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Brodkorb’s complaint

March 16, 2012
The Journal

Michael Brodkorb, the Minnesota Senate Republican staffer who was fired last fall for having an affair with then Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch, is claiming his firing was discriminatory, because other staffers - females who were involved in adulterous affairs with male legislators - were not fired. His attorneys are preparing a lawsuit that threatens to depose all those women and essentially turn the state capitol into a late night soap opera.

People may not relish the prospect, but Brodkorb has a complaint, and perhaps a legitimate one. He has a right to pursue damages. And since the issue was plunked in front of Minnesotans there has been little chance of the state putting the blinders back on and pretending such things don't happen in our state capitol.

In fact, it may be time for the light to shine on the carryings-on in the capitol.

In the past there has been a willingness in the public and the media to ignore rumors of affairs and assignations in the halls of government. As long as the participants were discreet and there was no impact on public policy decisions, America was willing to let personal affairs remain personal.

But that has been changing. The media are becoming more attentive, and as politicians polish their "character" credentials and pursue more values-oriented legislation, their personal predilections have become more important.

When Republican leaders in the Senate found it necessary to confront their Majority Leader with complaints about improper relationships and favoritism with staff, it opened the issue. Brodkorb's suit may be just the natural progression of the issue.



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