Amy Koch's recent interviews with local media, coupled as they as are with the news of Michael Brodkorb's serious one-vehicle accident last Wednesday night, give rise once more to discussion of motive and blame in her fall from power in December 2011 in the aftermath of their love affair.
In this morning's Blotter, City Pages blogger Aaron Rupar provides a handy digest of the news reports in Amy Koch owns bowling alley, says "I really like the people I have working for me":
Much like her paramour Michael Brodkorb did in October, Amy Koch did the media rounds last week and gave interviews about her December 2011 ouster as Senate Majority Leader to MinnPost, the Star Tribune, the AP, and anybody on the street who would listen.
And yet, Bluestem wonders what is particularly newsworthy here, save for a serious accident involving a private citizen, a mishap made front-page newsworthy only because of Brodkorb's continued litigation against the Minnesota Senate. We look for news of Brodkorb's continued improvement and release, and withhold judgment on the state patrol report of alcohol present on Mr. Brodkorb's breath until further tests and possible charges are released.
Bluestem is not, after all, Minnesota Democrats Exposed, where Michael Brodkorb published and re-published accounts of driving stops far less damaging to the political enemies he exposed than his wreck has proven to his own well-being.
As sympathetic as Brodkorb's broken body or Koch's current gig as mistress of a bowling alley might be, neither demonstrates that Brodkorb was victim of gender discrimination when fired by the state senate, the sole remaining claim in his lawsuit.
While the former incident is indeed an accident, Koch's pre-accident interview with Baird Helgeson seems designed to stoke the dying embers of public interest in the firing, a way of trying his legal claims in the court of public opinion.
Friends of Bluestem speculate whether this is yet another thrust to try to get the Senate--now controlled by Democrats entirely blameless in the power grapplings of 2011--to settle with Brodkorb, while admitting no blame. Bluestem hopes that Majority Leader Bakk not give into this temptation, for Mr. Brodkorb's claim seems weak, while his political style needs no encouragement.
The claims of Michel fibbing in the ethics hearings were aired on a least one progressive blog sympathetic to Brodkorb, while Sarah Janezcek proposed the case of the sexist coup on her site months ago. Koch's vague stories seem old hat.
To be sure, there are bits of gossip in the Helgeson story that are twitter-worthy. Bluestem was flabbergasted to learn that our old friend Todd Rapp had a hand in setting up the total fail of a press conference in which Republican Senate leadership presented a unified male face to wave Majority Leader Koch's Scarlet Letter to the world, without disclosing the identity of her paramour.
And given that Himle Rapp had the Vikings stadium among their clients' interests can put to bed one of the more preposterous storylines of December 2011: that Brodkorb and Koch were done in by stadium foes. Remember that one? No? MinnPost's Cyndy Brucato dutifully left that Christmas gift beneath the tree in Stadium politics played role in Koch and Brodkorb dismissal, insiders say.
And given that Senator Julie Rosen had successfully achieved a stadium deal by May 2012, one might argue that reports of sexism in the Minnesota Senate are greatly exaggerated.
Indeed, the Macbethery of Majority Leader Koch's downfall seems to Bluestem to be less a consequence of sexism than simply of her membership in a pack of--we will not say wolves, as scientists who study animal behavior tell us that wolves have have greater honor in their social survival strategies.
Other explanations will be advanced no doubt. Indeed, one commenter in the Star Tribune, a Nathan Hale, who has but one life to live as a sock puppet in the comment section of the Star Tribune, assigns all blame for the "coup" leading to Koch's downfall to one Brad Biers, now communications director to Minority Leader Hann. Mr. Hale believes that Biers was jealous of Brodkorb's job, and thus schemed to obtain his current position.
Never mind that Dave Senjem took Koch's place, and Steve Sviggum, that of Brodkorb, while Biers remained as a committee aide for the remainder of the last session. Indeed, in light of the fact that Senator Hann only gained leadership of his caucus with the loss of the Republican majority in November's election, Bluestem can only hope that Biers start scheming in earnest again.
Photo: Leadership announces the end of the state shutdown. Koch is in the light blue jacket, and that looks like Brodkorb behind Dayton's shoulder. Via the Christian Science Monitor.
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