Presidential library fundraising draws ethics concerns

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When Franklin Roosevelt opened the first presidential library in 1940, the price for the modest fieldstone structure on his Hyde Park estate came to $376,000 — the equivalent of about $5.5 million in current dollars.

Today, as George W. Bush forges ahead with ambitious plans for a library, museum and policy institute to be built in Dallas at his wife's alma mater, Southern Methodist University, the cost to build homage to his presidency has risen nearly fiftyfold to $250 million.

As the costs for these complexes have escalated, so have the fundraising pressures. With few rules laid down by Congress and no requirements to disclose the identity of donors, there are increasing opportunities for abuse by those soliciting funds and by those who might want favors in exchange for their multimillion-dollar gifts.

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James W Loewen - 7/23/2008

"When Franklin Roosevelt opened the first presidential library in 1940...." Well, the Rutherford B. Hayes Library opened in 1916. Where is fact checking??