Shantel Krebs opens 2015 with a splendid example of Republicans promoting big government and regulatory capture.

Our new Secretary of State, who takes her oath tomorrow morning at 8 a.m., a week and a day before any other new constitutional officer, announces that she is hiring young but veteran GOP campaigner Jason Williams as her Public Information Officer. Darn—and I was hoping Jason would step away from politics and make his fortune building straw bale houses.

But hold on: a public information officer for the Secretary of State? Does that position exist? I could be wrong, but I don't recall Secretary Gant having a designated spokesman or spinmeister. It's hard to check, because the currently grossly ego-centric Secretary of State website lists no one's name but the Secretary's. The contact page lists the various services but doesn't tell us with whom we'll be speaking. The contact page lists no PIO or media contact person. Secretary Gant's press releases seemed to come out under his own name, listing him and not a PIO as the contact person. Is this one more sign that Republican Krebs is really a big government liberal?

Whether Krebs is really expanding the SOS budget or will cover her press man's pay by cutting some other vital service, Krebs is letting a fox into the henhouse. Williams is a veteran campaigner, having worked for Mike Rounds, Kristi Noem, Steve Barnett, and the state GOP. The Secretary of State's office exists to regulate political campaign organizations. In hiring Williams, Krebs appears to be giving in to the partisan pressures that are pulling Secretaries of State across the country away from their duty to act as fair, non-partisan umpires of elections.

And hey, we were all looking forward to seeing Shantel's smiling face and hearing her dulcet tones on the airwaves! Now we're stuck listening to some PIO? Booo!