Sunday, September 25, 2005

Frist's diagnosis of Schiavo more blind than his trust

In yet another report about Senate Majority Dictator Bill Frist's sudden and complete divestment from his family's owned HCA/Columbia, the AP is reporting that Frist was significantly more aware of the details of his "blind" trust than he was of Terri Schiavo's clinical condition when he proclaimed the diagnosis of PSV was in error. [emphasis mine]
Documents on file with the Senate show the trustees for Frist and his immediate family wrote the senator nearly two dozen times between 2001 and July 2005.

The documents list assets going into the account and assets sold. Some assets have a dollar range of the investment's value and some list the number of shares.

The trust is considered blind because eventually, through the sale of transferred assets and the purchase of new assets, the official will be shielded from knowing the assets he owns. The knowledge Frist learned about his holdings potentially makes it more difficult to avoid a conflict of interest. [Seattle Post-Intelligencer]
Over the years, Frist disregarded complaints from consumer groups who were concerned about the obvious conflict of interest of the senator maintaining his holdings while being involved in policy decisions that could affect his investments. The timing of the sale (just prior to a significant and continuing downward slide) and the rationale that the sudden sale was to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest when Frist doesn't plan to seek another term in the senate is curious to say the least. If Frist's previous assertion that the trust really is blind and he has no knowledge of any of the specific details of what stock he owns were accurate, the lack of conflict of interest he claimed while serving in the senate should be equally applicable during his anticipated bid for the presidency.

Frist's diagnosis of Terri Schiavo was dead wrong because he made it based on limited & biased information. In contrast, his decision for his wife, children and himself to completely divest from HCA when he placed the sell order was nothing short of uncanny for a man who claimed to have no knowledge of his holdings or any information about HCA performance issues not available to the public.

Previous @ DF

UPDATE (12:06 PM EST): and here I thought I was very clever this morning, but I see I was far from original. While I was busy yesterday, making a pre-holiday Rosh Hashana dinner to appease my goyisha friends, egalia had this amazing grace moment.

Tags: ; ; ;

Sphere: Related Content

No comments: