Fired After Affair, Brodkorb Threatens Payback

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Michael Brodkorb once was the bane of Minnesota Democrats, a savvy and aggressive operative whose scorched-earth approach to politics — showcased on a blog called “Minnesota Democrats Exposed!” — fueled his rise to dual roles as deputy chairman of the state GOP and chief spokesman for Senate Republicans.

Today, he’s as toxic to his own party as he ever was to Democrats. Fired late last year from his Senate job after an adulterous affair with the majority leader — his boss — Brodkorb is now threatening a $1.5 million wrongful termination lawsuit that his attorney says could expose more than a dozen other Capitol affairs.

“I call that extortion or blackmail and I will continue to do so,” Cal Ludeman, the Senate’s chief administrative employee, said this week. Brodkorb’s lawyers called the comment defamatory.

Whatever the motive, the mere possibility Brodkorb may expose alleged infidelities has rocked Senate Republicans and sent politicians of every stripe running for cover.

At a regular end-of-week briefing for Capitol reporters, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, Sen. Julianne Ortman, said a variation of “no comment” eight times in less than five minutes when questioned about Brodkorb. Numerous Republican senators approached by The Associated Press said they would not discuss him.

Ludeman fired Brodkorb without public explanation in late December, one day after Sen. Amy Koch abruptly quit her leadership post. When Koch later admitted she’d had an affair, widespread speculation had Brodkorb as the other half. But that wasn’t confirmed until this week when Brodkorb’s attorney said the two, both married to other people, had been in an intimate relationship.

Brodkorb’s potential lawsuit rests on a gender discrimination claim that even his attorney called “new and creative:” that he was treated differently as a man who had an affair with a female superior, in contrast to numerous female legislative employees he claims never lost their jobs despite affairs with male legislators.

“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,” according to a legal document Brodkorb’s lawyers filed this week with the state. Brodkorb’s attorney, Philip Villaume, told The Associated Press on Friday that Brodkorb has evidence of “10 to 15” such affairs. He wouldn’t describe the evidence.

Brodkorb hasn’t spoken publicly since he was fired and declined to comment for this story. Koch also has repeatedly refused comment.

Villaume said he can understand why legislators might be nervous. “Human nature being what it is, I guess I’d be a little uneasy about it.” But, he added: “It’s not our purpose to unnerve people, to upset their lives. Our job is to protect the legal interests of Mr. Brodkorb.”

Brodkorb, 38, began working on Republican campaigns in the 1990s and became an expert in “opposition research” — digging up incriminating information about political opponents. As founder and operator of “Minnesota Democrats Exposed,” Brodkorb from 2004 to 2008 maintained a stream of posts questioning the character and integrity of dozens of prominent Democrats.

Many were gleeful when he was fired, and some were happier still to see him threatening litigation that could hurt his own party. Brodkorb’s notice of claim warns of possible separate legal actions against a slew of Republican leaders who had a hand in his firing.

“Feel like I need a cigarette after that,” Javier Morillo, president of the state chapter of the Democratic-allied Service Employees International Union, tweeted shortly after Brodkorb’s lawyers finished a news conference where they talked about investigating affairs.

But Democrats at the Capitol were far more restrained. Brodkorb’s legal filing suggested he could implicate some in their party, too.

“I think we all have to be very careful about what gets said relative to the Brodkorb issue,” said the Senate’s Democratic leader, Tom Bakk. Still, he noted taxpayers likely would be on the hook for any settlement — Brodkorb is seeking at least $500,000 — and said the allegations “bring a great deal of dishonor to our institution.”

Asked who was responsible for that dishonor, Bakk responded: “It’s certainly not the Democrats.”

Sen. John Marty, a Democrat and 25-year Capitol veteran known as a guardian of legislative ethics, admitted that “you hear stories pop up now and then” about infidelities committed in the heat of the state’s yearly, months-long legislative sessions. But he said he felt Brodkorb was “clearly trying to get some money out of the Senate.”

“It’s just an ugly situation,” Marty said. “I’m trying to stay as far away from it as I can.”

(© Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • BettyC

    Mr Brodkorb Is noy some recently graduated innocent. He is a long time republican operative who should have known better and certainly was not taken advantage of. He is not the victim. His family, Sen Koch’s family and the people of MN are the victims. His defense that other people did it and got away with it is laughable. Grow up Michael and take the consequences of your actions

    • Dear BettyC

      That’s true, however, Mr. Brodkorb does have a point. I’m glad he’s going to reveal the names. Let’s let the cat out of the bag. Minnesota deserves the truth how women have been getting off the hook. A good example is most female teachers who commit a sexual crime against one of their students will do a lot less time compared to their male colleagues. That’s a fact that was confirmed by the History Channel.

    • Tom

      @ Betty C

      Im a Dem , that being said he does have a point that other people have done and or still doing it and are getting away with it.

  • kevin

    Take them all down…..who cares……they will just stay…..

  • Liquid Nails

    He made a “wide” choice with Amy.

    • Mel

      If that’s a slam on her weight…really?

    • Shar

      Agree, what an opportunist and big kitty!

  • Mel

    I demand to know if my tax dollars have been paying or subsidizing this man’s health care insurance. If so, it better not cover Viagra!!

    • why then

      actually Viagra is covered

  • hypocritical republicans

    Hypocritical republicans! They talk about morality, but turn around and cheat on their wives by having affairs with legislative staffers. These republican bumpkins are incapable of making legislative decisions and should be forced to resign.

  • Old Liberal Poor Excuse

    Your blaming a political party rather than the real cause, the people who commit the immoral acts. All poltical parties are equally guilty. Also, it takes two to “Tango” so it’s not just one person. Your explanation is old and incorrect. We all (families, coworkers, Minnesota citizens) are held victim to their acts. Both men AND women should be held to an equal responsibilty.

    • why then

      You are absolutely correct that both political partys are equally guilty. The one problem that the GOP has though is they “are the party of family values” and they try to push their “values” on us. I have a much different definition of morality than this clown and it does not include infidelity

      • John

        I’m not choosing side, but again it’s safe to safe both sides are pushing their “Values” upon us. Yes, more so Republicans, however, no matter what buisness field you choose or political party there is always a “Bad Apple” Catholics and Female Teachers are the topic dejour right now, you can’t go to bed without seeing a new pedifile of the week.

      • David J. Conklin

        Amen! Whenever you see the phrase “old liberal poor excuse” you know that you are going to be fed a line.

    • Tom

      Old Liberal Poor Excuse

      You seem to forget that the GOP is party who claims to be the party of “family values” and “morals and values” and that they claim to play by rules that are set by the nutty social conservatives. But yet they cry foul when they get caught breaking the ‘golden rules” that they claim they live by.

      And yes it does take two to tango, but it is the GOP who claims that they only do the “tango” with their spouses. If you dont want to be held to higher standard then maybe should quit preaching to the rest of us!

  • Murph

    What goes around,comes around! Go for it Baldie! You may have a wide taste in booty! But payback knows no bounderies either! Sink those wide bodies who are accusing you now! They are jus tas big or BIGGER arses as the one that got you in trouble to start with! IT’S BOOTY TIME!

    • Release the Names!!

      It would be AWESOME if we could get a list of names of all the MN Legislative S$@!S, that have gotten away with their hanky panky…. and if their is video, even better!!! Release the tapes!!

    • Ruth

      That’s right – go for it and start naming names. Maybe this is the start of a national cleaning out campaign of ALL the guilty parties from the state to the federal level..

    • Ash

      He may want to RETHINK what he is threatening!!!!!

      • Donald

        Rethink? Why…. What’s the problem? How could it backfire?? He’s already lost his job… Please explain…

        • Ash

          Payback may not be in his best interest!!!!!!!!!!

          • David J. Conklin


            • Ash

              Let’s see. You have an affair with someone you work with and it ruins YOUR career. Now you are threatening to ruin other peoples career? Very bad idea!!!!!!

              • David J. Conklin

                How could it get any worse for him?

                • Ash

                  Are you kidding????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!! It could get a lot worse for him.

                • David J. Conklin

                  As I’ve asked before: explain. Its hard for me to see how it could possibly get worse for him. He’s already lost his job.

                  OTOH, he could have a conversion experience and join us thinking independents and expose the shenanigans that go on on BOTH sides of the aisle! Then we could have a viable 3rd party that would give the one-finger salute to both sides!

            • Shut up Already

              @Ash, you keep blabbing away but don’t give anyone a straight answer. You should be a politician….all talk….no substance

    • Shar

      Think de bootae time already tool place for this sorry loser.

  • PS

    No wonder they can’t get anything accomplished during the sessions. They are too busy with their extracurricular activities to do the work they were elected to do!

  • steve

    he is getting over his head and someone may serve it to him.

  • yipes

    You mean other politicians and staffers have had affairs? Who would have thought? Oh the outrage. Oh the humanity. In other news, Amy Koch was recently kicked off an airplane so it could get enough power to even taxi away from the terminal.

  • dan

    He looked all around and that tub is the one he picked for an affair? Wow.

  • mwallek

    He dipped his wick on the family values ticket and now wants to profit from the affair. Was he poorly treated? Who cares. This family values guy was lying and having sex with a married legislator, also a big family values individual. What would be best for this guy is to close the pie hole, take his rogaine and go live his little family values life out of sight. And sure, go and whine about all the others who has illicit sex with co-workers. We love dirty laundry.

  • gardengurl

    Amy Koch (and many legislativeRepublicans) must be wondering why in the world she picked THIS guy to get involved with!!!

  • DM

    I think that it would take more than 1.5 mil for me to have sex with that cow

    • Ash

      If I only had to do it once. I would take the 1.5M.

  • Robert

    Self-issued “permits” for drunk driving, adulterous affairs, fornication, bribes—and these are the people who make our laws?

  • j speedbag64

    get em brodkorb let us all know who was at the orgy with you and amy….

  • xxx

    When he calls staffers to depose, I assume that he will be speaking to all of the staffers on both sides of the aisle.
    i..e. I am sure that there is plenty of guilt to go around on both the republican side of the aisle as well as the democratic side of the aisle.

    I dare say that if this goes forward, there will be ranting and raving everywhere.

    • David J. Conklin

      They were comingling? The dogs and the cats having sex?!? What’s next?

  • gardengurl

    You are right, xxx, which is why it cannot go forward. Ludeman was nuts to halt mediation. This is going to cost taxpayers one way or the other, mark my words.

    • David J. Conklin

      Shouldn’t cost taxpayers a penny. Its the people who fired him who are going to pay.

  • See BS

    People should get over the 1990’s — the whole media “Sex Scandal” thing is a dead horse. Most people in Minnesota don’t care if Amy was having an affair with this guy.

    Big Deal!

    • David J. Conklin

      Bet if it was a Demoncrat you’d be singing a different tune.

  • Jean

    Why is this story still on the main page while stories about the stadium scam (which expose the voracious public resistance) disappear quickly?

    Media bias?

  • Suzie

    If it looks like extortion, talks like extortion, smells like extortion, it’s extortion.

    • David J. Conklin

      Ah, what a shame!

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