Conversation Nation: Did Frank’s Opponent Taunt Opponent?

By Robi, WBZ-TV

In local politics we’re used to seeing negative campaign ads and nasty exchanges during debates but here’s one thing you may never have seen before an election: A candidate’s significant other heckling an opponent.

A Boston Herald reporter caught the exchange on videotape. It happened after a 4th congressional debate between incumbent Rep Barney Frank and his challenger Sean Bielat. The photographer you see and hear in the video is Barney Frank’s partner, Jim Ready.

Ready interrupts Bielat several times as the candidate tries to talk to reporters. The exchange happened in a hallway outside the WGBH studio where a TV segment was being taped. By the way, if you’re interested in the issues being discussed between the two candidates in this race, click here to listen to the debate on WGBH’s show Greater Boston.

A spokesperson for the Frank campaign told the Herald that Ready is an “amateur photographer” who takes a lot of pictures for his partner. The spokesperson says Ready meant “no harm whatsoever.” But one political professor told the paper that Jim Ready’s actions were “highly inappropriate” and as the congressman’s longtime partner he should have known better.

Take a look at the posted video and tell us what you think of the exchange. Was Jim Ready out of line? Should we expect more from the significant others of candidates? 

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