Just a reminder that you have until COB tomorrow (Wednesday, April 24) to add your organization to the below letter in support of Presidential Library transparency. Current signatories are below. Please use this form to add your org: https://docs.google.com/a/sunlightfoundation.com/forms/d/1YVb-ShA1piOYZXgtke73k3cGsCw-PZSmNiuzNXVIS3o/viewform
Speaker Boehner and Majority Leader Pelosi,
We the undersigned are writing to express our support for the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act, introduced in the 113th Congress as H.R. 1133. The legislation is the latest of a series of bipartisan efforts to bring a welcome measure of transparency to fundraising around presidential libraries.
For far too long, a cloud has hung over library fundraising efforts. Oftentimes, it appeared that donors supported presidential libraries because of the connection it built with a president whose imminent departure put him in a position to dole out favors, an inference only strengthened by the lack of disclosure around contributions. Improved transparency would help reduce the appearance of impropriety by bringing these transactions into the daylight and deterring inappropriate behavior.
The legislation requires fundraising organizations to submit quarterly reports on entities that have contributed over a certain threshold towards a presidential library. The reports shall be made available online by the National Archives as soon as they are received in a searchable, sortable, downloadable database.
While greater transparency on donations to presidential libraries does not resolve all outstanding campaign finance disclosure issues, it is a measured response to a discrete problem and is worthy of support.
The Presidential Library Donation Reform Act was recently reportedly favorably by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. We hope that Congress speedily considers and enacts this legislation.
American Booksellers Foundation for Free Expression
American Library Association
Center for Media and Democracy
Center for Responsive Politics
Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington
Northern California Association of Law Libraries
Progressive Librarians Guild
Project On Government Oversight (POGO)
Society of American Archivists
Tully Center for Free Speech
Washington Coalition for Open Government