Skip to comments.Frist Talking Gibberish in the Capitol Denying Any Wrongdoing... (Vanity)
Posted on 09/26/2005 2:14:45 PM PDT by Embraer2004
"In May, my staff and the Ethics COmmitteee drafted a pre-approval and I issued a letter selling my HCA trust...I will cooperate with the Securities Commission...I had no information about HCA that was not public...I am going back to work, I will answer as much and as fast as possible about these stocks"
Frist might as well forget about his Preisdential ambitions. He is toast, he should resign as Majority Leader, he is indeed a failure in not getting Bush's agenda forward in the Senate.
(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...
if he uses the words "no controlling legal authority" - let us know.
Or was he baking cookies?
At least he is out front of the media FReight train early ...
He's in a Catch-22 either way, using wanting to eliminate conflict of interest as the basis for selling as he did.. regardless the delays that are involved in exercising the sale..
his fault? hardly
No surprise here the appearance of impropriety is what the media will use, rather than the 'truth' after the fact.
Frist is not on my A list, but that doesn't mean I think he should be treated unfairly.
No use forcing him to resign .. he's resigning from the senate in 2006 - and Mitch McConnell is set to replace him.
Sounds like an attorney hound dogging for national attention/publicity.
Sen. Frist sells HCA stock; then price falls Sept. 21, 2005 MIKE MADDEN STAFF
Aide says he couldn't control timing; move may temper conflict-of-interest concerns
By MIKE MADDEN Tennessean Washington Bureau WASHINGTON -- Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist sold his stock in HCA Inc., the Nashville-based hospital chain his family founded, shortly before the stock took almost a 9% dive in mid-July. The sale helps minimize allegations that he has a conflict of interest on health-care issues as he considers a run for president. Frist's brother, Thomas, is a former chief executive officer and current director of the company. Frist spokeswoman Amy Call said the senator had no knowledge of when the stock actually sold. He requested the sale June 13, but the execution of the sale was up to the blind trust that manages his holdings.
"Frist had no control over when the stocks were sold. The trustee could have chosen to hold them or sell at any time. Also, we don't know when the stock was sold, only when we were notified."
She said Frist was notified of sales on July 1 and July 8.
An HCA spokesman said the company had no part in Frist's decision.
"He never had any relationship to the company to begin with. ... He never even practiced here," said HCA spokesman Jeff Prescott, who added that the Nashville-based company has had no legislative relationship with the majority leader. "We specifically never lobby him."
Until the sale, Frist, his wife and their three sons owned an undisclosed amount of HCA stock in blind trusts. On July 13, HCA warned shareholders that second-quarter earnings would fall short of Wall Street's expectations. The company's shares fell 8.8% that day.
A California-based watchdog group, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights, had complained to the Senate Ethics Committee last year that Frist's holdings posed a conflict because of his support for legislation limiting medical-malpractice lawsuits, which could benefit HCA and its subsidiaries if it passed.
The Ethics Committee dismissed that complaint because the Tennessee Republican never worked for HCA, but his office said he chose to sell the stock anyway.
"There was no compelling reason for him to do it because it's not a conflict," Call said. "He wanted to ensure that in the future there were no appearance issues. He went ahead and just decided that it was the best thing to do."
Frist is considering a run for the GOP's 2008 presidential nomination, and some observers suggested Monday that selling the stock was designed to head off scrutiny of his relationship with HCA during the primary campaign.
"This is preemptive damage control for his presidential campaign," said Phil Singer, a spokesman for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "It should have been done when he first started working on legislation that impacted the company."
If he does run, the sale could help blunt attacks by GOP rivals, said Jack Pitney, a professor of government at Claremont McKenna College and a former Republican operative. "He does remove a potential conflict, as well as a potential political problem. Managed care is not real popular, and he probably doesn't want to remind people of his association with it."
In his last annual personal financial disclosure statement, filed in May, Frist reported a net worth of $15 million-$45 million, mostly in blind trusts created when he entered politics in 1994. Senate ethics rules allowed him to direct the sale, even though he could not know how much HCA stock he still owned. The rules say he cannot be notified of how much money the sale made.
Frist's late father, Thomas Frist, founded the company in 1968.
His brother, Thomas Frist Jr., is still the largest shareholder, owning more than $271 million in stock. Government filings indicate Thomas Frist Jr. last sold HCA stock on March 7.
The company has posed a political problem for Frist for years. In 1999, U.S. Rep. Harold Ford Jr., a Memphis Democrat then considering a challenge to Frist in the 2000 election, asked the Senate ethics panel to rule on the Republican's holdings. It found no conflict. HCA employees and its political-action committee have given Frist $83,450 -- more money in campaign contributions over his career than any other donor, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, a nonpartisan watchdog group. But although Frist's position on medical malpractice changes prompted last year's ethics complaint from the California group, major physician groups such as the American Medical Association also have pressed the majority leader -- a former heart and lung transplant surgeon at Vanderbilt University Medical Center -- to push that legislation. Under Senate rules, lawmakers can support legislation that would benefit themselves or their family, as long as it has a broad impact on the rest of the nation.
Lott is making a bid to regain the Senate Majority position. God help us. He makes McCain look like a conservative by comparison.
Pay backs are hell....I bet Lott is smiling.
They're all big time crooks. Let them burn in hell
He is, after all, a politician....I'm going to go ahead and assume he's guilty. Sound investor my a$$.
Lott-snott- it all rhymes with the political crap we hear everyday. Screw them all and send them to Russia- that's where they're taking us- the Commie SOB's
It isn't the nature of the evidence that matters, it is the seriousness of the charge...
(unless it involves the Clintons. Then neither evidence nor seriousness of the charge matter).
HCA paid $745 million to the Federal government to settle a fraud charge. The CEO was a Frist, brother or father to Bill.
Insider trading has always been difficult to define. Sure, there are technical requirements, but the justice of a particular case is often hard to see.
It's very doubtful that Frist committed a crime, but he gave the media an opening simply by owning stock. Only Democrats are allowed to get away with owning stock. Like Al Gore and all that oil stock you never heard about.
I'd like to see proof of wrongdoing other than demonrat complaints.
Trent Lott, you're no Haley Barbour!
Frist was toast long ago, but he just keeps pounding nail after nail after nail into gis own coffin.
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