Monday, October 3, 2005

Bill Frist's not-so-blind trust: you heard it here first

Posted By on Mon, Oct 3, 2005 at 2:16 PM

Occasionally we in the alt-weekly world have to toot our own horns a bit—sort of like the way Tennessean editor E.J. Mitchell is quoted in every third story in his paper, but less egotistically and with good reason. So this week, it seems appropriate to remind the world that the Nashville Scene first reported back in June 2003 that Bill Frist pretty much knew what was in his blind trust. Here's what Willy Stern had to say:

Perhaps just as interesting as what the Senate's highest elected official is worth is just how that wealth is managed. The Nashville Scene recently examined Frist's blind trust, which the senator's Washington, D.C., press office provided to this newspaper. It's the first time any news organization has taken an exhaustive look at the document. This newspaper recruited an eight-member, bipartisan, unpaid panel of experts in trusts from around the country to analyze it.

Frist himself declined to comment on the panel's findings or to discuss the trust at all. What we discovered is that Frist's "blind" trust isn't really blind at all, though he hasn't broken any rules. Moreover, Frist's ownership of HCA stock isn't considered a conflict of interest according to Senate rules. But then, according to those rules, almost nothing qualifies as a conflict of interest.

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