Sunday, December 18, 2005


And The Hits Just Keep On Comin'

There's so much going on sometimes that it's tough to know where to start. For instance, here's an incomplete list of known Republican corruption scandals currently bubbling that have resulted in actual legal action: -- TreasonGate (aka PlameGate, aka Fitzmas) -- Conrad Black's scandal (aka Canadian/UK Fitzmas) -- The WMD and other lies in the run-up to invading Iraq -- The New Hampshire phone-jamming scandal -- The war profiteering going on in Iraq and Afghanistan -- The Texas redistricting scandal -- The DeLay/Abramoff scandal (make that the DeLay/Abramoff/Ney scandal) -- The Frist not-quite-so-blind-trust scandal And now, we can add a second Frist scandal: The Frist use-a-charity-as-a-way-to-give-money-to-one's-cronies scandal. Check it out:

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. Frist's lawyer, Alex Vogel, said Friday that he would not give their names because tax law does not require their public disclosure. Frist's office provided a list of 96 donors who were supportive of the charity, but did not say how much each contributed. The donors included several corporations with frequent business before Congress, such as insurer Blue Cross/Blue Shield, manufacturer 3M, drug maker Eli Lilly and the Goldman Sachs investment firm. World of Hope gave $3 million it raised to charitable AIDS causes, such as Africare and evangelical Christian groups with ties to Republicans — Franklin Graham's Samaritan Purse and the Rev. Luis Cortes' Esperanza USA, for example. The rest of the money went to overhead. That included $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. The charity also hired the law firm of Vogel's wife, Jill Holtzman Vogel, and Frist's Tennessee accountant, Deborah Kolarich. Kolarich's name recently surfaced in an e-mail involving Frist's controversial sale of stock in his family founded health care company. That transaction is now under federal investigation.
Go read the whole thing. It's amazing.

Hadn't you heard?

Newt Gingrich legalized this kind of thing.

It's a miracle they can still arrest people for burglary.
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