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Tennessee: Frist invested campaign funds in risky mutual fund -- and lost

The Atlanta Journal Constitution will report in tomorrow's paper: Election Day 2000 was five months off, but Bill Frist was already in an enviable position. With a fat campaign war chest and only token opposition in what he had decided was his last race for the U.S. Senate, Frist could turn his attention to grander plans.

Frist began focusing on raising record amounts of cash for other Republicans. But while he was picking up political IOUs that could aid him greatly in a run for president in 2008, his own campaign finances took a sharp, and in some ways baffling, turn for the worse.

Hundreds of thousands of dollars Frist's supporters had given him to run for the Senate were dwindling at a rapid rate. Much of that money was lost in a stock market investment that experts say was out of line with the way candidates traditionally invest campaign funds. Frist's campaign also took on more than $1 million in debt so that it could repay Frist for interest-free loans he made to his campaign six years earlier.

And then, in a decision experts say violated federal campaign regulations, Frist filed reports with the Federal Elections Commission that made it difficult for his contributors and political foes to determine just how bad off his campaign finances were. -- Frist's finances questioned | ajc.com