Koch repercussions roil GOP


Blogger Slade Sohmer at the HyperVocal website finds it curious the national press isn’t taking more of an interest in the Koch saga: “Maybe we’re just not interested in women who play around because the details aren’t juicy enough. Maybe the women haven’t been high-profile enough. Maybe the women are just better at not getting caught with incontrovertible evidence … But what if there was a tailor-made sex scandal involving the first female Majority Leader in Minnesota Senate history? And what if she led the charge against marriage equality and co-authored the legislation that would amend the state constitution to define marriage as only between one man and one woman? Would the media care? Apparently not. … Maybe this is a local Minnesota story. But there’s no such thing as a local story any more. In this 24-hour, attention-deficit, fill-thine-airwaves-with-linkbait news cycle, how has Koch escaped the purview of we American perverts who routinely get off on the tawdry tales of others? Female political sex scandals are exceedingly rare. Perhaps it’s because, anecdotally, women run for office to do something and men run for office to be somebody (then, do someone). Perhaps it’s because, statistically, women traditionally engage in extramarital affairs for more emotional reasons than men, and as such they don’t put themselves in a position to be caught as easily. Perhaps it’s just a numbers game — since there are far more men in American politics, greater numbers of men will cheat on their wives, and therefore be exposed more often. Simple math, really. But it’s odd, given the infrequency of these scandals and our maddening love for the particulars, that no national media outlet has taken the ball and run with it.” Maybe they will if there’s something more to it than just sex allegations … just sayin’.

The Amy Koch scandal … might slowdown the Vikings’ stadium drive? Don Davis at the Forum papers writes: “ ‘Obviously, it’s a bump in the road,’ ” said Rep. Morrie Lanning, R-Moorhead, who is chief House point man for a stadium bill. Sen. Amy Koch, who resigned last week as majority leader, had become involved in stadium talks during the past month, Lanning said Tuesday, so without knowing who will replace her, questions arise. ‘Sen. Koch was engaged in trying to work out a solution,’ Lanning said. … Two questions arise as Senate Republicans face a Dec. 29 deadline for picking a new leader: Will the caucus settle down enough to deal with a stadium when it also must work through the Koch scandal and the need to cut $2 million from its budget? Will the new majority leader support a stadium? One senator mentioned for the job, David Hann of Eden Prairie, does not support public financial involvement, which could slow stadium progress.”  A career-ending scandal is one thing. But good God, people, we’re talking football here.

The Duluth City Council has voted against the constitutional amendment banning same-sex marriage. Peter Passi of the News Tribune writes: “In passing a resolution Monday, Duluth became the first city in Minnesota to take a stand on the issue, which is slated for a statewide referendum vote in November.
Several city councilors earlier were critical of the council taking up the matter, suggesting it was not the proper venue, but they remained silent at Monday’s meeting.” You know the band wagon pressure will build elsewhere.

Three Minnesota health organizations have been chosen in a group of 32 to test new payment systems for senior care. Jackie Crosby of the Strib reports: “Allina Hospitals and Clinics, Fairview Health Services and Park Nicollet Health Services are among 32 organizations in 18 states to be named as Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said Monday. Accountable care organizations, or ACOs, are a key part of the sweeping 2010 health care reform law. Naming these ‘pioneer’ organizations is the first major push in trying to set specific standards for how ACOs will work in practice. Federal officials estimate that widespread adoption of the accountable-care model could save up to $1.1 billion in health care costs over five years.”

Best Buy’s CEO, Brian Dunn, is feeling heat. Stribber Thomas Lee reports: “Best Buy shares sank last week when it surprised Wall Street with a notable shift in its strategy: market share over profit margins. The Richfield-based retailer said sales at U.S. stores open at least a year grew just shy of 1 percent, the first gain in almost two years, but that led to significantly smaller margins. The days leading up to Christmas will be a critical test for Dunn. Should Best Buy produce solid sales and profits from the holiday season, investors will likely be more patient with this new strategy. Tepid sales could put Dunn in a tough position. Dunn declined to comment for this story, but the company defended its plan. … Dunn’s 2 1/2-year tenure as CEO has been rocky. Since he ascended to the job in June 2009, Best Buy stock price has declined more than 40 percent. Until the most recent quarter, Best Buy hadn’t generated a same-store sales increase since the first quarter of 2011.”

Sometimes its better to let your pals introduce you to someone. Richard Chin in the PiPress tells the latest story of a craigslist hook-up gone wrong: “The incident, described in criminal complaints filed in Ramsey County District Court, started when the victim, identified in the complaint as ‘S.P.’, answered a Craigslist ad late one night and ended up emailing a woman who agreed to come to his apartment on the University of Minnesota’s St. Paul campus about 2 a.m. Nov. 28. After the woman had a drink, the two undressed to their underwear and got into the man’s bed, according to the complaint. But the woman then told the man she needed to get her telephone charger and she’d be right back, the complaint said. She dressed and left the apartment but returned after a few minutes, the complaint said. A minute later, a large man wearing a black mask came into the bedroom and pointed a gun at S.P. and told him to lie on the bed.” … And it didn’t get any better after that.

Also, at the Weeping Elvis site, I notice we have made another list … this one “America’s Ten Best Rock ‘n Roll Cities.” Albeit we are tied for 10th, with Nashville:
“10. Minneapolis, MN (tie)
“I can always trace it back to that night in Minneapolis” — Lucinda Williams
Maybe it’s the long winters, maybe it’s because people needed something to do while their cars warmed up, and huddling around the hi-fi player was as good as it got, but something spawned a surprisingly vibrant music scene in an otherwise 2,000-mile musical wasteland on I-90 between Lake Michigan and Seattle.
Bona Fides: Bob Dylan (via Hibbing, via Greenwich Village), Prince, The Suburbs, Hüsker Dü, The Replacements, The Geardaddies, The Jayhawks, Soul Asylum, Atmosphere.
Points Off For: Hey 612 — where have you been since the Replacements broke up? Also, Yanni.
Current Scene: The Current 89.3 is arguably the best radio station in America, First Avenue (and 7th Street Entry) has launched more punk and indie careers than most arenas ever see. Plus Electric Fetus is as good an independently owned record store as you’ll find anywhere.”

I am still looking and waiting for any of Minnesota’s major conservative bloggers to say something about l’affaire Koch. The closest to date is Mitch Berg at “Shot in the Dark.” Says Mitch: “Yesterday, in the latest installment of my “What The Hell …” series on the MNGOP (which may soon top my “Twenty Years Ago Today” series for longevity), Chad the Elder from Fraters Libertas left a comment:
At what point do we just say enough is enough and start all over with a new party? The current version of the Republican Party of Minnesota has proved incapable of taking advantage of a politically favorable climate and can’t even manage its internal matters. There is no leadership right now and I don’t see any on the horizon either. I’m usually aversive to third party talk, but short of moving to another state, what other option do conservatives in Minnesota have? No matter how much bailing we do, this ship is going down
Great question.
It was in 1995, after a stunning electoral win, that I left the GOP. Part of it was the 1994 Crime Bill; I thought that if the GOP could acquiesce with such a noxious piece of legislation when they held the political uppoer hand, what good were they? I mean, they were happy to take money from all of us gunnies — and then they screwed us? Part of it was the ongoing legacy of Arne Carlson. He was a Republican who governed more like a liberal than the DFLer he replaced. He spend surpluses like a meth whore with a stolen platinum card.”

John Hugh Gilmore, though, has resumed blogging at “Minnesota Conservatives.” He writes, entertainingly: “[A]s if to mock sanity, four lumbering senators, full to overflowing with themselves, held the Hindenburg of press conferences. Sens. David Hann, Geoff Michel, David Senjem and Chris Gerlach decided that a press conference of apparently endless proportions would be the best response to the unfolding calamities. Michel spoke and far too much. All the men sounded like Rush Limbaugh’s new castrati and the local premiere female conservative radio talk show host Sue Jeffers acidly noted today the lack of inspiration, push-back or general strength. Instead it was all hang dog and maybe the press will not flay us overly much. Please like us! In real time, however, activists on Twitter were losing their minds. The press conference was being tweeted by press and their tweets fell like lashes as inane and tone deaf comments were made by the eunuchs. Readers were treated to tweets like: ‘Michel confirms the staffer with whom Koch had improper relations was male.’ Well thank God for that, no need to fear a lesbian fling or beastiality. Small victories while the RPM was being bulldozed by these idiotic senators.”

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Comments (11)

  1. Submitted by Slade Sohmer on 12/20/2011 - 03:59 pm.

    Appreciate the inclusion. Just an FYI, the link to the HyperVocal post is broken.

  2. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/20/2011 - 04:00 pm.

    Republican candidates win elections in this state not because of the party but in spite of them.

  3. Submitted by Rosalind Kohls on 12/20/2011 - 04:15 pm.

    The national media isn’t paying that much attention to the Amy Koch scandal because most people in the United States don’t consider Minnesota an important state in the scheme of things. If you ranked the 50 states in three tiers, New York, California, Texas and Florida would be in the top tier. States like Ohio, Illinois and Massachusetts would be in the middle tier. States like Minnesota, North Dakota and Idaho would be in the bottom tier. We’re not as near the bottom as Mississippi, but people just aren’t as avidly interested in what goes on here as they are in other places.

  4. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 12/20/2011 - 04:30 pm.

    I don’t think it’s at all odd that this scandal hasn’t gone national. 90% of the political sex scandals in the national media are pushed by Republicans to smear Democrats, or by Republicans to smear other Republicans. You simply cannot be pro-gay marriage, then snipe at someone for engaging in marital pluralism.

    Yes, plenty of MN lefties, myself included, have had a laugh at Amy Koch’s expense this last week, but those laughs are 100% tied to her vehement anti-gay marriage position. If she hadn’t been pushing a Constitutional Amendment to invade Minnesotans’ bedrooms, no one on the left would have given a hoot.

    I’d just like to know why Michael Brodkorb is still waiting to be exposed, instead of simply outing himself and taking his lumps. The circumstantial evidence is overwhelming, and by not stepping forward he’s damaging the reputations of every other Republican staffer at the Capitol.

  5. Submitted by Pat Berg on 12/20/2011 - 06:14 pm.

    Well, Amy’s tale has made it into the Huffington Post – on the “Gay Voices” page:


  6. Submitted by Dale Hoogeveen on 12/20/2011 - 06:21 pm.

    The link to Minnesota Conservatives underscores how Republican candidates win in this state. They have access to bottomless pockets. If they do not, they pull an Emmer and come up short. Brodkorb couldn’t have been any clearer on that issue. They can’t operate their own campaigns on reduced budgets. They must have shout and spend and spend and spend candidacies and then they expect everybody to roll over when they try to play in the opposite way in office?

  7. Submitted by Joe Williams on 12/20/2011 - 09:31 pm.

    These sex scandals are such a useless distraction. These are other people’s decisions, and they really don’t affect me.

  8. Submitted by Dennis Tester on 12/20/2011 - 10:39 pm.

    I don’t understand why you people are trying to tie this to the same-sex marriage thing. Do you really think that anyone who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman is somehow going to change their mind because someone who is a strong believer in male-female only marriage is having an affair? I don’t get the logic.

    People who want to preserve traditional man-woman marriage aren’t persuaded to change their beliefs any more than a catholic priest caught molesting a kid causes anyone to leave the church.

    People who fail to live up to the principle don’t invalidate the principle.

  9. Submitted by Lauren Maker on 12/20/2011 - 10:44 pm.

    I’m shocked, shocked to find infidelity in our legislative leadership, to paraphrase Peter Lorrie. Not!!

    We have no ethics charges filed in what’s obviously an ethical matter. No employment complaints filed either.

    So what if this is just a blatent power play to further one of the old boys’ political ambitions to be majority leader?

    Or what if this is a way to get a pro Vikings majority leader in place so the deal can be cut and done without waiting for the end of session free for all?

  10. Submitted by Thomas Swift on 12/21/2011 - 09:32 am.

    “If she hadn’t been pushing a Constitutional Amendment to invade Minnesotans’ bedrooms, no one on the left would have given a hoot.”

    Whoa there. I’ve read the proposed amendment, and I’ll be damned if I can recall *anything* regarding bedrooms….can you point that verbage out?

  11. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 12/21/2011 - 10:12 am.

    I don’t understand why you people are trying to tie this to the same-sex marriage thing.”

    Maybe because “you people” base your opposition to gay marriage on what it says in the Bible? And maybe because the Bible also says not to cheat on your wife, especially not with a married woman who has her own family?

    Is there like some kind of secret rightwing Bible code that tells you which Commandments you get to ignore, and which you have to go to war over? Because I really don’t understand why the Bible-based Republican party is so gung ho for war and special privileges for the rich, while being so determined to put more poor people in prison while crapping on anyone who doesn’t look and talk like them. Did you know that your war on drugs now means that 30% of all young people 23 and under now have arrest records? Where in the Bible does it say Thou Shalt Not Smoke Marijuana? Yet you enforce our drug laws with a twisted vengeance, but cannot see your way to obey ALL the Commandments the Lord Your God gave you.

    That’s why it keeps coming up. Don’t look at us — look at yourself and ask just how your Republican leadership matches up with your Bible and what Jesus said.

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