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Undercover Tape Shows Meetings With Cheney, Bush For Sale

What's an ex-president without a fancy presidential library? And the good ones don't come cheap — the Clinton Library cost $165 million. So it stands to reason, George W. Bush might be looking to fundraise for his — by selling time with senior officials of the Bush Administration — and maybe an endorsement from Bush himself.

According to an undercover tape of Stephen Payne, a top fundraiser and member of the homeland security advisory council, all you need is $750,000 and you’ve got a meeting with Dick Cheney. But that’s not all. If you really ante up, you can meet with George W. Bush himself and walk away with an endorsement in your pocket where your money used to be.

This pay-to-play plot was revealed in an undercover investigation by the London Sunday Times. To see how the Bush endorsement is for sale,


Payne was caught on tape discussing the details to get an exiled Central Asian leader, face time with President Bush and as an added bonus, an endorsement from Bush to help with his election. In the video, you can see Payne working out the meet-up strategy as to how they can explain away the leader's human rights abuses with the excuse of, “Well, at least he’s not so and so.”

The price tag is fairly straightforward. For between $600,000 and $750,000 you can definitely meet National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, either Condoleezza Rice or Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte and possibly Cheney. Of this, a third will go to the construction of the Bush Library to commemorate his legacy in office. Unlike campaign donations, library gifts don't have to be disclosed — and there are no restrictions on funds from foreigners. And the other two-thirds? It's presumed that a chunk would go to Payne’s lobbying company, Worldwide Strategic Partners — but who else?

Is this merely a case of political tit-for-tat, or startling proof that the leader of the free world is for sale?


Join The Conversation
Nyrina-Windu Nyrina-Windu 8 years
None of this suprises me.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
I am the Groovemeister and I was blessed with so much thick grooviness that I needed two men of such grooviocity to contain all the funkification overflow.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
You're right! She shouldn't have to pay for all my animosity. Why are you one of those Napoleon Dynamite guys?
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
Wasn't she in Troy? There wasn't kicking in that, but I still enjoyed it. Why her? Why do you have a picture of her? Are you Emmy Rossum? I didn't see Phantom because I am not that secure in my masculinity.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Emmy Rossum. Did you see Phantom of the Opera? Maybe I should change my avatar to the Phantom.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Maybe I should try to join the Dixie Chicks.:sing:
raciccarone raciccarone 8 years
Not to change the subject because I agree with you 100% on your points, who is that on your icon?
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
Usually, I just get the cold shoulder. I guess some don't realize the satisfaction one gets from having the last word. Well perhaps I shouldn't comment about Bush anymore during periods when the stock market continues to tank. I guess that would be almost everyday.
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Great-Sommelier Great-Sommelier 8 years
Good Lord Jazz. Sheesh.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
I wonder if it would ever occur to them that Americans may not want any reminders of President George Bush. Perhaps instead of calling it the George W. Bush Library they could call it the Soldiers Irony Library in honor of all those soldiers needlessly killed because the United States didn't want to spend the money on proper safety gear and helmets. At least Cher was there to help. or maybe they could call it the Bono Library for all he has done to help disabled veterans, AIDS, poverty and other humanitarian efforts.
True-Song True-Song 8 years
"None of it surprises me in the least" Seriously. That's the problem with the Bush administration. We just expect shadiness now. (Like, why was Cheney's doctoring EPA reports not huge, scandalous news? Because we already knew Dick Cheney was a super-villian. No news there.)
LadyAngel89 LadyAngel89 8 years
None of it surprises me in the least. If only in a perfect world... *sigh*
hypnoticmix hypnoticmix 8 years
Back room deals unfortunately have always been an element of government whether the administration was Republican or not and at many different levels. However, for the President him self to be involved as an active participant just goes to show with respect to President Bush his dangerous perception of what his powers afford him.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
At least as far as selling your reputation for money. I would like to think they take into consideration that President Bush represents the United States, so I would hope they use some guidelines.
Jazz-Z Jazz-Z 8 years
I guess our President has lowered himself to prostitution; although, I would imagine he would have to be careful exactly what he is endorsing or he might loose the 10 percent of the population backing him.
Jillness Jillness 8 years
"I think it's news because someone is paying the president to endorse a foreign politician for money." exiled foreign politician. And this is clear evidence of meeting/endorsements BASED on money. In other situations, there has always been the excuse that they donated money, but political favors were based on merit...they just happened to occur around the same time. It is pretty sad how numb we are to this kind of corruption. It is the definition of corruption.
Jude-C Jude-C 8 years
Almost as disturbing as the "pay for an endorsement" aspect of it is that "library gifts don't have to be disclosed — and there are no restrictions on funds from foreigners."
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
It doesn't make it any better. I don't like the idea of "If you pay enough, you can meet so-and-so." But then again, I'm not famous enough to have people pay to see me, so...
nicachica nicachica 8 years
Ugh...Clinton, Bush, Cheney...that's disgusting that they're all participating in this. It was disgraceful and wrong when Clinton did it and the same goes for Bush and Cheney. They can raise money other ways, but this is just disgusting and an abuse of power. It really cheapens the office of the President.
stephley stephley 8 years
There was plenty of hoopla about the Clinton's offering out the Lincoln bedroom: "During the 2000 presidential campaign, George W. Bush sanctimoniously accused Clinton of "virtually renting out the Lincoln bedroom to big campaign donors." He condemned the use of the "hallowed" chamber for political payoffs." 9/20/02 Does knowing Bush condemned it when Clinton did it make the idea seem better or worse?
UnDave35 UnDave35 8 years
I'm not saying it's right, but where was the hooplah when Clinton was offering the Lincoln bedroom to whomever could pay the $200,000?
em1282 em1282 8 years
Like rac said, I think it's news because it's for an endorsement of a foreign politician for money...and is there any evidence/proof of other presidents/VPs/etc having these sorts of meetings with foreign politicians who have records of human rights violations? Just wondering. I don't know much about this topic at all.
stephley stephley 8 years
Just because everyone does it, or seems to do it, doesn't make it right. Never has, never will.
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