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Churn, Baby, Churn: Minnesota’s Republicans in Meltdown Mode

6:57 pm in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Brodkorb the Ladykiller, courtesy of Tildology.com

You know that scene near the end of The Wrath of Khan where the dying Khan, in full Ahab mode, sets his commandeered ship to be a time bomb intended to take out the Good Ship Enterprise, whose warp engines he knows to be disabled? That’s what I’m thinking of when I hear the latest twist in the Michael Brodkorb portions of the saga called the Fall of the House of Sutton:

 

A former Minnesota Senate staffer who claims he was fired because of an affair with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch is now saying he intends to expose female staffers who had affairs with legislators and were not fired as part of a potential lawsuit.

Michael Brodkorb’s lawyer, Phillip G. Villaume, filed a notice of claims seeking more than $500,000 in damages along with attorneys’ fees for illegal termination on the basis of gender discrimination. The notice
also “reserves the right” to include invasion of privacy claims against three members of the Senate GOP leadership and two Senate staffers.

“Mr. Brodkorb has evidence that similarly situated female legislative employees, from both political parties, were not terminated from their employment positions despite intimate relationships with male legislators,” wrote Villaume in a letter dated March 13. “It is clear that Mr. Brodkorb was terminated based on his gender. He intends to depose all of the female legislative staff employees who participated in intimate relationships, as well as the legislators who were party to those intimate relationships, in support of his claims of gender discrimination.”

Brodkorb’s lawyer tried to say that the depositions would never ever become public as he was “sure” a judge would order that such information be kept confidential. But if the identities of those who would be giving depositions never became publicly known, then Brodkorb’s suit wouldn’t frighten the Republicans the way it does. (Yes, yes, the suit references persons of “both parties”, but just two months ago the Senate Republicans, on the pretext of budget-tightening, dumped nearly half of the full-time DFL legislative staffers while not firing a single Republican staffer. There are far more Republicans than Democrats remaining that are likely to be affected.) Cal Ludeman, the Secretary of the Senate and the person who actually fired Brodkorb from Brodkorb’s Senate job — which by the way was Brodkorb’s last official toehold on power at the State Capitol, he having bailed out of his Deputy RPM Chair job last October as his ally and RPM Chair Tony Sutton’s money scandals were catching up to both him and his buddies — responded to Brodkorb’s suit by calling it an attempt “to extort a payment” from the Minnesota Senate. Read the rest of this entry →

Republican Tea Party Groups Using Joke Lawsuit to Scare Minnesota’s Poor, Youth Vote away from Polling Places

7:29 am in Uncategorized by Phoenix Woman

Jeff Rosenberg reports that the teabagger wing of the Minnesota Republican Party is attacking efforts by state and local officials to keep them from practicing typical Republican voter-intimidation tricks:

Minnesota Majority, the group that is organizing gangs of thugs to intimidate voters on election day, is trying to turn our very polling places into partisan battlefields.

The law in Minnesota is simple: It says that no campaigning is allowed in the polling place. Voters must be allowed to exercise their right to vote peacefully, without being beset by partisans. The right to peace and privacy while voting is a fundamental part of our right to vote.

Now MN Majority and the North Star Tea Party “Patriots” are suing Hennepin and Ramsey counties for the “right” to outfit their voter-intimidation thugs with Tea Party logos and campaign slogans.

These groups are part of the umbrella far-right group “Election Integrity Watch”, and they’re trying to push to wear Tea Party slogans that despite their claims aren’t even close to being disguised as non-partisan. The lawsuit won’t get very far in court, but that’s not its point. Its point is to be part of the climate of fear and intimidation that the Republicans are trying to create in order to keep younger and poorer voters from voting.

A good chunk of the fear-and-intimidation gambit is to imply, heavily, that those who are poor, non-white, or between the ages of eighteen and thirty have no business trying to vote, and that any efforts made by them to vote are “illegal”. This is done in part by suggesting that “vote fraud” is a far more common problem than it really is: Read the rest of this entry →