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An open letter from the Trail to President Bill Clinton:

Dear President Clinton:

The Trail heard from Sen. Hillary Clinton during last night's debate that you would be open to the idea of making public the names of donors to your presidential library in Little Rock.

Sen. Clinton mentioned that she is a co-sponsor of legislation to require that presidential libraries make public the names of their donors. At hearings before Rep. Henry Waxman (D-Calif.) on that legislation earlier this year, a series of experts testified that there was a strong need for disclosure here. They said it is impossible to know whether donors are attempting to gain influence with your wife by donating large sums to your library.

There appeared to be bipartisan support for the bill -- Democrats on the committee expressed their strong desire to see the names of people President George W. Bush will be soliciting for contributions -- while he is still in office -- for his upcoming library project. Republicans, meanwhile, seemed enthusiastic about getting a look at your donor list.

Right now, what little is known about the financing of the $165 million Clinton Library was reported in this New York Sun article. The reporter found the donor names on a touch-screen computer mounted on a wall on the third floor of library, shortly after it opened in 2004. The computer was removed soon after the article appeared.

Sen. Clinton told Tim Russert last night that he and other news outlets would have to ask you directly whether you will publish a full list of your library donors, and the amounts they have contributed. Will you?


Matthew Mosk for The Trail

By Washington Post editors  |  September 27, 2007; 2:00 PM ET
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