Saturday, March 1, 2008

Donors, Disclosure, and Politics - Part I

The Dallas morning news reports that President Bush stated during his press conference on Thursday that his presidential library foundation has not yet decided whether it will disclosure the identiy of its donors.  He did state that the foundation would probably accept donations from foreign sources.  The library will be hosted by Southern Methodist University, along with a museum and public policy institute that together will form the George W. Bush Presidential Center and, according to an SMU press release, will be supported by the George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation.  The National Archives and Records Administration will run the library and museum, while the public policy institute will be an independent institution.  The article reports that presidential libraries have usually identified most but not all of their donors, and have sometimes not provided the exact amounts and dates of gifts.  There is currently no law requiring the public disclosure of donors to presidential libraries, although recently amended section 5 of the federal Lobbying Disclosure Act requires registered lobbyists to publicly disclose contributions of more than $200 to presidential libraries.


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