This Thursday was the day for middle and high school baseball players to sign up for the next season of Mountaineer Little League at Dave Patton Field in Charleston.


The league has several corporate sponsors, such as Nitro Mechanical and Rish Equipment. Individual teams -- the Pirates, the Orioles, the Cardinals, etc. -- all have sponsors, too, such as Las Trancas Mexican Restaurant and Pritt Tire and Trailer Sales.


Sponsors help keep the costs down for the league, its teams, and their members and, in return, enjoy bragging rights and some public recognition for their support. Parents of players might be predisposed to celebrate a victory at Las Trancas or buy new tires for the family car at Pritt, but there’s no obligation to patronize the team’s sponsors.


The quid pro quo is a healthy and acknowledged one that benefits all concerned, encouraging no unrealistic expectations in the benefactors and imposing no unreasonable burdens on the beneficiaries.


We wish the same could be said of political sponsors, the supporters who contribute to the campaigns of candidates for public office.


It’s perfectly reasonable for someone to contribute to the campaign of a candidate whose ideology or positions on particular issues he shares, and it’s not unreasonable for a supporter to expect that candidate, if elected, to defend or advance his general interests.


When a supporter’s expectations are inimical to the public good, however, one has to wonder what sort of league his candidates are playing in.


As Greg Thomas of West Virginia Citizens Against Lawsuit Abuse observes, “Some millionaire personal injury lawyers are spending hundreds of thousands of dollars to elect candidates who support their ‘sue and settle’ agenda, who are supportive of more causes of actions that flood our legal system with lawsuits, and who oppose legal reforms that would attract job creators to our state.”


Check out the group’s “Dirty Dozen” list of candidates favored with trial-lawyer funding and draw your own conclusions.

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