This is a guest post by author Jason Howerton.
Conservative Blogger Brooks Bayne announced last week that his group – The Trenches – is offering a $10,000 reward to anyone who provides a legitimate copy of President Barack Obama's transcripts from his time at Occidental College, Harvard University or Columbia University.
While the offer still stands, Bayne told The Blaze on Wednesday that the reward could soon be increased significantly thanks to generous donations.
"I'd like to raise the reward to at least $25,000," he said. "But I don't want to count my chickens before they hatch."
There are several individuals, Bayne explained, who want to donate "large chunks of money" to increase the bounty. If the donors follow through, he said the reward will be upped. Bayne refused to identify the potential donors.
There have also been others who want to pitch in with individual checks and cash contributions to put towards the bounty and future initiatives taken on by The Trenches organization, according to Bayne. There is now a donate button of their website.
Bayne said there are already people trying to claim the money by submitting what they say are Obama's transcripts. But so far the only "transcripts" brought forth have been obvious forgeries, most likely created in Photoshop.
In an attempt to apply additional pressure to the Obama campaign, The Trenches will encourage Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney to also release his college transcripts as a gesture of transparency, which has been absent within the Obama administration and his campaign, Bayne told The Blaze.*
"Mitt Romney doesn't strike me as the kind of guy who likes to hide things," he said. "I think if he would publish his transcripts he can use that as leverage to put pressure on Barack to release his. And if Obama still doesn't, that is a big red flag."
Bayne criticizes the media for showing an apparent lack of interest in Obama's college years while the transcripts of former President George W. Bush and Texas Gov. Rick Perry were apparently unearthed with ease. He said he hopes Obama's college records will shed some light on the president's coursework, which could reveal some of his "radical leftist" ideologies.
In his biography, "Dreams From My Father," Obama admits seeking out "marxist professors," "structural feminists" and other groups during his college years.
Romney has yet to comment on the issue of Obama's cloudy educational history. Messages left with the Mitt Romney campaign were not immediately returned. It is uncertain whether Romney will play along and release his college transcripts or if he will respond to The Trenches' challenge at all.
Bayne said he doesn't care how or why Obama's transcripts get released, he just cares that it happens.
"The American people deserve to know," he told The Blaze. "Lay your cards on the table, Mr. President."
Bayne previously told The Daily Caller that he and a group of eight people – some of whom he called "recognizable" figures – are working together to publish Obama's college records. However, he still refuses to make public any of the names of his partners, citing a "timing issue."
"You've failed, media," the original post says.
"You've had over three years to vet President Barack Obama. Yet in three years in office and over a year of campaigning beforehand, you have either been oddly uninterested or purposefully ingrate of Barack Obama's educational history."
Whether the prize remains at $10,000 or is increased to $25,000, it's still a nice chunk of money for a copy of one person's college transcript.
Bayne's group has since issued its challenge to Romney.