Friday, April 13, 2012

Oh, what a tangled web we weave!

Cal, what were you thinking?

Avidor cartoon
Minnesota Public Radio reports that Michael Brodkorb's initial claim for unemployment compensation was denied.

When you make an unemployment claim and you're eligible (worked long enough, etc.), your claim is approved and allowed, or it's denied. If it's denied, it is for one of two reasons: you quit voluntarily, or you were fired for misconduct. In the present case, the information about the reasons for Brodkorb's departure would have come from Cal's office.

We know Brodkorb didn't quit. He was practically assassinated by Cal Ludeman in a suburban restaurant. So it must have been misconduct. What kind of misconduct?

Michael, did you steal a box of paperclips? 

The smart money -- and even the dumb money --  is on the square marked "fired for an inappropriate relationship." That's why Amy Koch was dethroned last December from her position as Senate Majority Leader (and it has been revealed since then that Brodkorb was, in fact, her paramour), an act that being explained in a press conference at the same time that Cal was firing Brodkorb.

Posterized MPR photograph
Thinking these two events were unrelated strained credulity at the time. That's what Cal said, however:
Cal Ludeman, secretary of the Senate, told MPR News earlier this week that the Senate Republican leadership team's reasons for recommending Brodkorb be fired did not have to do with an inappropriate relationship with Koch. Ludeman said Brodkorb was an at-will employee who reported directly to Koch. He said the will [emphasis added] was no longer there to keep Brodkorb on staff when Koch stepped down. Senate employees are at-will employees meaning they could be fired at any time, without any warning for nearly any reason.
It was bullshit then, and it's bullshit now.

Cal and the rest of the Republican Senate leadership -- note that the current Majority Leader is sitting next to the "acting" Majority Leader, Geoff Michel -- are complete dead ducks as witnesses in any litigation with Brodkorb.

Two different -- and irreconcilable -- accounts have been made about why Brodkorb left the Senate.

By the same people.

Lawyers pray for cross examination material like this. Were you lying then, or are you lying now?

It is remarkable that even people as thick as the current Republican leadership in the Senate would continue to have Cal -- who will be known as the lying farmer from Tracy -- in charge of this case.

Update: Here's a bit from a Hot Dish Politics post this afternoon:
“Over the last few months, representatives of the Minnesota Senate have systematically trampled on the legal rights of privacy afforded to a state employee under the law,” attorney Philip Villaume wrote in a press release Friday. 
The accusation came the same day Minnesota Public Radio broke the news that Brodkorb’s appeal for unemployment benefits had been rejected by the state.Villaume accused Cal Ludeman, secretary of the Senate, of leaking the news of Brodkorb’s appeal to the press.
Cal Ludeman is in a serious conflict of interest position in this case; it is mystifying that he is permitted to continue to manage it.

When approached about the matter, however, Senate spokester Steve Sviggum said, "What conflict?"

Okay, I made that last part up.

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