Barney Frank signs with William Morris

Retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.) has signed a contract with the William Morris Endeavors talent agency. 

Frank announced the move in a statement Wednesday in which he made it clear he would not begin a lobbying career, but would seek to write a book and be an active participant in the nation's political debate.

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"After leaving Congress, I will seek to remain active as a participant in the national conversation about public policy and politics," said Frank, the ranking Democrat on the House Financial Services Committee. 

"I plan to write at least one book, write articles, both online and offline, give speeches and lectures, and appear as a commentator on various media outlets — subject, of course, to anybody inviting me. In addition, I hope to do some college and graduate school teaching about politics," he said in his statement.

Frank closed his statement by directing all inquiries to William Morris Endeavors (WME) agency, which represents "talent for music and theatre events, comedy performances and speaking engagements," according to its website. The firm's co-CEO is Hollywood super agent Ari Emanuel, brother of Chicago Mayor and former White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. 

WME's clients include actors and comedians such as Conan O'Brien, Bill Cosby and Whoopi Goldberg, as well as political celebrities including former GOP Rep. Joe Scarborough (Fla.) and ex-Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell. 

Frank, the first member of Congress to openly come out as gay, appears frequently on prime-time television to defend the party's policies. He announced his retirement last year, blaming changes in his district following redistricting that would have made a run this year challenging. He has served since 1981.

He said that he announced his plans now to avoid being "confronted with any potential conflict of interest" with votes and debates during the upcoming lame-duck session.

Updated at 4:20 p.m.

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