School for Scoundrels

Yesterday, the New York Daily News reported that George Dubya was rounding up "mega-donors"--"wealthy heiresses, Arab nations and captains of industry"--to pay for $250 million of the $500 million library and think tank the paper claims Bush wants at SMU. Well, this morning the Waco Tribune-Herald, which has a slightly smaller circulation, says that ain't necessarily so.

Baylor officials claim the New York paper, which said the Bush library would land at SMU more than a year ago, is just spreadin' more gossip: "It's the same rumor mill they used before," says Tommye Lou Davis, who heads Baylor's library bid team. Even Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for external affairs, says, far as he's concerned, it's still a three-school race between Baylor, SMU and the University of Dallas (yeah, OK).

"We have had no communication, official or unofficial, that has changed the dynamics of the search process," Cheves tells the Waco paper. The Daily News, incidentally, reported in March 2005 that the library would end up at SMU using an unnamed source--but figured it made sense, since "First Lady Laura Bush is an alumna and sits on the board of trustees" at the Hilltop.

Still, it does make sense that a school and a site has already been chosen: Laura Bush told The Dallas Morning News in August that a spot would be chosen by year's end, and last I looked, year's end is almost here. And only yesterday, U.S. District Judge Jerry Buchmeyer began considering Gary Vodicka's motion for summary judgment in his suit against SMU and everyone else involved in the buying up of the University Gardens condos near the school. Developing...or not. Get it? --Robert Wilonsky

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