For Immdiate Release
June 3, 1999
Ken Weine, 212 998-6736
Brennan Center, Common Cause, & Democracy 21 Urge President Clinton to Reject Bradley Smith as FEC Nominee
The Brennan Center, Common Cause, and Democracy 21 today urged President Clinton not to nominate Bradley A. Smith to serve on the Federal Election Commission (FEC) if his name is submitted as a potential nominee.
According to recent press reports, Smith, associate professor at Capital University Law School in Columbus, Ohio, is a leading Republican favorite to fill the vacancy that will be created when Lee Ann Elliott leaves the FEC later this summer.
The appointment, the three organizations wrote in a letter to the President, “would be totally at odds with any notion of fair and effective enforcement of the federal campaign finance laws. His writings demonstrate his comprehensive hostility to the federal campaign finance laws - laws which he believes are wrong, burdensome, and unconstitutional.”
Smith is on record arguing for the repeal of the entire Federal Election Campaign Act (FECA) and has written that the law - which is administered by the FEC - is “profoundly undemocratic and profoundly at odds with the First Amendment.
“Any individual who believes that an agency’s organic statute is unconstitutional and should be repealed in toto, is not fit to serve as a Commissioner of the agency charged with administering and enforcing the statute,” the organizations wrote.
In a paper accompanying the letter to President Clinton, the Brennan Center detailed Smith’s public writings and statements on key campaign finance issues showing why he should not be appointed to the FEC.