Tag Archives: Michael Brodkorb

Brodkorb’s blog goes from boring to lazy

Former Minnesota state Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb’s new blog, politics.mn, debuted back in August.  It seemed to be  promising.  After all, Brodkorb was highly influential in the Minnesota Republican Party until his dalliances with Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch got himself fired and ended (for now) her political career.  Before becoming part of the party engine, Brodkorb ran his own influential blog, Minnesota Democrats Exposed.

Since its launch, though, Brodkorb’s new blog has mostly trafficked in regurgitated conventional wisdom (Kurt Bills is running a bad campaign?  Really?) and random fact-checking.  It’s been bland and boring, something that I don’t think anyone really expected.  Brodkorb presumably knows this stuff inside and out, so either he’s not as smart as everyone claims he is or he’s holding the juicy stuff. (Maybe his ongoing lawsuit over l’affaire Koch is tempering things, or perhaps Brodkorb really has turned over a new leaf.)

But the most recent post on the site, an “analysis” of Rick Nolan’s campaign for Congress in the 8th District turns the corner from boring to lazy.  The premise is intriguing:  are there things in Rick Nolan’s previous public service that are hurting his campaign this year?

And it all starts out well enough, with a recounting of Nolan’s history, including his well-documented and very public support of Ted Kennedy’s run against incumbent President Jimmy Cater (and Minnesota’s own Vice President Walter Mondale, who Brodkorb seems to be hinting still may be against Nolan).  Brodkorb also approvingly cites press releases from Nolan’s 2012 opponent, Rep. Chip Cravaack detailing missed votes by Nolan and statements 35 years apart that are in contradiction with one another.  OK, fine.  How is that impacting things today?

Well, the only evidence of Nolan having trouble today is the defection of two officials who supported one of Nolan’s opponents in the 2012 primary to Cravaack.  Why did these two officials choose to endorse Cravaack?  Must be the Kennedy issue or the other issues cited above, right?  Maybe Walter Mondale told them to switch sides?

Nope.  In fact, the two officials switched their support to Cravaack because of a specific current issue — mining.  Not a mention of Nolan’s past history at all.  Is there a lot of evidence that 8th District DFLers are hopelessly divided over Nolan?  There doesn’t seem to be.  Nolan easily won the DFL endorsement battle, which meant he was victorious among the very activists you would expect to have long memories about such things.

This post wasn’t “analysis” at all.  Rather, it was a chance to toss up some Chip Cravaack talking points about things in Nolan’s past, point out something unrelated and shout “Dems in disarray”.  That play was worn out years ago.  Sorry, Mike, we hoped for better.

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Strib: Koch meeting took place in Chanhassen

The Star Tribune provides the timeline surrounding the departures of Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and Senate Communications Director Michael Brodkorb last week.  Here’s an interesting piece of the story with a Carver County twist (emphasis added):

Two sources with direct knowledge of the incident who spoke on the condition of anonymity said the senators held a grinding, emotional, three-hour meeting with Koch at the Minneapolis Club about options. Exhausted, they broke for the night and met again Thursday at a location in Chanhassen.

Sources said on Thursday the senators gave Koch three choices: Deny the allegations, resign as majority leader or face the fact that they would share the allegations with other Senate leaders.

Koch has kept silent since these revelations came out on Friday. Brodkorb, however, has been actively tweeting, and doing so strangely given the sort of allegations swirling.  Here’s an example:

City Pages also uncovered a domestic dispute police call to the Brodkorb residence this summer.  Details here.

Let’s hope these families can find some healing.

WCCO: Koch Allegedly Had Inappropriate Relationship With Staffer, Plus Other GOP Bad News [UPDATED]

WCCO’s Pat Kessler is reporting that Minnesota Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch resigned her post Thursday after she was confronted by GOP Senate leaders about allegations of an inappropriate relationship with a Senate staffer, according to high level State Capitol sources.

This would be a sad ending to the story, if true.  Although I can’t say I agreed with Senator Koch on many issues, she was a capable leader of the Senate Caucus and seemingly had built a strong relationship with Governor Mark Dayton.

[UPDATE, 2:55 Friday]:  Headline updated to reflect the fact that the relationship is alleged at this point.

An interesting note from the WCCO story is that four Senators apparently confronted Koch on Wednesday.  One has to wonder if Chanhassen’s Julianne Ortman was one of them.  Ortman, as chair of the Tax Committee was an important leader in the caucus.

[UPDATE #2, 3:10 p.m.]:  At a Capitol press conference, it is reported that the four Senators in the meeting with Koch were Sen. Geoff Michel, Sen. David Hann, Sen. David Senjem, and Sen. Chris Gerlach.  Gerlach says Koch did not admit or deny the relationship.

[UPDATE #3, 3:30 p.m.]:  Michel reports that the staffer allegedly involved is a direct report.

Also, it’s interesting to note the very real divergence between what was said yesterday and what was being said today.  Even though Sen. Hann was in the meeting with Koch on Wednesday, he said yesterday that the resignation was a “total surprise”, even though the four Senators in the meeting all reported today that Koch brought the topic up.

Koch, as well, chose to provide a spinned account of events as well, saying that there was no hidden agenda behind her decision.  But, I guess that’s not really a surprise — that’s the pattern for politicians of all stripes who get caught in this sort of thing.

[UPDATE #4, 4:00 p.m.]:  The rough day for the GOP gets rougher.  Party Chair candidate Brandon Sawalich was arrested yesterday for having a vehicle with expired tabs.  Today, he withdrew from the race after it was revealed the AP was pursuing allegations of a sexual harrassment claim that Sawalich settled in 2003.

Meanwhile, U.S. Senate candidate Joe Arwood revealed he was convicted in 2005 of attempting to go through airport security with a loaded handgun.

And, State Senator Mike Parry is planning a press conference later this hour.  Parry is running for the U.S House in District 1 and his campaign manager is Michael Brodkorb, who also works as the Executive Assistant to the Senate GOP Majority Caucus.

[UPDATE #5, 6:20 p.m.]:  Sen. Parry canceled his press conference.

[UPDATE #6, 9:15 p.m.]:  MPR is reporting that Michael Brodkorb is no longer employed by the GOP Senate Caucus.

[UPDATE #7, Saturday 3:40 p.m.]:  Brodkorb has left the Parry campaign, per the Pioneer Press.


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