Urging Congress to Make Presidential Library Fundraising More Transparent

Raising money for presidential libraries is frequently the source of controvery for outgoing administrations, as such fundraising is largely free of the restrictions imposed on other types of political donations. As President Obama begins securing donations for his own library, OpenTheGovernment.org joins Demand Progress and more than a dozen other organizations in calling for greater transparency in the fundraising process.

The coalition sent letters to both the House and Senate, urging members to support the Presidential Library Donation Reform Act, which has the following provisions: 

  • Requires that fundraising organizations report donations above $200
  • Requires that the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) make these reports public and searchable
  • Criminalizes intentionally submitting false information 

As Demand Progress’ Daniel Schuman points out, the legislation has been continually introduced in Congress since 2001, and would mean a significant step toward transparency in political donations.