The Federal Election Commission, acting on a report by a watchdog group, found that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist failed to disclose a $1.44 million loan that made it appear as though he had significantly more money than he did.


Citizens for Ethics:

Earlier today, Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW) received notice from the Federal Election Commission (FEC) indicating that in response to a complaint filed by CREW, the FEC found that Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist?s 2000 Senate campaign committee, Frist 2000, Inc. violated federal campaign finance laws.

CREW?s complaint alleged — and the FEC agreed — that 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. The result of the discrepancy was to make 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.

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