And now a public controversy has erupted over one of its dean search finalists: Bradley A. Smith, Josiah H. Blackmore II/Shirley M. Nault Designated Professor of Law at Capital, a well known conservative campaign finance scholar and former chair of the Federal Election Commission under President George W. Bush. When Professor Smith visited Case on March 24 for his day of interviews and meetings, opponents of his appointment launched CaseAgainstSmith.comThe anti-Smith website focuses repeatedly on the fact that Smith was associated, at various points in his career, with institutions which received funding from the Koch Foundation.
Much like the Koch Derangement Syndrome which was prevalent in Madison, WI, during the takeover of the Capitol, so too the supposed "students, alumni, and concerned members of the Case Western community" (see bottom of website) who are running the campaign against Smith use the Koch connection to denigrate Smith's qualifications. From the website (emphasis mine):
Radical groups funded by the Koch brothers have recently begun unprecedented assaults against working families across the country. Bradley Smith’s associated activities are tied to the Koch Brothers.
Bradley Smith is a Senior Fellow at the Goldwater Institute. (Goldwater Institute; Center for Competitive Politics)
■The Koch Brothers Fund The Goldwater Institute. The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation contributed at least $75,000 to the organization. (Media Matters, March, 2011)That's right folks, this group simply is toeing the Media Matters anti-Koch line. The group does not identify who is behind it or who its members are.
Bradley Smith is on the Board of Scholars at The Mackinac Institute. (Mackinac Institute)
■The Koch Brothers Fund The Mackinac Center For Public Policy. The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and the Koch controlled Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation contributed at least $65,000 to the organization. (Media Matters, March, 2011)
Bradley Smith is on The Board Of Trustees of The Buckeye Institute. (Center for Competitive Politics)
■The Koch Brothers Fund The Buckeye Institute. The Charles G. Koch Charitable Foundation and Koch controlled Claude R. Lambe Charitable Foundation contributed at least $55,946 to the organization. (Media Matters, March, 2011)
Now you see the pernicious nature of what Media Matters and Think Progress are doing. They are establishing associational purity tests which effectively exclude a wide range of conservative scholars. There is no such associational test, by contrast, excluding all those who ever were associated with an entity to which George Soros donated money.
The actions by the group at Case Western demonstrate the dangers to conservatives from Koch Derangement Syndrome. The target is not the Koch brothers, it is the entire conservative movement.
Update: The group goes to great lengths to conceal who is behind it, including registering the domain via a proxy service:
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