consultants are sandburs

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

OUR FRINEDS IN THE GOP ARE FRIENDS OF EACH OTHER - AND THEN SOME: Who savaged Laura Brod's reputation and why? And how is "the GOP" reacting? (Hint, it's a big tent, like Rome's Senate, "Et tu, Brute?") And what was commentary back in 2009 or so on Brodkorb's website? And what was the post Aplikowski scrubbed? And what had TwoPuttTommy found to summarize and report? And Harold Hamilton disliked one PAC last election cycle, but has not published a peep of a bark about Norm and Laura's uberPAC. And how do such thoughts and questions relate to the whodunit of the Tumblir photo?

RECENT EVENTS: Start here, it might relate to the whodunit, since quiescence is its own reward:

03/09/2013: Norm picks Brod
to head MN arm of his uberPAC.

03/13/2013: Norm and Laura together authored an uberPAC op-ed for PiPress, stating in part:

The DFL Party does not have a monolithic hold on power, nor on the hearts of the people of Minnesota. However, because the Republican Party is in such disfavor today, the DFL dominates the Minnesota political landscape.

The Minnesota GOP, and conservative candidates, will continue to lose ground with Minnesotans unless we dramatically change our level of empathy towards the people we seek to support.

The fact is, Minnesotans want a social safety net to support those who may need help from time to time. Republicans shouldn't be seen as attempting to dismantle the social safety net, but working to make it more efficient, effective and truly capable of helping those who can get on their feet, and do so with compassion.

Minnesotans support business and job creation, but they believe that Republicans have become too concerned with defending the wealthy and corporate interests at the expense of workers and small businesses.

While in reality this may not be accurate, perception is reality. We should not support positions that are not only unattainable, but unsupportable by a majority of Minnesotans.

Norm's the past master of tell 'em what they want to hear, then do your deeds; with Brod signing on to that spiel. And that piece bristled mightily with libertarian pundit Craig Westover, who wrote a 03/20/2013 followup in PiPress arguing:

It's about time Republicans stopped taking their cues from surveys and started leading from conviction. Unfortunately, the Coleman/Brod op-ed is all about following.

The fundamental assumption of the Coleman/Brod piece is that government exists to provide services; moreover, services to the level people want as long as government provides those services effectively and efficiently. Government should "live within its means" -- but the more "means" the government has, the more services it can provide. The more services the government provides, the larger its scope and intervention in our lives, but that is OK with Coleman and Brod as long as government is "effective, efficient and provides value."

In other words, Coleman/Brod conservatism would provide Minnesotans with everything the DFL promises, but more slowly and in a more responsible, economically sustainable manner. The idea of "No, not now, not ever" is too harsh an agenda for them. "Limited government," they imply, means the government we can afford but not necessarily the government defined by our state constitution, which is "instituted for the security, benefit and protection of the people."

Coleman/Brod conservatism fails by its own standards. It fails because its default "responsible" Republican position does not understand, much less articulate, the significant difference between progressive/liberal philosophy and small "r" republicanism.

The essence of republicanism is the primacy of individual sovereignty, the right of private property and "rule of law" defined by the constancy of an evolving body of common and statutory law. Progressive/liberal philosophy holds that collective need trumps individual sovereignty, the needs of government trump private property rights and "rule of law" means longstanding law can be changed overnight by a majority vote, which makes it just, and therefore, it must be obeyed. Those are fundamentally irreconcilable positions.

Despite controlling a humongo pot of money the local GOP currently lacks, having plenty tea bags and Bibles instead, Norm/Laura failed to resonate with Westover, who has self consistency over time to his credit (as well as self respect).

Less on libertarian theology than mention of a laundry list of possible Franken challengers, GOP pundit Mitch Berg with undeniable prescience on July 8, 2013, wrote:

Relatively few other names have surfaced on the GOP side, even as the hour is getting late for a competent challenge. [...] Former State Rep. Laura Brod remains at best a fever dream for many activists, one likely tempered by her political association with Norm Coleman and persistent (if ill-defined) rumors of family baggage should she run for office again.

Someone must have taken the thought seriously, beyond fever dreaming.

HISTORY: Back a few years, some said Brod would be a good governor, when she came in third in inner party divination, trailing Seifert and Emmer (now a CD6 wanna-rep); the latter source stating

What’s more, most of the potential GOP candidates are young hotshots rather than established figures – and playing field is ridiculously level. There’s State House Minority Leader and tentative frontrunner Marty Seifert (age 37), and State Rep. Paul Kohls (35). Moving up to the old people, there’s former State Auditor Pat Anderson (43), State Rep. Tom Emmer (48). An then there are the more reasonably seasoned former State House Speaker Steve Sviggum (57) and State Senator David Hann (also 57).

However, the candidate who seems to be generating the most excitement is State Rep. Laura Brod (37), who I first mentioned back on June 3rd. I said back then that I thought she showed great potential. Since then, she has blasted out of the starting gate to set herself up as a potential frontrunner -and she hasn’t even announced her candidacy yet! (Granted, that’s likely coming very soon.) In a recent poll of GOP insiders at the State Central Committee meeting, Seifert won, but there was more focus on Brod’s strong third place showing. It’s nothing to sneeze at when a lowly State Representative blows away a former State Auditor (Anderson) and a former Speaker of the House (Sviggum). And that’s just the insiders. With a the primary still over a year away and not many candidates with name recognition, Brod should be more than able to catch up to Seifert.

Furthermore, some of the lefty Minnesota blogs are already cranking out attacks on Brod (and attacking me for daring to mention her), which makes me inclined to concur with the assertion of Truth vs. The Machine – this woman scares the Dems.

Moreover, she fit right in, having had her party-hack commentary credentials stamped as ready to speak up and serve; using more words, but in essence having said damn that Franken, the insensitive beast.

Did I say Coleman tells 'em what they want to hear, with Brod an acolyte? Sally Jo Sorensen blogging at Bluestem Prairie thinks so, writing of the Coleman/Brod daily double op-ed in PiPress, and of genuineness:

Laura Brod delivered a slightly different message to the Southwest Metro Tea Party Patriot (SMTPP) multitudes gathered at the Chanhassen Rec Center on August 16, 2010 when she appeared on a double bill with right radio talker Sue Jeffers.

Brod seems to be modeling herself off of Coleman's earlier example, although she's pulling leftward after her courtship of the Tea Party, whereas Coleman veered right, ambitiously switching parties in the 1990s.

The SMTPP has removed videos from that time; fortunately, a clip of Brod's chat remains on her old Laura Brod House District 25 Youtube channel (hat-tip to Ken Avidor at Dump Bachmann). Brod led in with an anecdote drawn from a Tom Emmer fundraiser (Brod was an Emmer endorser in January 2010), then praises the conversative bedrock that she will conclude make the Tea Party the faction of ideas.

Some select excerpts:

We have such a tremendous opportunity as conservatives. You know you guys are feared, don't you? Look around you. You're scary. And that's exciting, because that means that the liberal left understands the value of this movement. They understand the power of this movement and it's not because you're scary people, it's because you speak scary things called common sense.

Now the liberals don't like common sense. They didn't like it way back when, they don't like it today, because they would like to have their reality, they would like to have their "interpretation" of the Constitution, they would like to have their "interpretation" of where we have to go as a country, but it's actually quite simple. Life. Liberty. Property (or the pursuit of happiness).

Never mind that those items are in the Declaration of Independence. She is being simple and this is "common sense" after all. She continues:

Limited government, lower taxes, that works. And people understand it. . . .

And that's a scary message to the liberals, because they want everybody to be victims. This victimology that we have out there from the left tells you as an individual that, you know what, you could be better if only the government would help you. You really could, you know that don't you, right?

But the fact is that people are rejecting that, you are rejecting that because you're here tonight, and the left and their media allies like to say that the Tea Party is this or the tea party is that,. . .it's a fiscal call to arms that we have in this country and in this state . . .

Later Brod talks about making tough choices and buckling down on spending. Granted she doesn't claim to be willing to take it out of the hide of the "victims," but she doesn't bring up any other target it her 2010 talk.

Ah, but times have changed! No long an Empress of Emmerism, the Pythoness of New Prague is the Emissary of Empathy, as genuine as Norm Coleman's teeth--though certainly far more charming.

"Empress of Emmerism" to "Emissary of Empathy?" How about "Functionally Flexible Countess of Chameleons?" Or "Ego's Alter-ego," i.e., "Norm's Nominee?"

Back to history. Aplikowski wrote a provocative post, then scrubbed it, with departing fighting words over, okay I scrubbed, here. But - posterity was served when on MN Progressive Project Brian Falldin on June 30, 2009 posted a screen capture of that which was scrubbed but not lost, this image:

click it to read it

While Brod might a few weeks ago have banked on Minnesotans' short attention spans, it should not have been so since coverage a few years ago was detailed. Specifically, Two Putt Tommy had a chain of summer-2009 posts, this link (with a few non-Brod outliers in the set); with some parallel publishing by him at MPP, here, here, here, and here.

Sample the original sources, I will not try to paraphrase or quote bits here and there. It is a good string of interesting commentary about Republicans backstabbing one another, more or less.

The Tumblir image, and why care? Transit back to 2013 summer fun. CJ at Strib writes a sufficient background piece, here. Can you say Scarlet Letter? By photo.

It might have flown under the public's radar, allegations being there was a mass press emailing of which only Kevin Hoffman of City Pages published, starting July 25, 2013, here. He posted more, here (hat tip on the Coleman/Brod birds-PACs-of-a-feather tie-in), most recently here, and in between, here and here.

MPP, here.

The Brod photo's been published. Round up the usual suspects.


I cannot wait to see what Anoka County Record publishes about this. To see what Hamilton and Krinkie may be thinking, since that is what appears to set the Record straight -- straight down Taxpayer League chapter and verse. Strangely enough. As a sheer shot in the dark guess, Anoka County Record will publish no more, no less, than the next Anoka County Watchdog's barking email newsletter - the [sort of] weekly emails. And at a guess, that will be zippo.

Andy at Residual Forces has been taken to the woodshed, and is publishing nothing. Ditto, Mitch Berg's silence weeks after speculating a trend.

Breaking ranks with oh-so-daring coverage, GOP pundits weigh in, here and here. Is Plain Vanilla your favorite flavor of the day?

WOW. And a disclaimer. I made it through the entire post without resort until now to the phrase, "strange bedfellows," because I did not want to make any double entendre suggestions about Norm and Laura, (beyond political like mindedness and will to glide and slide - politically).

But Brod deserves a parting shot or two after that crap she was quoted on about Franken, from the perspective of lacking any decent right to righteous indignation. So, images save many words:

see all

no videos

And -

Love the GOP.

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