Saturday, December 17, 2005

Frist AIDS Charity Paid Consultants

[Update] The yahoo link was dead. I try not to link so much anymore to Yahoo or NYT etc, all sites that move or hide their articles after only a week or two. The article is still up today, March 25, 06, over at USA Today.

AP: WASHINGTON- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist's AIDS charity paid nearly a half-million dollars in consulting fees to members of his political inner circle, according to tax returns providing the first financial accounting of the presidential hopeful's nonprofit.

The returns for World of Hope Inc., obtained by The Associated Press, also show the charity raised the lion's share of its $4.4 million from just 18 sources. They gave between $97,950 and $267,735 each to help fund Frist's efforts to fight AIDS.

The tax forms, filed nine months after they were first due, do not identify the 18 major donors by name...

World of Hope gave...$456,125 in consulting fees to two firms run by Frist's longtime political fundraiser, Linus Catignani. One is jointly run by Linda Bond, the wife of Sen. Christopher "Kit" Bond, R-Mo...

Kent Cooper, the Federal Election Commission's former public disclosure chief, said the big donors' motives are also suspect...


Oh, do read on. It seems the money was "raised in the political arena at the 2004 Republican Convention", when Frist's charity "held a benefit concert in New York...at which President Bush was nominated for re-election. The "consulting fees were "excessively high", and a "charity could lose its tax-exempt status if it is found to be involved with political activity."

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