The campaign of Howard Berman today enlisted Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), ranking member of the House Financial Services Committee, to criticize fellow Democrat Brad Sherman for playing a "superficial" role on the committee. He also called Sherman "not a very good legislator."
Berman and Sherman are locked in one of the most contentious intra-party fights for a congressional seat this cycle, in a district that is home to many of Hollywood's studios and production workers. Sherman came out ahead of Berman in the June primary, but with the top two vote-getters now going on to the general election, it means that they will face each other again in November.
Frank was particularly irked by Sherman's claim that he played a key role in the Dodd-Frank financial reform legislation and for his opposition to the TARP bailout legislation.
In a conference call, Frank said that Sherman would "make things up to enhance his role, and there is no basis for it."
He said that Berman was a "very responsible, very constructive and thoughtful legislator," while Sherman "plays a very superficial role." As an example, he said that Sherman would show up to a hearing just minutes before he was to ask a question, rather than staying for the entire time to listen to witness testimony.
Frank said that Sherman called him this morning when word got out that he was going to do the conference call.
In response, Sherman issued a statement, via press rep John Schwada: "Everyone in the San Fernando Valley knows Congressman Sherman opposed a $700 million bailout of Wall Street's banks. His opposition angered Congressman Frank, an architect of the bailout. In his mind, Sherman was anti-bailout and Berman was pro-bailout. Now, the retiring Massachusetts congressman is trying to punish Sherman while providing a political bailout for Berman."