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Rep. Barney Frank to Retire, Says He Won't Become a Lobbyist

Congressman Intends to Write, Teach and Lecture After Political Career

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Barney FrankInternet gaming supporter Rep. Barney Frank (D-MA) announced in a Monday press conference that he will not seek re-election in 2012.

He cited numerous reasons for planning to retire, including redistricting and a desire to pursue other projects before his career is over.

Frank, who has sponsored Internet gaming legislation and recently testified on behalf of the issue at a House Energy and Commerce subcommittee hearing, said he will not become a lobbyist.

However, the 71-year-old Congressman said he will continue to support the issues he thinks are important to the country.

“I am not retiring from advocacy of public policy,” Frank said. “In some ways, to be honest, I think I will have more impact in some areas, not in office. It is not a secret that holding public office is not these days considered to be one of the great virtues. There is a cynical screen through which the comments of elected officials are put. I expect to be saying the same things as a public citizen a year and half from now that I’ve been saying as an elected official. I think I will find my motives less impugned and will be able to talk about their merits.”

Frank intends to do “some combination of writing, teaching and lecturing” after his three-decade-long career in office ends.


Update: American Gaming Association President and CEO Frank Fahrenkopf issued statement to Card Player regarding Rep. Frank’s announcement:

With the imminent retirement of Rep. Barney Frank, the U.S. Congress will lose a tireless advocate of individual human rights, including peoples’ rights to spend their money how they see fit. Barney’s personality and stature brought early attention to the issue of legalizing online gambling, and his tireless defense of online player rights and efforts to protect consumers has been admirable. The AGA looks forward to continuing our efforts to protect the millions of Americans who currently play online poker in an unsafe and unregulated environment through federal legislation to license and regulate online poker.

Follow Brian Pempus on Twitter — @brianpempus