GW Bush Presidential Library Fund Gains from Donations in Exchange for Access
A lobbyist with close ties to the White House is offering access to key figures in George W Bush's administration in return for six-figure donations to the private library being set up to commemorate Bush's presidency reorted the Times Online on 7/13/2008.
Stephen Payne, who claims to have raised more than $1m for the president's Republican party in recent years, said he would arrange meetings with Dick Cheney, the vice-president, Condoleezza Rice, the secretary of state, and other senior officials in return for a payment of $250,000 (£126,000) towards the library in Texas.
As glasses clink watch the undercover investigation by The Sunday Times. Payne was asked to arrange meetings in Washington for an exiled former central Asian president. He outlined the cost of facilitating such access. In spite of faculty and alumni protests George W. Bush's boosters sealed the deal on 2/22/2008 with Southern Methodist University to host the Bush library.
Other Bush family dealing with libraries and writers:
- Little brother, Jeb Bush, famously tried to close the Florida State Library when he was governor. The people and the legislature voted this down.
- Mrs. Bush ignored intellectual freedom shut poets out of the White House.
- George Bush earmarked IMLS funds in honor of Mrs.Bush.
- The National Book Festival initated by Mrs. Bush stands in contrast to the activities surrounding the creatin of the GW Bush library. There has been little documented protest. One exception is the poet, Sharon Olds, who declined an invitation to read in the 2005 festival noting:
I could not face the idea of breaking bread with you. I knew that if I sat down to eat with you, it would feel to me as if I were condoning what I see to be the wild, highhanded actions of the Bush Administration.
What kept coming to the fore of my mind was that I would be taking food from the hand of the First Lady who represents the Administration that unleashed this war and that wills its continuation, even to the extent of permitting "extraordinary rendition": flying people to other countries where they will be tortured for us.