Why Rep. Lois Frankel is Unfit for Congress

To voters, donors, and the press, Representative Lois Frankel says she supports issues we hold dear like affordable healthcare and environmental protections. But in and outside of Congress, she doesn’t hold those same values. Rep. Frankel is not on your side, and has not been on your side for a long time. Below is a look into Rep. Frankel’s record, and I provide videos showing how you can research your elected officials and decide if they deserve your vote.

 

After thirty-plus years in office, it is now time for Rep. Lois Frankel to step aside to make room for a representative that will support the interests of Palm Beach County voters. As your representative, I promise to represent you and to fight for what matters most to you, and I won’t take corporate money to do so. 

Table of Contents

  • As a Member of the House of Representatives:

    • Lois Frankel Profits from High Healthcare Prices

    • Lois Frankel Profited from the Fossil Fuel Industry

    • Lois Frankel Profited from Private Prisons and Immigrant Detention Centers

    • Lois Frankel Lacks Accomplishments in Congress

    • Lois Frankel Is in the Pocket of Polluting Big Agriculture

    • Where is Lois Frankel’s Office?

    • Lois Frankel Is Not Funded by District Residents

 

  • As West Palm Beach Mayor:

    • Lois Frankel and Pay-to-Play

    • Lois Frankel’s 40% Pay Raise as Mayor 

    • Frankel Attempted an Undemocratic Third Term in Office

    • Frankel Silenced the Media

As a Member of Congress:

 

Lois Frankel profits from high healthcare costs: Rep. Lois Frankel’s campaign takes thousands of dollars from the drug companies that increase our healthcare costs, particularly those that control our premiums and deductibles including: Pfizer, Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, AFLAC, and Humana (Source: FEC). At the same time, she invests her personal money into healthcare and drug companies like Chub, Merk, and Pfizer. Rep. Frankel tells us that she is working to decrease healthcare prices, but Frankel is benefiting from your high health costs. As your representative, I would not take campaign contributions from corporate PACS, including big pharma companies.

 

Lois Frankel profited from private prisons and immigrant detention centers: Rep. Lois Frankel invested in CoreCivic, a private prison company that profits from incarcerations, including incarcerating immigrants at the border. CoreCivic also donated money to Donald Trump’s campaign. Investing in and profiting from these companies is not the behavior of someone concerned with the current administration’s border wall and detention center policies. As your representative in Congress, I will fight for real prison sentence reform, and would never invest in private prisons.

Picture one: Display of Frankel's Investment in CoreCovic


Lois Frankel profited from the fossil fuel industry: Rep. Lois Frankel is not an environmentalist. While Rep. Frankel claims to fight climate change in press briefings and mailers, Frankel invested tens of thousands of dollars in the following companies: ABOT Oil and Gas, Diamondback Energy, Duke Energy, Entergy, EOG Resources, Exxon Mobil, FirstEnergy, Hess, National Fuel Gas Co., NiSource, PBF Energy, PDC Energy, Pioneer Natural Resources, PPL Corp., Schlumberger, Southern Company, Suncor Energy, Xcel Energy, and more. Rep. Frankel even invested money in the large Russian state company Gazprom, which has since been placed on the Sectoral Sanctions Identifications (SSI) List by the US government for its role in Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory (Crimea). To view the long list of Frankel’s fossil fuel investments, read her congressional financial disclosures.  As your representative, I would support renewable energy legislation and  would not invest in fossil fuels.

Lois Frankel has a lack of accomplishments in Congress. The people of Palm Beach County gave Rep. Lois Frankel nearly eight years in Congress - and we have not gained much in return.  A good representative introduces legislation and then fights to find partners - both in the House and in the Senate, and among Democrats and Republicans - to get legislation passed. Searching on Congress.gov,  anyone can view Rep. Lois Frankel’s legislative record, and the record shows that she has little to show for her four terms in Congress. Below is a video I made showing you how to view and understand congressional records. We need someone who will continue to fight for our community, and I promise to fight for you every step of the way. 

Where is Lois Frankel’s office? Rep. Lois Frankel’s office is not in the district that Rep. Frankel represents, making it hard for constituents to meet their elected official. Constituents should be able to visit their member of Congress with an open door policy, so I promise that my office and my home would always be within the district and accessible and be centrally located within Florida’s 21st Congressional District. 

Picture two: Rep. Frankel's District Office

Lois Frankel is in the pocket of polluting big agriculture: In South Florida, large agriculture companies burn their crops each year, creating hazardous air pollutants affecting people's quality of life, health, and the environment. Rep. Lois Frankel’s campaign has received tens of thousands of dollars from this industry over the years. While agriculture is important for our community - and we must support agriculture for jobs, our livelihoods, and food supply - we also need to regulate environmental waste. Rep. Frankel has done little to find that balance. As your representative, I will work with both agriculture and environmental groups to ensure that we find the balance. 

 

Lois Frankel is not funded by our community: Only 5% of Rep. Lois Frankel’s campaign contributions come from small donors - those giving less than $200. The majority of her donors are corporate groups or big donors. Every year since Rep. Frankel has been in Congress, she has taken tens of thousands of dollars from industries that have little to no presence in Palm Beach County. Rep. Frankel’s reliance on corporate money prohibits her from representing the people who vote her into office. As your representative, I would never take corporate PAC money. Instead, my focus will always be on voting in support of the people of Palm Beach County’s interests. 

Picture three: Frankel's Summary via OpenSecrets

As West Palm Beach Mayor

 

Lois Frankel has long been a pay-to-play politician: Pay-to-play refers to “situations where one must exchange money to engage in an activity or to earn favors or influence.” In politics this means an elected official receives a campaign contribution or other favor in exchange for preferential treatment. Rep. Frankel has a history of creating barriers for citizens to meet her and her staff, as well as taking campaign contributions from conflicts of interests, as listed below.  As your representative, I would respect the boundaries between politics and campaigning, and would never accept or request political favors from constituents or corporations. 

The Case of Digital Domain: When Lois Frankel was mayor, she supported the company Digital Domain winning a major contract with the city of West Palm Beach, in a deal that she called a “gamechanger.” In the deal, Digital Domain was to receive millions in funding plus 2.4 acres of prime real estate. Before Rep. Frankel left as mayor, West Palm Beach released the promised real estate to Digital Domain. Days after announcing her congressional campaign for the House of Representatives, Digital Domain executives and associates gave her $20,000 in donations (The Palm Beach Post. 7 October 2012). Accepting this donation was unethical, and when the public caught on, Frankel gave the money away.

Florida Grand Jury associates Lois Frankel with pay-to-play: When Lois Frankel was mayor, a Florida State Grand Jury observed the perception of pay-to-play politics in West Palm Beach. The report noted that developers 'bundled' campaign contributions to Frankel’s mayoral campaign. In one example, the Grand Jury report noted that a large real estate developer gave $10,000 to Frankel's campaign four days after a condo project was approved. The Grand Jury report stated, "The timing of these financial contributions occurred in conjunction with the developers’ presentation of projects to the city, the City Commission and the mayor at various stages of the approval process."

Frankel took a 40% pay raise as mayor in a single year: On July 6, 2004, the city commission that Lois Frankel put together unanimously voted to raise Mayor Frankel’s salary from $89,250 to $125,000 effective October 1, 2004. That’s an increase of about $35,750, or 40 percent, while the average government raise that year was four percent. As your representative, I would never take an unethical raise at the expense of taxpayers.

 

Frankel attempted an undemocratic third term in office: In 2009, Mayor Frankel attempted to change West Palm Beach’s Charter to allow her to stay as mayor for a third term despite the two-term limit.  President Trump throws around the idea of extending term limits, but Frankel actually attempted it. I believe in upholding the community’s trust in our government and our charters, and as your representative would never seek nor approve of others extending term limits. 

 

Frankel silenced the media: Lois Frankel ordered West Palm Beach's CityTV18 to not air a meeting where Northwood Hills residents criticized the city for a crime in their neighborhood. During this period, the Palm Beach Post wrote about the high turnover rate of the employees in the city due to her leadership style.  Frankel’s approach to leadership led many people working for the City of West Palm Beach to leave their jobs. According to the Palm Beach Post, the employees that left refused to have their names associated with the story for fear that Frankel would attempt to damage their careers. (Source: Palm Beach Post. 18 November 2004. West Palm mayor's aggressive style blamed for resignations). As your representative, I support expressing critique of leadership and would never try to limit media coverage of my official duties. I also would treat all employees with dignity and respect, working to promote an inclusive and supportive work environment for all.

Guido Weiss

- Democrat for Congress - 

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