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December 17, 1982 - Image 18

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 1982-12-17

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

18 Friday, December 11, 1982

THE DETROIT JEWISH NEWS

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Massachusetts Congressman Beat the Odds

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Seven Arts Feature

Election experts armed
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the November results, but a
revealing part of the final
profile is at hand. A sizeable
share of the $300 million
spent in the Congressional
campaign lies dead in the
dust of defeat. As the year

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begins, you will find 20
blacks, 21 women and 30
Jews in the House of Repre-
sentatives. Eight of the 100
Senators are Jewish.
On the far right, most of
Jesse Helms' proteges seek-
ing House seats were de-
feated; and in New York's
Third District John Le
Boutillier, who referred to
Tip O'Neill as "big, fat, and
out of control," is now out of
his House seat.
Speaker O'Neill had
thrown strong support to
the freshman Congressman
whose amazing legislative
record and new victory
against the great odds com-
prise an electrifiying story
worth national attention.
His name is Barney
Frank. He has gone from his
birthplace, Bayonne, N.J.
(1940) to Harvard degrees
in 1962 and 1977, to a
1972-1980 stretch as a
Massachusetts state repre-
sentative, to a Congres-
sional seat as successor to
Father Robert F. Drinan,
and now to re-election in
one of the most hotly-
contested redistricted races
in the nation.
Barney Frank is only
the second Jew to repre-
sent any part of Massa-
chusetts in Congress. The
first was Leopold Morse,
a manufacturer of men's
clothing who went from
Jamaica Plain to the
House as a Democrat and
served five terms (1877-
1885 and 1887-1889). His-
tory relates that
President Cleveland had
a mind to give Morse a
Cabinet appointment,
but religious bias choked
off that proposal.
So here a century later is
an unabashed liberal
Jewish Congressman from
Massachusetts who, during
his first term, was named
variously the most effective

and/or most outstanding
freshman in polls of his
peers, as reported in the
Congressional Quarterly,
U.S. News and World Re-
port, and the Public Broad-
casting Service TV pro-
gram, "The Lawniakers."
His committee emphases
have been judiciary, gov-
ernment operations, aging
problems, banking, finance
and urban affairs. He is last
in the hearts of the Moral
Majority but first, or near
first, in the hearts of those
urging action on housing,
crime control, legal aid for
the poor and equal opportu-
nity for all. He was among
the first male members of
Congress to join the Con-
gresswomen's Caucus. Back
in the 1960s you would have
found him in Mississippi
fighting in the right-to-vote
battle.
Three years of 24-
hour-a-day service as
executive assistant to
Boston Mayor Kevin
White, additional experi-
ence as Harvard teaching
fellow, and a key post in
the Institute of Politics in
the John F. Kennedy
School helped to hone his
ability as a lawmaker to a
fine point. When a Papal
decision obliged Father
Drinan to leave Con-
gress, Barney Frank won
the Democratic nod to
seek the Drinan post.
He owed his 1980 victory
in part to opposition from
Humberto Cardinal
Madeiros, opposition on the
abortion issue that
boomeranged in Frank's
favor. In November, he won
the Congressional seat by a
slim margin over a retired
Army dentist who had
flirted with the John Birch
Society.
A census mandate re-
sulted in redistricting for

1982,
bringing Con-
gressman Frank in hot
competition with the only
congresswoman in Massa-
chusetts, Margaret Heck-
ler, representative from the
10th District for 16 years.
Early in the race, Frank
was 20 poll points behind.
New Right money and
strong Administration sup-
port made popular "Mag-
gie" Heckler a must-win
candidate for the ger-
rymandered district.
Undaunted,
Barney
Frank hit the hustings with
zeal, energy, competence
and compassion. His target
was not so much Mrs. Heck-
ler as Reaganomics. The
Heckler camp panicked.
Hastily, a vote drive re-
miniscent of McCarthy's
heyday was unleashed.
Vote for Frank and you vote
for a champion of pornog-
raphy, a protector of pimps
and prostitutes, a man soft
on legal raps for rape — so
ran the raunchy campaign
line.
This bundle of innuendo
exploded when research
proved the Frank state
legislative record had been
honorable and in the best
interest of civic betterment.
In a figurative sense, Con-
gresswoman Heckler had
shot herself in the political
foot. Barney Farnk won
59.4 percent of the vote, in-
cluding a 44 percent favora-
ble showing in Wellesley,
Mrs. Heckler's home town.

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Franco-Israel- Commission
to Reconvene Next Month

PARIS (JTA) 8 The
Franco-Israeli Cultural and
Educational Commission
will reconvene next month
in Jerusalem.
The talks were unilater-
ally suspended by France
last June. The French
Foreign Ministry an-
nounced that a French dele-
gation will leave for Israel
to negotiate a new cultural
agreement.
Israel had bitterly pro-
tested against France's tacit
decision to "freeze" all
bilateral contacts at the
outbreak of the "Peace for
Galilee" campaign last
June.
The French govern-
ment first canceled the
commission's scheduled
session and later an-
nounced that it had been
postponed, but gave not
date for reconvening.
French diplomatic
sources explained that the
decision to renew the talks
was taken at a "high level"
apparently to defuse Israeli
accusations on this subject.
The French delegation to
Jerusalem will be headed by
a career diplomat and will
consist of representatives of

various cultural and educa-
tional bodies.. The commis-
sion is scheduled to work
out a new Franco-Israel cul-
tural agreement to replace
one that expires.

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