Massachusetts congressman Barney Frank has recently expressed approval for the goals of Occupy Wall Street, though he has also said that he “wishes that kind of energy was around two years ago” when he was working to pass Dodd-Frank, the financial-reform law that bears his name. While that legislation certainly didn’t do much to endear him to the financial industry in general, some financiers are still willing to donate money to his reelection campaign, which is why he’ll be in New York on Thursday for a fund-raising event at the home of Charles Myers, a senior figure at investment bank Evercore Partners*. Some might find his attendance hypocritical, but Frank feels his street (emphasis on the lowercase “s”) cred speaks for itself. As he put it, “If you take money from them, but you don’t vote [for] the things they want, how does that put you in conflict?” There are some obvious potential answers to that question, but it’s also not difficult to understand his view: Money is money, and Barney Frank is Barney Frank — a guy with a pretty well-established reputation for doing what he wants.
*This post has been corrected to show that Evercore Partners is an investment bank, not a hedge fund.