Near the close of a fractious two-day Republican Party of Minnesota state convention in St. Cloud, Jeff Johnson took the dais to address the elephant in the room: the tensions between supporters of Ron Paul and other activists and party regulars.
DFL Gov. Mark Dayton and Republican leaders of the Legislature spent the week fielding questions about their close-of-session priorities, and lawmakers shuttled between news conferences and marathon floor sessions in both chambers.
It's been nearly a month since the committee last met to discuss complaint, opting to meet again after talks stalled. This time senators acknowledged their unbreakable stalemate, and voted 3-1 to adjourn to the call of the chair with no final decision.
Nearing the end of Session 2012, Dayton has mostly kept out of the headlines, the spotlight directed instead at scandals and internal battles within the Republican caucuses.
Flanked by almost the entire GOP caucus, Sen. Geoff Michel vigorously defended his handling of the Amy Koch-Michael Brodkorb scandal at a hearing before the Senate ethics panel on Friday afternoon.
DLFers say Michel failed to act quickly enough to restore a “safe working environment” for senators, “betrayed the public’s trust” by reporting an inaccurate timeline to the media and brought the Senate into “dishonor and disrepute.”
Three months have passed since the resignation of Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and the firing of key Senate staffer Michael Brodkorb. But the episode has once again gripped the Capitol during the past week as Brodkorb’s attorneys and Senate officials traded public accusations.
Attorneys for Michael Brodkorb are threatening to expose other extra-marital affairs between senators and staff members in an effort to prove that Brodkorb was discriminated against when he was fired in December for having an intimate relationship with former Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.
Secretary of the Senate Cal Ludeman this afternoon used strong words to deny that former Senate Communications Director Michael Brokorb's wrongful termination case has merit.
Nearly two months after a December whirlwind that saw Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and her entire leadership team resign, the chamber’s Republican majority has moved into the 2012 session and put the upheaval in its rear-view mirror. Almost.
Minnesota Republicans started the 2011 session having conquered titans. In the Legislature, GOP lawmakers had made a historic 54-seat gain in the House and Senate that fall, a swing that handed them majorities in both chambers for the first time in 38 years.
Board of Regents Chair Linda Cohen said the established code of ethics doesn't mention a situation such as Sviggum's, it's the board's duty to investigate whether the arrangement is a proper.
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