Earlier this month, Stephen Payne, one President Bush’s Homeland Security aides, was caught offering high-level access to Bush administration officials for donations to the Bush presidential library which is set to be housed at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. This morning, the Dallas Morning News, citing Payne’s story, called on Bush to reveal the names of those who donate to his library:
Even so, [Payne's] willingness to peddle influence is another example of why transparency needs to be an integral ingredient of the library, particularly in regard to who supports it so questions of quid pro quo don’t surround the work.
For reasons we still don’t understand, the president hasn’t taken this approach and remains opposed to legislation that would require presidential libraries to reveal their donors.
In February, Bush said of his donors, “There’s some people who like to give and don’t particularly want their names disclosed.”