Theodore Roosevelt Library backers look to Walmart heir, big oil

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FILE – In this June 11, 2014 file photo, James Lyons and Florence Reaves, from Kirkwood, Mo., hike to a stone lookout over the Little Missouri River inside the Theodore Roosevelt National Park, located in the Badlands of North Dakota. An heir to the Wal-Mart fortune, a wealthy governor and energy companies operating in the […]

BISMARCK, ND (Associated Press) — An heir to the Walmart fortune, a wealthy governor and oil companies could fund a big chunk of the private money needed for a Theodore Roosevelt Presidential Library in North Dakota’s western Badlands.

It’s unclear how much might come from the Roosevelt family.
    
North Dakota lawmakers recently approved $50 million in public money for the project, but it must be matched by $100 million in private money.
    
The library foundation says it has $52 million in pledges. It’s widely believed most of that is from former Walmart Chairman Rob Walton and his wife, Melani. She declined comment.
    
North Dakota Petroleum Council President Ron Ness expects “substantial” money from the energy industry.
    
A spokesman says Gov. Doug Burgum also will contribute. Burgum sold a company to Microsoft in 2001 for $1.1 billion.
 

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