posted on | December 1, 2011 | 15 Comments

In 2010, Republican Sean Bielat gave Massachusetts Rep. Barney Frank the toughest re-election challenge the Democrat had ever experienced. Although Bielat’s insurgent Tea Party-backed campaign fell short of unseating Frank, it was obviously a factor in the 16-term congressman’s decision this week to retire at the end of his current term, rather than seek re-election in a newly redrawn district. Thursday night, Bielat spoke to me in a brief telephone interview.

Robert Stacy McCain: So, this is the week of ‘Bye Bye Barney.’ How are you feeling right now?
Sean Bielat: [Laughs.] Well, you know, if you would have asked me a year ago at this time, I would have said that this was exactly what was going to happen. And then, you know, when he came out February and said, ‘I’m definitely running . . . definitely going to be back in this thing,’ I took it with a grain of salt, but I believed it. So he definitely caught me off-guard [by announcing his retirement Monday].

RSM: He’s saying that it’s mainly about the re-districting. Have you taken a good look at that map?
BIELAT: Yeah, I have. It is a much better district.
RSM: You mean, for a Republican?
BIELAT: Yeah. It’s still overwhelmingly Democrat, but it’s a much better district than before. But implicit in that comment – ‘it’s because of re-districting’ – is the fact that he thinks he’s going to have a competitive opponent, right? Because he’s been re-districted before and not retired. The difference is, he had a challenge last time. Now it’s a new district and I think he just wasn’t sure he’d make it through and it wasn’t worth the effort.

RSM: OK. And are you taking a victory lap? I mean, do you believe that your challenge last year convinced him that it was time to pack it in?
BIELAT: I’m also taking that with a grain of salt. I don’t think he would have retired if I hadn’t run against him, but I also don’t think he’s retiring because I did.
He, on Election Day [in 2010], thought he was going to lose. We were told that by a number of the reporters who were following him and who were in his van – they thought they were going to lose. And you saw he put a couple hundred thousand dollars of his own money it, you know. I don’t think he enjoyed this experience. He hadn’t really done this since 1982. I don’t think he enjoyed the eight debates. I think he was worn out. And I think he didn’t want to do it again, particularly if the district was going to be more favorable to his opponent.

RSM: And is there a chance that that opponent might be you?
BIELAT: [Laughs.] Well, there’s no chance it will be me against Barney, but there’s definitely a chance that it will be me against whatever Democrat they’re going to put up in the Fourth [District]. I’m looking very hard at it. Poltically, I think it makes a lot of sense. We’re just trying to figure out personally if it’s what we want right now, with the new baby and the other 15-month-old and, you know, the sacrifices involved in running. But I’m definitely very interested in it.

RSM: You’ve got two children?
BIELAT: Yeah, we just had the second one about two-and-a-half weeks ago.
RSM: Wow. And I understand that you were spending some time in Pennsylvania and some people were trying to lay the ‘carpetbagger’ thing on you.
BIELAT: Yeah, I think it’s tough to do when we only came [to Pennysylvania] in September and the reason I came was because we had family in the area and we had some difficulties the last time around, with the last pregnancy. So we wanted to be here in case that happened again. We’re planning to go back [to Massachusetts] after the holidays. Hope is still a student at Boston University. She took the semester off. She’ll be back in the spring semester. . . . It’s just the circumstance – we wanted to be near family because of the baby.

RSM: OK, and last time around, the Internet fundraising and the support of New Media seemed to really kick your campaign into high gear.
BIELAT: Oh, without a doubt. I mean, one of the most important people for me to get back on the team is [New Media consultant] John La Rosa. I mean, our money came from online. Fox News was huge, too. Every time we went on Fox News, the money would come in, too. But it was because the groundwork was there, because went on the blogs. It was all over the Internet – the Tweets were out there, and Facebook was useful as well.
So it was huge, and then there was the ‘Dancing Barney’ video [by filmmaker Ladd Ehlinger Jr.] and the incident with [Barney Frank’s] significant other, where he was heckling me – that was huge. I can’t tell you how many people came up to me about that, or said, ‘I sent you a contribution after I saw that.’ That wouldn’t have gotten out there without the New Media channels.

RSM: So that really made a difference. What would be the timetable, if you did decide to run? When would you be thinking about putting something together again?
BIELAT: I want to make a decision next week. You know there’s a number of other Republicans who are calling me to find out my plans, because if I’m not getting in, they may want to get in. So I certainly don’t want to slow them down and, you know, I don’t want to be in limbo myself. If I end up not doing this, I’m going to be working on the [political action committee] – I’d like to kick that off and start doing some good there.  So I want to make this decision fairly soon.

RSM: OK, so you say, within a week?
BIELAT: Yeah. That’s the plan.

RSM: Wow. OK, then. So if we’re going to be scrambling the jets, we’re going to be scrambling the jets in a pretty quick hurry here.
BIELAT: Yeah. I mean, if I’m going to get in, I want to raise money this quarter. And if I’m going to raise money in December, when the holidays are coming up, I’ve got to do it right at the beginning. So that means making my decision right away.

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Comments

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    I think Frank just wants to spend the next few years lounging around in the hot tub with his favorite boy toy before he gets too old for the Viagra to be effective. It might also be a good way to avoid a congressional investigation of misconduct that might turn up who the hell knows what. I tried to get in touch with Bielat to tell him he should go after Frank on some of his older issues, but people kept telling me that wouldn’t be “positive”.  Bullshit, who knows how many closeted gay congressmen, Republicans included, were blackmailed by that piece of shit.

  • http://profiles.yahoo.com/u/EU5DQWQTTHTPO4A4ZYSL3AAV2U Adjoran

    I read somewhere that the New Bedford area and other coastal areas of Bristol County are being taken away.  Frank had made a special effort to work on fishing issues important to those communities to reestablish himself as someone who gets things done for the home folks.

    Losing them now means all that was wasted from Frank’s point of view, because dealing with actual constituents is, well, icky.  To run again successfully, he would need to ingratiate himself to thousands of new “regular people,” and in an environment where his personal role in creating the financial crisis and blocking any attempt to forestall the collapse is coming under more scrutiny.

    If there were true justice in the world, the bastard would die in prison in the cell next to Chris Dodd.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Prison to Barney Frank would be like Club Med to the rest of us. All the gay sex he could ever want. And you know he’s got enough money stashed away to be able to live the good life if he funneled it through the right untraceable sources. Naw, he’d make out like a bandit. True hell for Barney Frank would be keeping him in solitary confinement, but in a way he could hear the voices of all those brutish men day in and day out. Then cut the bastards hands off so he couldn’t jack off, and don’t give him anything but an old rough, scratch burlap bag to sleep on, something he couldn’t even get any pleasure in humping. Don’t even give him any kind of object he could stick up his ass.

  • http://thepagantemple.blogspot.com/ ThePaganTemple

    Just for fun, here is an ad proposal I wrote for Bielat which I was never able to get to him, though I doubt he would have went along with it. The main point to it was not so much that it would convince  Frank’s longtime constituents to vote against him in and of itself, as that it would have made him sputter and spew like a deranged idiot, and that might well have cost him a lot of votes.

    THE EMPEROR KNOWS NO BOUNDS

    Setting-A modern day
    version of an ancient Roman banquet. A look-alike Barney Frank is
    surrounded by a bevy of men, mostly younger, all strong and well-built.
    “Barney” reclines in the center of the room, as all the young men view
    him attentively, apparently hanging expectantly on his every word. He
    gazes longing at a young boyish man playing a lyre. In the middle of the
    room is a table filled with the most exquisite foods and wines. Barney
    and his friends eat and drink heartily, Barney partaking lasciviously of
    a kebab one of his young suitors has just proffered to him, while not
    too far off, other young male couples dance with hedonistic delight.

    (V/O-Ever
    since he arrived in Washington, Barney Frank has been the epitome of
    corruption and debauchery. He fixed parking tickets and influenced the
    probation officer of his live-in boyfriend, who ran a gay brothel out of
    Frank’s own Washington home. Yet, despite his much heralded
    intelligence, Congressman Frank denied any knowledge of this activity,
    on-going under his nose. Much like his denial of knowledge that his
    current boyfriend was recently arrested for possession of
    marijuana-despite the fact that Frank was present at the time of the
    bust.)

    At this point the camera pans around the room.
    One of the young gay men takes a hit off what appears to be a joint of
    marijuana which he then passes to another young man sitting beside him,
    as Barney looks on approvingly. At this point, an apparently devoted man
    begins massaging Frank’s thighs with heated oil, while another feeds
    him graps and as some of the men continue to pass around the joint,
    others begin to dance, swaying to the sounds of raucous music suddenly
    playing, as the young lyre player takes a seat by Barney, and another
    man begins what appears to be the beginning stages of a strip-dance.

    (V/O-Barney
    Frank even abused his position as Chairman of the House Financial
    Services Committee, where he fought to protect the interests of Fannie
    Mae and Freddie Mac, helping them to benefit from government regulations
    while simultaneously hiding their many financial irregularities. And
    what is more telling-for some time leading up to this, he had engaged in
    a romantic relationship with a high-powered executive of Fannie Mae.)

    Here, Barney Frank presents the young lyre player with a magnificently garish diamond necklace.

    “Thank you Mr. Frank” the boy gushes appreciatively.

    “Oh, don’t thank me, sweetheart”, Frank replies. “Thank the American taxpayer”.

    At this, the entire room erupts, joining Frank in uncontrolled laughter.

    (V/O)-On
    November 2nd, tell Barney Frank that Washington is not the place for
    debauchery and corruption. Send him packing. Send Sean Bielat to
    Washington. Because the 4th district deserves better than Barney Frank.)

  • Pingback: The American Spectator : The Spectacle Blog : Bielat Says Decision 'Next Week' on GOP Race for Barney Frank's Seat

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  • http://twitter.com/metro_con metro_con

    Nice work, Stacy.

    I hope he goes for it. Still a long shot, and somewhat more so now that the Democrats can run whatever Blank Slate Candidate X instead of Fwank. But if it’s a less-liberal district and Bielat gets the same kind of $ support again this go around, there’s at the very least the opportunity to put the screws to the Dems while perhaps giving Scott Brown some cover.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    If I ever become Emperor, I’m going to put you in charge of my prisons.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Run Sean Run!

  • http://www.leftbankofthecharles.com Charles

    Barney Frank was very popular, so I wouldn’t assume Blank Slate Democrat would do better on his home turf of Newton and Brookline.

    Frank’s district lost New Bedford, which alone provided 35% of his margin of victory over Bielat. The district picked up U.S. Senator Scott Brown’s hometown of Wrentham, who will also be on the ballot in 2012.

  • http://ww.granitegrok.com Mike Rogers

    Thanks Stacy!

    I also watched the developments in 2010 and supported Sean Bielat,
    and I’ll be ready to contribute as soon as he opens his bid.

  • http://twitter.com/ThatChristyChic Christy Waters

    Maybe they could share a cell. Then Barney could give up his seat to Chris Dodd everyday.

  • http://twitter.com/BradMarston BradMarston

    The question remains whether it would be possible to nationalize the race as Sean and his team did so effectively in 2010. This would certainly help. http://www.myfoxboston.com/dpp/news/politics/kennedy-iii-considers-run-for-franks-seat-20111201

  • Joe

    Go Beilat Go.  Every seat counts. 

  • Joe

    If you believe in devine justice, my guess is he will not repent in time. 

    Although I truly hope he does.