Koch likely to testify in Brodkorb lawsuit

I ask again, “What has he got to lose?” Tom Scheck’s MPR story says: “A former Minnesota Senate staffer filed a lawsuit in Ramsey County District Court today saying he was wrongfully fired. Michael Brodkorb, once a top aide to former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, claims he was fired because he was having an affair with Koch. In his suit against the Senate and the state, he contends female employees who had similar relationships in the past were not fired. He also said the Senate’s top administrator Cal Ludeman violated his privacy rights, and Brodkorb is suing him for defamation of character and slander. Brodkorb’s attorney Phil Villaume said his client is seeking $50,000 in damages but the total award could be more than that. He said they want a jury trial.” Someone should start a meter, like that national debt clock, that keeps a running tally of the taxpayer expense of fighting off this thing.

At the Strib, Rachel Stassen-Berger writes: “The suit says that ‘Senator Koch will testify that Brodkorb’s employment was terminated by the Republican Leadership because of the intimate relationship between Senator Koch and Brodkorb, as will other legislators and legislative staffers.’ Although Koch has been very quiet about the matter since she left leadership, her lawyer Ron Rosenbaum said she will ‘absolutely’ testify and will have ‘significantly more to say,’ if called upon.” That is not a big “if.”

In a separate piece, Stassen-Berger adds: “The suit threatens to keep the affair — and the leadership turmoil that followed — in the public eye for months, just as Republicans are working to put their troubles behind them and make the case that voters should keep them in the legislative majority. Brodkorb’s attorneys say they will need to depose current and former legislators to prove their case that Brodkorb was treated differently from female staffers who had affairs with their legislative bosses and were not publicly fired. … Should the matter reach the trial stage, experts warn that the testimony could be broad-ranging. Even if the Senate has a firm legal case, defending it ‘could be tremendously embarrassing and costly in terms of reputation,’ said Hamline School of Law Prof. David Larson, an expert in employment discrimination law. Larson said Brodkorb’s claim that he was treated differently from female employees may rest on the details of those employees and the legislators with whom they had relations.” If there is a reporter in town who says they want this settled out of court … they’re lying.

Tubby Smith is one guy with job security. Marcus Fuller of the PiPress reports the Gophers basketball coach has re-upped: “Tubby Smith’s future as Minnesota’s basketball coach was once uncertain and open for speculation. That hurt his program’s image. That hurt his recruiting. But now a different message is out there. It’s that Smith and Minnesota will be together for a lot longer than two more years, despite some struggles getting back to the NCAA tournament and the lack of a major donor for a basketball practice facility. Smith and the Gophers finally agreed to the terms of a three-year contract extension, which will be through the 2016-17 season … .” So, OK, Tub, the ball is in your court now.

For those Happy Hours that get a little too happy … . Kharunya Paramaguru of TIME writes: “Step aside, condom machine. That dusty, crank-lever dispenser in bar bathrooms reminding you to make safe choices while drinking has met its challenger. An upscale bar in southern Minnesota has installed a pregnancy test dispenser in its woman’s bathroom. For Pub 500 owner Tom Fredrik, ‘it took about 30 seconds to say yes,’ he told local news channel KARE. The decision came about after one of his regulars, Jody Allen Crowe, who just so happens to be an expert in fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, proposed the idea. Female customers can purchase a $3 test from the machine with a swipe of a credit card.” The trick will be collaring the proud father before he leaves the bar.

The sadly predictable (and quickly passing) debate over gun laws finds Alan Costantini of KARE-TV reporting: “In Minnesota, if someone purchases more than one handgun in a seven-day period, gun shop owners are required to notify local police agencies. Krause pointed out that Minnesota has age restrictions. It is 18 or older to buy rifles or shotguns, 21 or older to purchase handguns or assault rifles. The restrictions apply to the purchase of ammunition for handguns as well. However, there are no restrictions in Minnesota for ammunition purchased over the internet, but armor-piercing rounds may not be purchased. The ammunition can be sent directly to the purchaser’s home. That is not the case for the purchase of firearms.” … Which, according to the NRA, makes that a gross violation of your Second Amendment rights.

At LezGetReal (“A Gay Girl’s View of the World”), Linda Carbonell wonders what exactly Michele Bachmann does for her constituents: “For at least the past four years, Bachmann has been on her own path, first as the darling of the Tea Party and then pursuing the Presidency. She made her mark by claiming that Congress should be investigated to find out who was pro-America and who was anti-America, and we laughed it off. She claimed that Americorps was a re-education camp for converting the unsuspecting to liberalism, just before her own son joined it. Bachmann racked up one of the longest lists of lunatic accusations in the history of the House, and it was amusing. It stopped being amusing last week. It stopped being amusing when Egyptians cited Michele Bachmann’s wild accusation that our State Department had been infiltrated by the Muslim Brotherhood as the reason they were attacking the motorcade of our Secretary of State. … She’s an also-ran in a very large field of also-rans. This is not a woman who can tolerate not being in the spotlight. She can not go quietly back to working for her district because it’s been a hell of a long time she worked for her district and not for herself.

What’s another $840K? Randy Furst of the Strib says: “More than $840,000 was awarded Monday to 96 victims of illegal searches, seizures and use of excessive force by the now-defunct Metro Gang Strike Force, including a dozen juveniles who were targeted by a Brooklyn Park police officer. The scandal-ridden gang unit, shut down by the Department of Public Safety three years ago this month, broke through people’s doors without justification, seized property without authorization and injured people who were not suspects, according to reports by Mark Gehan, a St. Paul attorney appointed as special master in the case. The awards, ranging from $300 to $75,000, conclude the main phase in the 2010 settlement of a $3 million class-action lawsuit that allowed victims of the Strike Force’s misdeeds to apply for compensation, but only if they had had property taken.”

Elsewhere, the Strib editorializes about the Penn State punishment: “Last week this page advocated for the so-called ‘death penalty’ for the Penn State football program, and we continue to think at least a one-year football ban would have provided a more meaningful reality check for college sports had it been added to the penalties announced Monday. That the NCAA failed to go that far was no surprise, however. A death penalty ban of one or more years would have been a major blow to the Big Ten, which operates its own highly profitable TV network largely on the strength of football. No doubt Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany — one of the most powerful voices in college football — reminded the NCAA of that fact while the organization was considering possible sanctions.”

Adam Belz of the Strib files a good story on impediments to commerce on the U.S.-Canadian border. “The Canadian government estimates that hangups of cargo and travelers at crossings cost $16 billion annually on that side of the border alone.
Vigilance at entry points to both Canada and Mexico borders is in part a response to real concerns about immigration and post-9/11 security. Yet there is a growing awareness that delayed shipments and other inefficiencies have an economic cost. As a result, the U.S. and Canadian governments have launched initiatives to grease the wheels of commerce — both by clearing border obstacles and aligning product regulations. ‘A lot of companies just don’t know what to do,’ said Bill Blazar, an executive at the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. ‘They think it’s like going to fish. It’s not.’ ”

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Comments (7)

  1. Submitted by Neal Krasnoff on 07/24/2012 - 06:38 am.

    Your assertion

    Mr. Lambert asserted:

    “The ammunition can be sent directly to the purchaser’s home. That is not the case for the purchase of firearms.” … Which, according to the NRA, makes that a gross violation of your Second Amendment rights.”

    If this is your opinion, it is just that. If you are asserting a fact the NRA believes it is a gross violation of the right to arms for guns to be shipped directly to the purchaser’s home, it is your responsibility to prove your assertion.

  2. Submitted by Fluffy Rabinowitz on 07/24/2012 - 06:44 am.

    Brodkorb solution

    Pay it, gag it, get rid of it! The state should have settled this suit immediately. Uncontested unemployment, 50 grand and 6 months of health insurnance would have made this guy go away! By the time this suit is settled, my tax dollars will go to pay for over 200 grand in legal fees and settlement costs.

  3. Submitted by Pat Berg on 07/24/2012 - 07:24 am.

    Messed up math

    Let’s see – so Brodkorb is seeking $50,000. But the Republicans have already spent $85,000 on the case, and that was before the suit was even filed.

    There is some seriously messed up math going on here . . . . . . . . .

  4. Submitted by Jim Camery on 07/24/2012 - 10:00 am.

    Accountability with the GSF

    It’s been a while, so refresh my memory, please. How many cops went to trial for their illegal actions?

  5. Submitted by Logan Foreman on 07/24/2012 - 03:56 pm.

    What else will Koch

    Testify about? Time spent not working on the MN public’s business? The sanctity of marriage? I’ll the kids when they grow up. It is the fault of someone else. I didn’t know the republican party was so much in debt. Who cares if the taxpayers pay anything. Etc. etc.

  6. Submitted by kay smith on 07/24/2012 - 04:28 pm.

    Brodkorb

    “If there is a reporter in town who says they want this settled out of court … they’re lying.”

    No kidding. We’re counting on you, Brian, to keep us posted.

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