From senator to movie producer?

WASHINGTON The Massachusetts Democrat has asked the Senate ethics panel if he can use $300,000 from his campaign funds to invest in a documentary about injured Iraq war veterans. Kerry has also sought approval from the Federal Election Commission.

The former Democratic presidential nominee hopes to be an executive producer for a movie tentatively entitled "Keeping Faith" by White Mountain films. The senator, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would help line up investors and obtain interview subjects for the film.

Kerry would not be paid, but he could get up to a 120 percent return on his $300,000 investment, according to a March 16 letter he sent to the FEC. The movie is expected to cost between $3 million and $5 million to make.

"After he gets a decision from Senate ethics and the FEC, he will make his own decision on what to do," said Kerry spokeswoman Jodi Seth on Monday.

Kerry has $3.5 million in his campaign account and does not face re-election until 2014.

A decorated Vietnam War veteran who served as a Navy swift boat commander, Kerry has long been active in veterans causes.

Kerry was asked by friends who are involved in veterans issues to become an executive producer of the movie, Seth said.

The film's director and producer is George Butler, a longtime Kerry friend. Butler had success with his 1977 documentary "Pumping Iron" about a then-unknown bodybuilder named Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Butler also made "Going Upriver: The Long War of John Kerry" that came out during Kerry's 2004 White House run against former President George Bush. The movie showed Kerry's military exploits as well as his efforts leading veterans protesting the war after coming home.

Kerry's presidential ambitions were thwarted by attacks on his military service and consistency.

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