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GOP accuses Frost of using corporate money for legislative races

Travis County prosecutors said Wednesday they are investigating an allegation that U.S. Rep. Martin Frost illegally funneled more than $100,000 in corporate donations to Texas legislative candidates in the 2000 election.

Frost, D-Dallas, denied the accusation, saying the criminal complaint against him is a Republican attempt to deflect attention from an ethics investigation of U.S. House Majority Leader Tom DeLay. ...

In his letter, Deuell said Internal Revenue Service filings for Frost's Lone Star Fund showed that between July 1 and Sept. 30, 2000, Frost had raised $256,800, mostly from corporations and labor unions. Only $60,000 was raised from individuals who could legally donate to state legislative candidates.

The filing showed $111,500 had been donated directly to committees associated with state legislative candidates.

A fact sheet released by Frost's office said the report referred to in Deuell's complaint only looks at one reporting period. It said the Lone Star Fund maintained two bank accounts. One was located in Texas and raised only candidate-eligible money, no corporate money.

A separate "soft money" bank account was maintained in Washington to accept corporate money for activities legal under federal law, the fact sheet stated. -- Campaign fund probe expands to Democrat (HoustonChronicle.com)