- The Washington Times - Monday, March 12, 2001

Bill and Hillary Clinton have two houses one in Chappaqua, N.Y., and the other on Whitehaven Street NW in Washington, but some of their friends in Arkansas think they need another one in Little Rock.
The apartment would be built into the $125 million Clinton Presidential Library, which the former president wants to build in a rundown warehouse district called Murky Bottoms, along the Arkansas River.
"I think it would be very appropriate to have living accommodations in the library," former Sen. David Pryor, a director of the foundation raising money to build the library, said in a telephone interview.
But not everyone in Little Rock agrees, and particularly not Eugene Pfeifer III, a Little Rock landowner and real estate developer who owns some of the property the library wants. He has sued to stop the city from condemning it, challenging the legality of the apartment plans.
"I'm resisting condemnation, and one of the issues is that the city can't condemn my land to provide a residence for someone," Mr. Pfeifer said in a telephone interview. The city government, which agreed to buy the land, proposed a bond issue to improve the city parks and only after the bonds were approved in a referendum said the library qualifies as a "park" and thus parks money could pay for the land."
American Spectator magazine last week reported on its Internet site that some board members of the Clinton library foundation think the apartment should be removed from the library's design.
The report, attributed to "an associate of library foundation director Skip Rutherford," said the board members "are so upset about the ongoing pardon scandal which has drawn attention to their activities that they are looking for ways to give Bill Clinton a little payback. They just think it's over the top, and that it would become the permanent symbol of the Clintons' more craven instincts."
Asked about the report, Mr. Rutherford said, "I haven't heard anything about it." He said he had not heard complaints about the apartment from any library foundation board members.
The directors of the foundation are close friends of the Clintons, including Terry McAuliffe, chairman of the Democratic National Committee; Ann Jordan, wife of Vernon Jordan, the Washington lawyer who represented Monica Lewinsky; and Cheryl Mills, a lawyer who represented Mr. Clinton during the impeachment proceedings.
American Spectator quoted its source as saying that fund raising for the Clinton library has "dwindled to almost nothing" because of investigations underway into the Clinton pardons.
"It's really too early to tell," Mr. Rutherford said, and declined, as he has in the past, to disclose how much has been raised for the riverfront library.
Mr. Pryor, a Democrat who is the director of the Institute of Politics at the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, says he thinks fund raising has not been hurt by the pardon scandals. "But I really can't speak to that with any authority."
Tom Carpenter, Little Rock city attorney, said "some eyebrows were raised" by a story in the daily Arkansas Democrat-Gazette that the library would include a "5,000-square-foot penthouse for the Clinton family." He said not all of that would be living space. Mr. Rutherford said the living space would cover "2,000 square feet, which really isn't that big. The other 3,000 square feet of the [penthouse] executive suite will be for office space, a conference room and security."
An assistant to Mr. Rutherford cited precedent for providing living space in presidential libraries. He said both the George Bush library on the campus of Texas A&M; University in College Station, Texas, and the Jimmy Carter library in Atlanta have such apartments.
Officials at the Bush library were unable to describe the size of the Bush apartment, and officials at the Carter library said they would not divulge the information. Both libraries are maintained at public expense.
Advocates of an apartment for the Clintons also cite the Lyndon Baines Johnson library in Austin as one with living quarters for members of the Johnson family. Sandy Cohen, a spokesman for that library, disputes that. There are dining and reception areas in the 1,700-square foot suite, he says, but no beds.
Gene Pfeifer says there are "two distinct camps" in Little Rock on whether there should even be a Clinton library there. "One side says this will mean spending $200 million in our community, which obviously will have a wonderful impact on the economy. They point out that Bill Clinton will be holding seminars at the library, where he will be hosting other world leaders. But there also are a lot of people in Little Rock who are sick of Clinton and don't want any reminder of his presidency. Those people are willing to forgo all the positives."
Mr. Clinton rarely visited Arkansas during his eight years as president, returning mostly for funerals and fund-raisers, and has not been back since he left office. He, like Mrs. Clinton, changed his legal residency and voting eligibility to New York.


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