“Umpires have the toughest jobs in baseball. Ever since the birth of boos, they have suffered more abuse than bathroom walls.”
— Ernie Harwell, Hall of Fame announcer
The same is true in politics, especially with a big election looming. Witness all the griping lately over the state Government Accountability Board, which is responsible for overseeing campaigns and voting. We’re in about the sixth or seventh inning of the race for Wisconsin governor, and control of the Legislature is on the line. Unlike baseball umpires, however, the public servants at the GAB have to deal with lawsuits and changing rules while the game is still being played.
Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen just informed the GAB he won’t defend the agency against a legal challenge. A conservative group sued the GAB to block enforcement of any laws preventing it from coordinating with candidates and campaigns on so-called “issue ads,” which are clearly intended to influence voters before an election. It’s like players or fans suing the umpire during the middle of a game, demanding changes to the strike zone.
Van Hollen, in part, cited a conflict of interest. So he can’t be faulted too much. Yet the GAB still needs Gov. Scott Walker to hire special counsel to pinch hit for Van Hollen.
At the same time, the GAB is scrambling to prepare voters and poll workers for a voter identification law that had been blocked in court. Then an appeals court rushed the law back into place — just weeks before a major election. It’s like changing the validity of tickets just before fans arrive at the stadium for a big game.
Full Article: GAB calm in middle of political storm : Wsj.