Frank (D-Massachusetts) is retiring from the House this year and had been invited to address the Commonwealth Club of California this afternoon (Friday, October 5) and share his thoughts about the 2012 elections. Saturday night Horizons Foundation, the LGBT grant-making organization, was to honor him at its gala dinner.
But Wednesday word came from the ethics panel that his trip did not meet the requirements to be considered official business, and thus, could not be paid for by official funds. Horizons posted a note on the website for its event (at right) alerting attendees that Frank would receive his honor “in absentia.”
The Commonwealth Club posted a short message to its event page for Frank’s talk that simply stated it had been cancelled but gave no indication as to why. A sign with red lettering saying that the event had been cancelled greeted those who turned up at the group’s Market Street headquarters today.
Frank’s spokesman Harry Gural told the Bay Area Reporter that there are certain rules that govern House members’ travel. He called the decision to deny Frank’s Bay Area visit “somewhat arbitrary.”
“He hates not to attend events he has committed to,” added Gural, noting that Frank has sent a video message to be played during the Horizon’s event.
In his place Chuck Wolfe, president and CEO of the Gay and Lesbian Victory Fund, is now scheduled to speak. And Horizons’ has also extended an invite to openly gay Assembly Speaker John A. Perez (D-Los Angeles), as he is slated to be in town this weekend as part of the cast of the Prop 8 play set to be performed Sunday night.