Monday, July 21, 2008

Secrets of Lieburying

While wording its criticism gently, the Dallas Morning News repeats a call for an end to keeping public records from the public.

In this instance, the basis of its request is that disreputable use has been put to library funding in the Stephen Payne affair. In that bit of sleaze, a high official of the party of the war criminals solicited a bribe in the form of a donation to the liebury in return for access to the occupied White House.

Stephen Payne was operating as a free agent. Let's be clear about that. But the Houston lobbyist's actions should get President Bush's attention. Mr. Bush needs to be sure no one will undercut his presidential library, which will open at Southern Methodist University after he leaves office.

What we're talking about is last week's story from The Sunday Times of London. According to the newspaper, Mr. Payne met with a man in London who claimed his Central Asian nation's exiled former leader wanted to meet with top U.S. officials and rehabilitate his image.

Mr. Payne, who raised more than $100,000 for Mr. Bush's two presidential bids, had some ideas. He suggested "the family, the children, whatever, should probably look at making a contribution to the Bush library."
Mr. Bush was ahead of the game back in 2000, when he voluntarily disclosed his campaign fundraisers. We see no reason he can't take the same approach now, leading the way for all presidential libraries to disclose their contributors.

A library/research institute can be a valuable and extremely advantageous institution. The way the cretin in chief is handling his similar institution belies any actual advantage it can be to the public, and in particular to SMU and the community.

Leaders of the Dallas community need to be sure that the city is not thoroughly dragged in the mud by the operations of a secretive and disreputable cabal of former members of this, the worst administration ever.

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