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December 19, 2005

FRIST CHARITY

World of Hope, an AIDS charity run by Senate Republican Leader Bill Frist, directed nearly $500,000 to friends of the senator who were hired as consultants, the Associated Press reports. Accounting records show that the high fees were paid to companies that hired Mr. Frist’s fund-raising director, accountant, and the wives of his lawyer and a Senate colleague. Some political observers and tax experts questioned the appropriateness of the consulting fees, saying they raised questions about a possible connection between the charity and the senator’s presidential ambitions for 2008. Mr. Frist’s lawyer said World of Hope’s overhead was “leaner than the average charity,” and that the senator consulted with people he trusted for its operation.