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Monday, June 27, 2005

2008: Bill Frist Bid FUBAR

Posted by Bob Brigham

A couple of months ago, Senator Bill Frist was widely viewed as a front-runner for the GOP nomination in 2008. But now that seems almost laughable. Today it is a rib-breaking laughable.

First, the Washington Post headlines, Is Frist Up to Task Of Being President?. Of course, any time the press feels the need to ask such a question, the answer is no.

But Frist is in more trouble for this:

Washington, DC – Earlier today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) against Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist and his 2000 Senate campaign committee, Frist 2000, Inc.

The complaint alleges that the Frist 2000, Inc. failed to disclose a $1.44 million loan taken out jointly by Frist 2000, Inc. and by Frist’s 1994 campaign committee, Bill Frist for Senate, Inc., making it appear that Frist 2000, Inc. had significantly more money that it actually had.

In June 2000, Senator Frist took $1 million of the money that had been contributed to his 2000 Senate campaign and invested it in the stock market, where it promptly began losing money. In November 2000, Senator Frist sought to collect $1.2 million he had lent his 1994 Senate campaign committee. As a result of the stock market losses, however, Frist 2000, Inc. did not have enough money to repay the loan. Senator Frist solved this problem by having the 1994 and the 2000 campaign committees jointly take out a $1.44 million bank loan at a cost of $10,000 a month interest. Frist 2000, Inc. did not report this debt on its FEC disclosure forms.

The Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) requires full disclosure of any loans taken out by campaign committees. Yet only the 1994 campaign committee, which had been largely dormant, disclosed the loan. The loan papers, which are attached to CREW’s complaint, are signed by Senator Frist personally on behalf of each of the campaign committees.

Melanie Sloan, CREW’s executive director, said “it appears that Senator Frist deliberately broke the law by failing to disclose the $1.44 million loan in Frist 2000, Inc.’s FEC filings. Senator Frist was clearly trying to hide the fact that his 2000 campaign was over a million dollars in debt. Given the large sum of money involved and the fact that the violation appears to have been knowing and willful, the FEC should refer this matter to the Department of Justice for possible criminal prosecution.” (emphasis mine)

Somewhere between incompetent and corrupt is not a favorable position for a candidate. Frist has gone from Flop to FUBAR and trending worse.

Posted at 12:59 PM in 2008 President - Republicans | Technorati


Wait a damn minute! I've been involved in investment real estate and other investment stuff for more years than I care to admit.

How the hell does a combination of campaign committee's convince a bank board to loan X Millions of dollars with NO collateral? This wasn't a short-term campaign loan with tangible evidence of campaign income stream (essentially a factoring of future committed income) but an actual longish term loan?

How the hell did Frist do that without personally guaranteeing the debt? Or having someone secure the debt?

I could be displaying my ignorance of the internal workings of Campaign Committees. That is entirely possible. But it's a serious question that I hope someone can answer. Why?

Because if this is the slightest bit unusual then what type of 'influnence' was used to procure the loan? The answer to that is likely a Federal Crime.

Posted by: Stuart O'Neill [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 27, 2005 02:06 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment

Dude, we're talking about Bill Frist. If Dr. Frist can diagnose a patient off an old video, then getting a loan with no collateral is nothing.

Posted by: Bob Brigham [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 27, 2005 02:23 PM | Permalink | Edit Comment | Delete Comment