Wednesday, March 14, 2007

The go-to guy

Spotty took a Gray Line bus tour of some of the Republican ghettos in the Twin Cities the other day. In one especially joyless hamlet, Spot spied this sign in front of a house that had some curious stains on the side, almost as if someone had thrown eggs at the house:

Below the sign was that little fringe you see sometimes under a sign or notice that has a phone number on several little tabs that can be pulled off and consulted later. There were only a couple of the tabs that had been detached and taken.

When he got home, Spot got to thinking: Brokdorp, Brodkorb, Birdkoop? The name seems kind of familiar. Spot decided to check his newspapers for the last month--he keeps them stacked neatly day by day and has a collection of many years' issues now; it's getting hard to walk through the dog house--and by golly, it looks like it was people from the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press that took those little tabs! The papers have made excellent use of the consulting services of Mr. Brodkorb. Spot doesn't know if Brodkorb mows D.J. Tice's lawn, though.

By Spot's count, there are sixteen articles in the last month in the Star Tribune and Pioneer Press that mention Mr. Oracle, several of them quoting him. A few of the articles are letters to the editor, but even discounting them, Brodkorb gets a lot of ink from the journalism fraternity. Here are just a few of them:

On February 28, the Pioneer Press featured an article about the Minnesota Senate committee hearing on the Restroom Access Act, an act designed to make retail establishment restrooms available to persons who need quick access to them because of a medical condition. And Michael Brodkorb, drawing on his extensive medical and retail knowledge, weighs right in:

Michael Brodkorb, a self-described Republican blogger, took his objection to the bill even further -- he renamed it the Freedom to Poop Act.

"In my heart of hearts, I just don't believe that we need legislation that dictates that level of involvement in businesses," he said. Simple human decency, he believes, would require that businesses make their restrooms available to those in need.

Spotty, you can't be heartless in your heart of hearts, can you?

It is a curious turn of a phrase, isn't it, grasshopper?

Mr. Brodkorb also opined that Mark Ritchie had forfeited his right to be the Minnesota Secretary of State by attending a People for the American Way event, as described in a Star Tribune Article of February 25:

Republicans, led by conservative blogger Michael Brodkorb, are beginning to make the case that Ritchie, a lifelong activist for environmental and other liberal causes, is too partisan and too ideological to provide fair oversight of the state's election process.

This line of attack echoes the barrage of criticism directed over the last eight years by DFLers at Kiffmeyer, who was accused of being too conservative and Republican to serve as the top election official.

Noting that Ritchie recently spoke at an event sponsored by People For the American Way, a liberal national interest group founded by Hollywood producer Norman Lear, Brodkorb said Ritchie "is really tied in to that network."

"Democrats would scream bloody murder if Kiffmeyer went to such rabidly partisan groups," Brodkorb said.

This is presumably the same Mary Kiffmeyer who wants to destroy the wall of separation between church and state as Norm [Jesus Spot, what were you thinking] Nick Coleman noted in a column some time ago. The Strib article failed to note that Brodkorb was Kiffmeyer's goon in her meeting with Ritchie after the election, or that Brodkorb posted a number of times about the meeting and making snide remarks about Ritchie.

Most recently, Brodkorb got consulted for a March 13 article in the Strib on whether it was constitutional to let permanent resident aliens vote in local elections for school board or city council:

"While I certainly am sensitive to the taxation-without-representation argument, I just don't believe that noncitizens of this state should be allowed to
vote," said Michael
Brodkorb, a conservative Minnesota blogger.

"I think it's bad precedent to allow noncitizens of the United States to vote in elections," Brodkorb said.

What would it be a bad precedent for Mr. Brodkorb? Recognizing that immigrants are human beings with families? Or perhaps it would reverse the trend of limiting voting to the landed gentry? Mr. Brodkorb doesn't say.

Where Brodkorb has gotten the most ink recently is his dodging of a defamation lawsuit bullet by Blois Olson. Brodkorb has told several reporters--anybody who will listen, really--that the outcome of the case means that he is a real journalist. And some people who should know better, including D.J. Tice, have swallowed it.

In the Pioneer Press on March 10, Brodkorb is quoted as saying:

Michael Brodkorb, a political operativebehind the site minnesotademocratsexposed .com, expressed relief at the dismissal.

"I think this goes back to what I said from the beginning, that this was afrivolous lawsuit, and the court agreed with me," he said. "I'm glad that it's over."

[. . .]

Brodkorb, though, said the acts of the case would have ultimately vindicated him, regardless of Olson's status as a public figure.

"I stand by what I wrote," he said. "What I wrote is true."

Well, maybe. But Tim Nelson didn't press Brodkorb on the fact that the court had merely found that Blois Olson could not prove actual malice, not that what Brodkorb said was true.

And just round out Spot's coverage of the coverage, we have the faithful factotum Katie, who dutifully reports--if that the right word in the case of Katie-- on February 19 about Brodkorb's hysterical list of proposed bills in the Minnesota Legislature, including the aforesaid "Freedom to Poop":

I could go on. [Katie generally does] Actually, bloggers King Banaian, an economics professor at St. Cloud State University, Drew Emmer and Michael Brodkorb have done just that. They've slogged through reams of leaden legalese to compile lists of our legislators' most exotic conjurings and tallied votes for the most egregious at Banaian's blog, SCSU Scholars.

It is so nice that the local papers have found such a reliable quote and opinion machine. At this rate, Michael won't have to mow lawns much longer!

Update: Thanks to Charlie, Spot fixed the Coleman reference.

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