GOP operative Brodkorb leaves Parry campaign, too

MORNING EDITION

You know its serious when Michael Brodkorb declines comment. Doug Belden of the PiPress notes that the prominent GOP activist and now former state Senate staffer has resigned his position with the Mike Parry congressional campaign down in the 1st District, this only a a day after leaving the employ of former Majority Leader Amy Koch: “Michael Brodkorb, out as communications director for the Senate GOP Caucus on Friday, is now gone from the congressional campaign of state Sen. Mike Parry as well. Ben Golnik, a spokesman for the campaign, said Saturday that Brodkorb had left his position as a volunteer adviser to Parry, of Waseca, in his campaign for the Republican nomination to unseat Democratic Rep. Tim Walz. … Brodkorb started advising Parry after stepping down this fall as deputy chairman of the state Republican Party. … Efforts to determine from Senate officials whether Brodkorb’s departure and Koch’s resignation were related were not successful. The staffer alleged to have had an improper relationship with Koch, of Buffalo, has not been identified.” So therefore … it would be inappropriate to speculate.

They could use at least one woman out front for comment. But Rupa Shenoy of MPR surveys top GOP leaders on what Majority Leader Koch should do next and finds division in the ranks: “Assistant Senate Majority Leader Dave Thompson of Lakeville, who is considered a likely candidate for the majority leader position, said it may be hard for Koch to remain in the Senate. ‘I would certainly say that if the allegations are true, if it were me I would leave the Senate,’ Thompson said. ‘I don’t know all the facts and therefore can’t really say what she should do. I think if the allegations are true, I think it would be very difficult to remain an elected official.’ … Dave Senjem, another assistant majority leader of Rochester, said he doesn’t want Koch to resign. ‘I hope she considers staying on,’ he said. ‘You know there were certainly some issues that arose the last week or so but certainly on balance and over time she’s done a great job and I would encourage her frankly to stay on.’ “

The Koch story, on top of the GOP’s financial mess and the abrupt departure of Tony “The Chairman” Sutton, has people speculating darkly. At the Strib, Baird Helgeson and Rachel Stassen-Berger write: “Party leaders and activists across the state spent Saturday searching for a path forward even as they were absorbing the shocking departures of the Senate majority leader and one of her top aides. Their resignations came just weeks after that of the state party chairman. ‘Right now Republican activists are very upset, almost sad, depressed,’ said Pat Anderson, a former state auditor who serves on the Republican National Committee. ‘We are going to have that for awhile’. … ‘The party is right on the verge of being totally immobilized, at least for 2012,’ said a longtime GOP operative. Party activists said they remain convinced that there is time to rebuild. ‘This is rock bottom, so let’s get going,’ said Gregg Peppin, a party strategist who is married to state Rep. Joyce Peppin, R-Rogers. ‘Clearly, there’s been some growing pains. When you transition from the minority to the majority, the burden of leadership is very, very high’. … The party itself owes $775,000, including fines for earlier campaign finance reporting violations. Another $500,000 is owed in a separate account from the party’s unsuccessful gubernatorial recount, when Republican Rep. Tom Emmer narrowly lost to DFLer Mark Dayton. There is dissent over whether the party is obliged to repay the recount debt.” Does that mean they might “unallot” the debt?

In the Strib, Kevin Winge, executive director of Open Arms Minnesota, writes: “Republican State Senator Amy Koch resigns as Majority Leader of the Minnesota Senate and announces she is not seeking reelection next year because of an ‘inappropriate relationship’ with a male staff member. Koch, the proponent of all things Republican — like a constitutional amendment to ensure gays and lesbians can’t marry — turns out to not be the best spokesperson for the sanctity of marriage. Unless, of course, you don’t find it hypocritical that a married woman, with a child, can have an ‘inappropriate relationship’ while denying others the right to marry. With events like the Koch scandal, it is becoming increasingly clear that next year’s constitutional amendment is not about preserving marriage. If it were about preserving heterosexual marriage, let’s take a vote on outlawing behavior like ‘inappropriate relationships.’ If it is about the sanctity of heterosexual marriage, let’s have a constitutional amendment outlawing divorce.

Yes Abner, that was a bear they shot in St.Paul. According to the AP: “St. Paul Police Department spokesman Howie Padilla says police received at least two calls about bear sightings in the Dayton’s Bluff neighborhood just before 7:30 p.m. Saturday. He says officers shot the bear just before 8 p.m. Animal control officers took the bear’s body away.”

Three years after setting a fire in an airplane restroom, a flight attendant has been sentenced to six years in prison. The AP says: “Investigators originally said that Eder Rojas, 23, formerly of Woodbury, started the fire in May 2008 because he was unhappy about working the Compass Airlines route from Minneapolis-St. Paul to Regina, Saskatchewan. Defense attorney Richard Henderson disputed that claim Friday and said his client has a narcissistic personality disorder.”

Talk about the miseries of Job. In the PiPress, Bob Shaw tells the story of one very unlucky fellow: “What’s next for Roy Babcock? Maybe getting hit by lightning. That’s about the only horrible thing that hasn’t happened to him this year. Babcock is a single father raising four children. In April, he was told he had an advanced stage of cancer. In August, a heart problem put him the hospital for 11 days. Unable to work, he missed mortgage payments on his auto mechanic business, which triggered foreclosure proceedings. Then on Thursday, thieves broke into the shop and took every tool he had, worth about $50,000. He has no insurance. That means he won’t be able to pass along the family business to his son, who is studying to be a car mechanic. ‘I am just so depressed right now, I can’t believe it,’ said Babcock, 50, of Hastings. ‘I told the kids about it, and they are really upset. ‘The Christmas tree is up, but there are no presents under it.’ “

Today in Bachmannia: Our Gal’s 99-county bus trip around Iowa clocked 13 stops on Sunday. At several of them she kept up her barrage on Newt Gingrich. Jason Noble of the Des Moines Register reports: “Gingrich, the former U.S. House speaker and current presidential race front-runner, has come under fire from several Republican opponents for taking $1.6 million from the government-sponsored lender over a period of years. ‘I call on former Speaker Newt Gingrich to give that money back to the American people,’ Bachmann said in a news conference following a church service in Fort Dodge. ‘This was during the time of the economic meltdown. While the rest of the country was dealing with the economic meltdown, he was pocketing $1.6 million.’ Bachmann’s comments came in response to Gingrich’s appearance on the CBS Sunday morning news show ‘Face the Nation,’ in which he defended his work for Freddie Mac and said he personally received far less than the reported $1.6 million. … Following the Fort Dodge church service, Bachmann visited roadside diners and Pizza Ranch restaurants in Webster City, Clarion, Garner, Forest City, Manly and Mason City. The visits were heavy on retail politicking, with the candidate and her husband, Marcus Bachmann, shaking hands and signing autographs but speaking little on policy or her plans as president. The informal approach was a hit at many stops. ‘I think she’s a wonderful, real person,’ said Rudy Marmaro, who attended the Pizza Ranch stop in Garner. ‘I think she’s a real down-to-earth gal.’ ”

That pleasure spa of western Minnesota, Montevideo, scored the weekend’s highest temperature … 61, says Paul Douglas in his Strib blog. “Indian Summer — On December 18? I thought I had seen a lot living in Minnesota for 27 years. But I can’t remember the last time I saw 60-degree warmth on December 18. Highs ranged from the mid/upper 40s in the Twin Cities metro to 46 at St. Cloud to upper 50s over west central Minnesota. Montevideo gets the coveted Golden Thermometer Award, registering a balmy high of 61!” I suspect there were some Carhartt bikinis out on the banks of the Minnesota River Sunday.

Comments (21)

  1. Submitted by Rod Loper on 12/19/2011 - 07:10 am.

    Mr. Brodkorb’s diligent service on the blog “Minnesota
    Democrats Exposed” comes to mind about now..is there an equivalence somewhere?

  2. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/19/2011 - 10:12 am.

    “If it were about preserving heterosexual marriage, let’s take a vote on outlawing behavior like ‘inappropriate relationships.”

    Oddly enough, adultry used to be outlawed until the “free love” generation (you might recognize them today as the old farts driving Prius’ around with the left turn signals always on) created the “no fault” divorce.

    Personally, I woundn’t mind it’s return a bit, but the fact that married couples engage in adultry is not much of a reason to redefine science, biology, common sense and the entire history of human civilization.

  3. Submitted by Paul Scott on 12/19/2011 - 10:28 am.

    Amy Koch’s mendacity used to make my head hurt, but this is the Scarlet Letter. Remind me again why Newt Gingrich can have an affair with a staffer and he’s presidential material yet Amy Koch does it and shellshocked news conferences ensue…

  4. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/19/2011 - 10:42 am.

    “Newt Gingrich can have an affair with a staffer and he’s presidential material yet Amy Koch does it and shellshocked news conferences ensue.”

    One, because he married her, and two, Bill Clinton and his supporters so lowered the bar on personal conduct by politicians that we’re supposed to react to such stories by saying something like “what they do in their personal life is none of our business.” At least democrats are allowed to react that way.

    And three, if that was the rule, Minnesota would be missing a long-time u.s. congressperson.

    Republicans still have the monopoly on holding their politicians accountable, apparently.

  5. Submitted by Lora Jones on 12/19/2011 - 10:51 am.

    Swift, pretending that “science, biology, common sense and the entire history of human civilization” supports stripping gay men and women of their civil rights and denying them the right to pair bond/marry is really a bridge too far. Another instance of your reliance on “facts” not in evidence.

    My mother, who grew up on a farm, always contended that anyone who lived around animals knew that homosexuality and same-sex pair bonding is a naturally occuring phenomenon. As such, common sense dictates that human civilizations acknowledge that reality and figure out some way to incorporate homosexual individuals into the broader society. Even Western civilizations such as Greece and Britain have made attempts to do so. It would seem to me that allowing mature and stable homosexual pair bonds makes more sense than relegating those relationships to public school or gymnasium “mentors” and expecting the 10% or so who are truly homosexual to “grow out of it” or keep it quiet and on the side after they’ve entered into an unwelcome, but socially acceptable, heterosexual marriage.

  6. Submitted by Cecil North on 12/19/2011 - 11:09 am.

    “Republicans still have the monopoly on holding their politicians accountable, apparently.”

    Really? Wiener goes out, Vitter stays in. You can’t explain that ….

    But seriously, Tom, you’re going to have to get some new material. Blaming Clinton whenever a priest, wide-stanced senator or naughty majority leader falls from grace is really a bit dull.

  7. Submitted by Madeline Anderson on 12/19/2011 - 11:18 am.

    Super weird that Strib story quoted Anderson, Peppin and Golnik. They are part of the problem. Almost as if Strib reporters got shopped “their story.”

  8. Submitted by Paul Scott on 12/19/2011 - 11:39 am.

    I tried, like, three times, to compose a thoughtful response to the tortured notion that Gingrich’s transgression is different because, well, he married his mistress, and then well, there was Clinton, and all of that makes republicans more noble, but I ultimately withered under the weight of all the many logical fallacies.

  9. Submitted by John Edwards on 12/19/2011 - 11:41 am.

    Regarding Ms. Lora Jones’s concern about facts:
    The United States has approximately four million homosexual adults, representing about 1.7 percent of the population, according to a new study from a University of California, Los Angeles, research group. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/04/07/gay-population-us-estimate_n_846348.html
    Less than two percent is a long way from her 10 percent.

  10. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/19/2011 - 11:42 am.

    “… anyone who lived around animals knew that homosexuality and same-sex pair bonding is a naturally occuring phenomenon.”

    Lora, I don’t measure my behavior against what animals do, and I’m not sure that is any better an idea to do so than using adultry as justification to redefine science, biology, common sense and the entire history of human civilization.

    For instance, some wit might point out that many animals also eat their young…

  11. Submitted by Rachel Weisman on 12/19/2011 - 12:27 pm.

    I am in favor of legalizing gay marriage. At this point I will be working on defeating the constitutional ban on gay marriage by encouraging people to vote no next November. I believe the majority of voters will agree. I do not expect Swift or Tester to agree. But I will make it my business to expose their faulty logic and conclusions.

  12. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 12/19/2011 - 01:30 pm.

    I can only assume that Ms. Koch is following the less well known tenets of the objectivist philosophy of Ayn Rand whom all the “new Republicans” all seem so to admire.

    Why should we be surprised if they follow not only Rand’s devotion to economic Darwinism but her belief that the members of the “creative class” were well within their rights to cast aside all traditional notions of interpersonal morality.

    Can Rand’s complete opposition to and desire to wipe out Christianity be far behind?

  13. Submitted by James Blum on 12/19/2011 - 01:34 pm.

    Regarding Mr. John Edwards’s citation of a Huffington Post article:
    Did you read the article? It states that 1.7% of the population “identify as being gay or lesbian.” In addition, “another 1.8 percent of the adult population, or a little more than 4 million Americans, identifies as bisexual,” and “19 million people, or 8.2 percent of the population, have engaged in sex with a partner of the same sex.” Whether you identify yourself as homosexual or not, actions speak louder than words, and 8.2% is both much closer to 10% than to 2%, and is very, very close to the 1-in-12 figure I’ve always heard.

  14. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/19/2011 - 02:18 pm.

    “8.2 percent of the population, have engaged in sex with a partner of the same sex”

    I’d call that a triumph of advertising that would have any consumer goods manufacturer turning green with envy. As a benchmark of homosexual population, not so much.

    And excuse me for pointing out the obvious, but doesn’t that 1.8 percent identifying as “bisexual” put Big Gay’s “it’s not a choice” canard to the torch?

    As you say…actions speak louder than words, James.

  15. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/19/2011 - 02:38 pm.

    Let’s not be dissin’ Monty.

    On a more serious note: although I can’t imagine that Amy Koch and I agree on much (if anything) politically, I will point out that few of us manage to live up to our ideals at every step. While it might be considered hypocritical by some for her to oppose gay marriage while allegedly being unfaithful to her own, I suspect many Christians will remember the phrase “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.” Even as an atheist, I can understand that. Let’s just wait and see what the facts are before completely destroying the woman on the basis of innuendo.

  16. Submitted by James Hamilton on 12/19/2011 - 03:04 pm.

    I try to make it a practice to comment, if at all, before reading others’ posts. Sometimes that requires a second post to respond to a comment or two. Today, it’s Mr. Swift’s homophobic rants that rate a reply.

    Let me begin by saying that it does not and should not matter one whit whether same sex orientation is a matter of physiology (as I believe) or a matter of choice (as Mr. Swift would have it).

    Unless and until Mr. Swift and those who share his beliefs can point to solid evidence that same sex sexual behavior between consenting adults somehow harms the rest of us, rather than simply offending some, it’s none of our business who does what to whom or whether two people who wish to obtain the legal benefits of marriage have the same or different primary sexual characteristics. (Bibles, theologians, and other sources of supernatural doctrine need not apply for standing as “solid evidence”.)

    In my view, our most important freedom in the United States is our freedom of conscience. It lies at the heart of freedom of speech, freedom of association, and freedom of religion, among others. It dictates that personal choices remain personal choices, not the government’s choice or the choice of some majority that happens to hold different beliefs or values.

    If another’s beliefs or non-injurious conduct offends you, or your own religious beliefs, freedom of conscience requires that you look to your own life and not the lives of others.

    The pursuit of life, liberty and happiness is not, ultimately, a group endeavor, but an individual one, to be pursued free from arbitrary constraints others would impose. I have the same right to choose with whom I will have sex or live as a spouse as I do to choose my religious beliefs or my political beliefs. Neither I nor anyone else in this nation has the right to dictate those choices to others.

  17. Submitted by Bill Gleason on 12/19/2011 - 03:11 pm.

    Some people eat other people, Swiftee…

    It’s called cannibalism.

    And this means?

  18. Submitted by scott gibson on 12/19/2011 - 03:44 pm.

    I don’t think I could have commented any more eloquently than #16.

    It matters not whether a person’s sexuality exists from genetics, choice or some other mechanism. This is a free country. If that person’s behavior is with a consenting adult and doesn’t negatively affect society (and I defy Swifty or Tester to prove that it does), then it is none of their business.

    Their understanding of the nature of human sexuality is as narrow as their understanding of many other circumstances of real life. Human sexual expression has always been a complicated affair. Conservatives and some right-wing religious types choose to deconstruct into a black and white world that has never reflected reality and has nothing to do with having a safe, productive and compassionate society. It is about controlling others.

    Ours is, by law, a secular country. The rights of the minority (1%, 1-in-12, whatever the percentage is) are supposed to be protected.

  19. Submitted by B Maginnis on 12/19/2011 - 03:46 pm.

    Bri- As excited as you guys are about Ms. Koch’s purported assignation, remember:

    The “sanctity” of marriage that she defends, is that between a man and a woman.

    The right thinkers never confuse that with the “sanctity” of marriage “vows”, a completely dfferent matter.

    I do quite look forward to the vote.

  20. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 12/19/2011 - 03:46 pm.

    Kudos to Mr. Swift for turning a comments thread about Republican leaders hetero-sexing each other into a debate over gay sex.

    And bonus points since the Strib and other local media are already “tired” of this story and moving on, leaving MinnPost one of the few local news outlets following up on the hypocrisy.

    Minnesota Republican leaders get Biblical over gay marriage. Is it any surprise that those who see themselves as political and spiritual leaders would go for the King David and Bathsheba schtick? God is quite explicit in giving counsel to Christians on how to avoid these situations. Maybe if some people spent more time reading their Bibles instead of lecturing others….

  21. Submitted by Alec Timmerman on 12/19/2011 - 10:27 pm.

    Marriage has been evolving since the day civilized man came up with it. Heck, biblical marriage certainly has evolved from the days when it meant a man and his property(ies).

    To say gay marriage goes against “historical” marriage shows a complete ignorance of history. It’s like the same people who think the founders were of one monolithic thought. They always want to think the world is so black and white. Marriage has evolved. I wish some of the commenters here would.

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