Case Wester Reserve School of Law revealed last week that Bradley Smith was on the short list for consideration as the school’s new dean. The announcement has sparked opposition including the creation of a website called CaseAgainstSmith.com which claims Smith has “long advocated for extremist views”.
As an anti-campaign finance activist and the former head of the FEC, Smith has admitted to waging “long-term ideological warfare” on campaign finance rules and, according to the New York Times, has been successful in his efforts to “roll back Watergate-era campaign finance restrictions through attacks in Congress, in the courts, at the Federal Election Commission and in the court of public opinion.”
He’s been branded an extremist by people in his own party, called a “a bully and a coward” who has “no regard for the Constitution” by Senator John McCain, and his efforts have helped opened the door for huge corporate donations in politics by people like the Koch brothers, “the same individuals bankrolling attacks against working families in Wisconsin, Ohio, and nationwide.”
Do we really want such a polarizing and radical person as the public face of Case Western Reserve University School of Law? As we reach out to many different communities and groups, won’t Bradley Smith turn people off from our school and distract from our strengths?
It certainly seems like a question worth asking.