FEC Chief Assailed Over Swift Boats


Three campaign-finance-advocacy groups are calling on the Federal Election Commission to disqualify agency chairman Bradley Smith from participating in the commission’s review of complaints about Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the organization that funded ads attacking John Kerry’s Vietnam service.

Smith has prejudged his decision, complained the Campaign Legal Center, the Center for Responsive Politics, and Democracy 21. Smith “has long demonstrated his hostility to the campaign-finance laws he is charged with enforcing,” says Larry Noble, executive director of the Center for Responsive Politics.

“Now he has gone even further and publicly embraced the activities of the Swift Boat Veterans for Truth.” Among the comments angering the campaign finance advocates was an August Bloomberg News interview in which Smith said, “I think it's great [that] 260 average guys can go out and put their point of view out there before the public and influence a major president.