A new bill requiring the mandatory disclosure of donations to presidential libraries has made its way out of committee and is headed for the House floor. The bipartisan measure, co-authored by Democrats Henry Waxman, Rahm Emanuel, and William Clay and Republicans John Duncan and Todd Platts, is good news for fans of political transparency -- and a downer for those spearheading the drive to hit up megadonors for half-a-billion dollars to build 43 a legacy-burnishing library (read my original reaction to this effort here).
As it currently stands, there is no limit on the amount library donors -- including corporations and foreign nations looking to curry favor, and folks in need of a presidential pardon -- can pony up. And no requirement that their generous gifts be made public. It's a recipe for corruption and abuse.
Similar legislation has been offered in the past, only to die of Congressional neglect. With Bush gearing up for what promises to be an all-out attempt to whitewash the sordid history of his administration, it's imperative that this current bill becomes law. It's time to take the For Sale sign off the Oval Office.
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