Sen. Bill Frist, who has come under close scrutiny for the timing of his sale of HCA stock shortly before the stock’s value took a tumble, now faces new questions about the way his blind trust unloaded shares in Nashville’s Jim Reeves Museum the week before its building was razed.
The historic house containing the museum had faced Gallatin Pike for more than two centuries. It was torn down less than a week after Frist ordered his blind trust to sell shares in Gentleman Jim Co., the company that owned and operated it. Home Depot purchased the property where the house stood.
“Frist’s blind trust seems to have 20-20 vision,” says an investigator with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which was already looking into the curiously fortunate timing of Frist’s HCA stock sale. The senator, now nearing the end of his second term, has said he sold the stock to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest.
“When it comes to a politician, you take your ethics where you can get them, I guess, but it’s amazing how he got so ethically sensitive to this just as the stock price was peaking,” says one political observer.
Through a spokesman, Frist says that he bought the stock in the Reeves Museum years ago after becoming a fan of the entertainer, who had a string of hits in the 1950s and 1960s. Reeves died in a plane crash in 1964.
“Dr. Frist became a fan of Reeves’ in college when some friends started calling him ‘sweet lips’ after the line in the hit song ‘He’ll Have to Go,’ “ the spokesman adds. “He bought the stock in the early 1980s and just decided last week to sell it. He had no idea the museum was about to be demolished.”
Frist has told friends in the past couple of weeks that he is considering instructing his blind trust to invest in the Travis Tritt museum in Lithonia, Ga.
(The Fabricator is satire. Don’t believe everything you read.)