Bush Library Will Be Built in ...

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President George W. Bush is close to deciding where he'll build his presidential library. In Washington this week, four Texas universities will make final pitches to a selection committee led by Don Evans, a longtime Bush friend and former Commerce secretary, and Marvin Bush, the president's brother. Finalists include the University of Dallas, Baylor University, Southern Methodist University and a consortium led by Texas Tech University. Nearly a dozen Texas groups had vied for the library, including owners of the Texas Rangers, the baseball team Bush once co-owned.

After five years of being lobbied intensely, Evans and the library panel narrowed the field last month. SMU, alma mater of First Lady Laura Bush, appears to be the front runner. Yet other finalists have tapped close Bush associates to help boost their bids. Texas Tech's presentation features a video narrated by cowboy poet Red Steagall, a close friend of the Bushes. Baylor's library committee includes Bush fund-raisers Drayton McLane, owner of the Houston Astros, and Bob Perry, the Texas developer who funded the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth. "Having friends in high places is certainly not a negative," says Baylor spokeswoman Tommye Lou Davis. Bush is expected to make a final decision on the estimated $300 million project early next year.

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Stephen Kislock - 11/30/2005

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