Come Saturday Morning: MNGOP’s Year of Scandals
By now most of you all have heard about the metastasizing set of scandals that has enveloped the Minnesota Republican Party.
Already reeling from the departure in disgrace of its chair Tony Sutton earlier this month, in which he left behind a party nearly $500,000 in debt, several long-simmering scandals, and the Federal Elections Commission looking askance, it barely had time to register that shock when three more soon hit.
There was first the resignation of Amy Koch from her position as Majority Leader of the Minnesota state senate, followed a day later by the revelation that she was forced out because of an affair she was having with a male staffer of hers, strongly rumored to be Michael Brodkorb, followed a day after that by the news that Brodkorb — who until two months ago was Tony Sutton’s right-hand man and communications director at the Republican Party of Minnesota, the second-most-powerful Republican in the state next to Sutton himself — was no longer employed by the Majority Leader’s office. Shortly thereafter, he would also no longer be employed by the congressional campaign of Mike Parry, who is competing with TheoCon Allen Quist for the right to lose badly to Tim Walz in Minnesota’s First Congressional District next year. (Cal Ludeman, the member of the Minnesota GOP leadership that fired Brodkorb from his Senate gig, claims that Brodkorb’s firing wasn’t linked to Koch’s affair; but, as we are reminded, the Minnesota GOP leadership hasn’t exactly been totally truthful about this situation. In fact, neither have Brodkorb’s former employers in the Mike Parry campaign.)
Oh, and did we mention that Amy Koch was pushing for more anti-gay legislation on the pretext that it “protected” marriage? Or that Michael Brodkorb’s wife Sarah called the cops during a particularly heated domestic dispute back in June?
In the midst of all this, the news that Brandon Sawalich had withdrawn from the competition to replace Tony Sutton as RPM Chair because of an arrest for having expired tabs on his car (and also because of questions concerning a sexual harassment lawsuit) served almost as a bit of comic relief.
So why is the MN GOP, which unhesitatingly outed Amy Koch as an adulteress after she refused to resign her senate seat in addition to stepping down as Majority Leader, so reluctant to go on the record with the name of the male staffer with whom she did the deed? Probably because the prime suspect 1) is known for being the Roger Stone of Minnesota in terms of collecting and flinging dirt on people (seems he got his start as an “independent” blogger who was being paid by various Republican candidates and officeholders to sling dirt at their opponents), and 2) he’s just hired a lawyer. (By the way, Minnesota Republicans and the newspapers that love them seem to have a thing about this “independent” stance; Craig Westover tried it as part of his gig with the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But I digress.)