The biggest news of the weekend comes in the fact that Michael Brodkorb resigned all of the positions affiliating him with the Republican Party of Minnesota in wake of the scandal involving Sen. Majority Leader Amy Koch. When it was reported on Friday that Koch was stepping down from her position because of allegations that she had engaged in an "inappropriate" relationship with a staffer, Brodkorb resigned his position as communications director with the Minnesota Senate GOP. On Saturday, he resigned from his position as an advisor to Sen. Mike Parry's campaign for Congress.
Keep in mind, Brodkorb's new position with the Parry campaign was the reason he stepped down as deputy chairman of the Minnesota Republican Party. Unless Brodkorb is experiencing some sort of midlife crisis, there is no reason for him to be intentionally unemployed absent involvement in the Koch scandal. The situation looks pretty grim.
To make it even more odd, he spent the weekend Tweeting things to his followers in the media and in political circles such as, "maybe I'll hit Bed Bath & Beyond" (on Saturday) and "Exercised today; post exercise clean-up included daily routine of putting gel in hair; I really have no hair, but i just I can't let go" (on Sunday). Are these the words of an unemployed guilty man contemplating his fate or an innocent one who is enjoying life with nothing to do? You decide.
Earlier this evening, I went to a meet and greet with Todd McIntyre, a candidate for state chairman of the Republican Party of Minnesota. (The party is holding its election for the position on December 31st, a mere 13 days away.) Todd is the only candidate to have contacted the delegates since Brandon Sawalich dropped out on the heels of his arrest by police at the Minneapolis airport and allegations of sexual misconduct in 2003.
According to the Star Tribune, former four-term legislator Mike Osskopp is also seeking to become the chairman. (Reading the Star Tribune, it seems like Osskopp is the only one left standing. I don’t know him, but his relationship with the paper suggests I won’t like him or want to vote for him.)
Other potential candidates still include Terry McCall and Sue Jeffers. Terry was more hesitant to run when I spoke to him last Tuesday, and I could relate to his position at that time. Yet with Sawalich out of the race, the reasons for him to be hesitant are severely diminished.
As for McIntyre, my takeaway from the meeting is that he will have a difficult time convincing many of the delegates to support him over a more experienced (and potentially liberal) candidate like Osskopp. He would not commit to supporting the party platform, because he said he had not read the platform. The platform’s provision against gambling was one example of an item he may not support. That will be a hard sell to delegates.
Additionally, McIntyre stated that he would seek a salary and suggested the option of a performance-based bonus for the chairman's position. I agree that the state chairman should be compensated. Uncompensated party leaders are not accountable to anyone, and that is a bad situation. However, McIntyre stated that he wasn't sure what sort of compensation he would seek. In order to be a viable candidate, he will need to figure it out before his election.
In the meantime, we can be sure that moderate Republican legislators will be searching for a candidate of their own to support. Republican Speaker Kurt Zellers endorsed Brandon Sawalich before he dropped out of the race. With Sawalich out, Zellers will be looking for another candidate to support. We can expect him to be looking for a candidate who will be loyal to Zellers' legislative agenda over the party platform or any other entity. Unfortunately, such a candidate may not be a conservative one.
In the meantime, I am still hopeful that Terry McCall will enter the race, provided he sees a realistic path to victory.