Today's Worthington Daily Globe has published a letter from a friend, Brewster-area farmer Doug Bauman. In State taxpayers are left holding the bill, Bauman writes:
At the time of his termination, Mr. Brodkorb was employed by the Minnesota Senate GOP caucus as Director of Communications. This is a state job and therefore the cost of defending the GOP leadership in what is essentially an inter-party war will be assumed by the state. The current legal defense bill is $84,000. As Brodkorb shows no sign of going away, the legal bill will continue to climb. Legal expenses could easily reach the six figure range and possibly top a million if and when a settlement is reached. Negotiating a settlement with Michael Brodkorb, short of giving him everything he asks for, will not be easy. Mr. Brodkorb has a reputation as a master of divisive politics, sharp elbows, and scorched earth political strategies. The give and take of negotiation is not in Brodkorb’s nature. . . .
When the GOP Senate leadership hired Brodkorb they knew they were employing a divisive, no-holds-barred, politics as war, loose cannon. The GOP should not be surprised that Brodkorb is now aiming his cannons at them.
As your article noted, approval of the costs created by this avoidable legal mess broke along party lines. Democrats opposed payment, Republicans voted for it. Unfortunately the Minnesota taxpayers are on the hook for it.
Read the whole thing at the Globe.
Bauman's message echoes statements DFL state chair Ken Martin gave to the New Ulm Journal as part of a press pilgrimage that made its progress through a steamy Southern Minnesota yesterday. Josh Moniz reports in DFL chair confident about taking Legislature in 2012:
The Republican Party of Minnesota is struggling with many issues, ranging from financial difficulties to a scandal involving a party leader.
However, Martin said the factor that will have the most importance in the 2012 election is "the civil war within the Republican Party."
"The DFL has gone through its own internal strife in the past. But, I don't think I've ever seen something this pronounced before," said Martin. "An already fairly right-leaning party is being challenged by people even further to the right. They're tearing themselves apart from the inside."
Martin offers the local example of the Allen Quist--Mike Parry contest to illustrate his point:
"You have these two far-right candidates pivoting further right to be the candidate. They're going to have a very hard time turning back towards moderate voters in August," said Martin, "I think Walz has an advantage. The election won't be as close as people think."
Martin suggested that the Republican Party's shift to the right was caused by purging individuals who didn't exactly follow party lines.
Reading our traffic logs, Bluestem knows what he means. Viewer interest in Emo Senator is declining, while the recent post about Allen Quist's call for impeachment of President Obama gained interested only because readers felt the Norseland farmer had written off Romney's chances of getting elected.
At this rate, we suspect we'll be reduced to posting cute videos of our adorable rescue cats to get any attention for the congressional race in the First.
Cartoon: The Brodkorb Files by Ken Avidor.