Baker and elections board clash over the meaning of frivolity'

// Published June 17, 2008 in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Attorney General Thurbert Baker, one of the highest-ranking Democrats left in state government, clashed today with the Republican-dominated State Elections Board.

You’ll remember that last month, the Georgia Democratic Party filed another lawsuit challenging the state’s voter ID law — even though the U.S. Supreme Court had recently upheld a similar law in Indiana.

The elections board — Secretary of State Karen Handel included — voted to serve the Democratic party formal notice that it considered the lawsuit “frivolous,” and would thus seek to be reimbursed for the cost of attorneys should the lawsuit not prevail in Fulton County Superior Court.

On Tuesday, Baker declined to transmit that notice to his fellow Democrats.

My colleague Rhonda Cook was a witness to the event. “I am personally disappointed that [Baker] chose to put his political interests ahead of the interests of the people of Georgia,” said board member Randy Evans, general counsel to the state Republican party.

Sitting next to Evans, board member David Worley, a former chairman of the state Democratic party, stuck up for Baker. “The litigation is not frivolous and there is no reason to send that letter. [Baker] is within his rights,” Worley said.