Congressional Black Caucus
A small episode involving Maxine Waters and Carolyn Maloney, and a big question about race and seniority
Late last month, Barney Frank’s announcement that he was retiring from Congress set in motion a miniature power struggle within his party that highlighted a dilemma for African-American officeholders, and voters.
Yes, it was a big deal that one of the House’s most outspoken and influential liberals was leaving, but this controversy was about something more parochial: who would get to replace Franks as the ranking party member on the powerful House Financial Services Committee.
On Sunday afternoon, Councilman Charles Barron stood behind a half-dozen reporters on the corner of Linden Boulevard and Vermont Street in East New York, singing along with about 75 supporters to a lilting campaign jingle, which went: "Charles Barron for Congress, Charles Barron for Congress."
The tune blared from a flatbed truck through the streets of Brooklyn's 10th Congressional district back in 2006, and now it's being recycled for Barron's second challenge to longtime congressman Ed Towns.(2)