Video: Bush aide caught offering access for donations
Donate $250,000 to the Bush presidential library and meet the man himself.
This is the message of lobbyist Stephan Payne, who offers access to Dick Cheney, Condoleeza Rice and other top officials for six-figure donations towards a Texas library to commemorate Bush's presidency, The Sunday Times reported Saturday.
Payne has close ties to the Bush administration and has accompanied Bush and Cheney on several foreign trips, according to the article, which confirms suspicions that the White House offers political favors in return for large donations.
There are no caps on the amount of money that can be donated to libraries and no requirement that the donors be identified by name, The Times reported.
In the video, an undercover reporter for The Times poses as a politician attempting to donate money for the favor of meeting top cabinet officials.
All it will take to meet the politicians is "a couple hundred thousand dollars, or something like that," Payne said in the video.
"That’s gonna be a show of 'we’re interested, we’re your friends, we’re still friends.'"
Payne was appointed to the Homeland Security Advisory Council in August 2007 and earlier this year threw his support behind John McCain.
The Times of London reports:
This video is from TimesOnline.co.uk, broadcast July 13, 2008.