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Twitter produces political tussles: Koch vs. Winkler, Brodkorb vs. Ortman campaign

Even in a relatively calm political season, it seems nothing can spark a few flames like a Twitter exchange.

Even in a relatively calm political season, it seems nothing can spark a few flames like a Twitter exchange.

A recent Twitter conversation between state Rep. Ryan Winkler and former state Sen. Amy Koch has led to the scheduling of a debate between the two on whether to raise the state’s minimum wage. Winkler favors it; Koch does not.

After the two exchanged tweets last week, Koch said, they agreed to disagree at a debate in October at the Maple Lake Bowling Alley, the establishment that Koch owns.

“He [Winkler] tweeted that education and raising the minimum wage were a top priority, and I had just been at my first Bowling Proprietors Association meeting, and this was their top concern,” she said.

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Winkler has indicated he’d like the Legislature to take up the minimum-wage issue as early as the special session that Gov. Mark Dayton intends to call in September to allocate disaster relief money to counties affected by storms earlier this summer.

Koch has a backup a plan if the issue gets settled during the special session: “If this goes in special session, Ryan and I will just bowl.”

Another Twitter tussle emerged on Friday, when political consultant Michael Brodkorb tweeted, disputing whether U.S. Senate candidate Julianne Ortman had argued before the U.S. Supreme Court, as her website biography states.

Brodkorb tweeted: “This AM: Supreme Court official said Ortman hasn’t argued a case, nor is there a record of her being admitted to the Supreme Court Bar.”

Brodkorb said he made the discovery while responding to a media call about Ortman’s candidacy.

Ortman’s website states: “Together [she and husband Ray], they successfully represented small and medium sized businesses for 12 years, including several very high profile and ground-breaking cases in state and federal court, and in the United States Supreme Court.”

Ortman’s campaign manager, Andy Parrish, maintained the statement is correct, if the reader follows the punctuation and wording carefully. Ortman’s husband, Ray, has argued before the Supreme Court through a law firm for which he worked in 1994 and both Ortmans had submitted an amicus brief to the high court in 2002, he said.

“I understand what they’re attempting to write, but what they wrote is not accurate,” replied Brodkorb, who questioned the use of the word “ground-breaking.” 

“Ground-breaking is Brown versus the Board of Education,” he said.

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Parrish rejoined: “This is a silly argument, if someone is going to argue over where a comma is place.”