BEST LOCAL BOY GONE BAD - 2004
You have to hand it to Dick Borrell: The mustachioed businessman from the west metro town of Waverly has more chutzpah than any 10 Minnesota politicians combined. In his 2002 race for the state House of Representatives, Borrell blustered his way to victory despite a sordid personal revelation that would have sent lesser aspirants scurrying for the cover, comfort, and obscurity of private life. The significant details, as revealed in documents filed in Wright County District Court: On a full-moon night in 1987, Borrell crept into the darkened bedroom of a relative's fiancée. Pretending to be her betrothed, Borrell allegedly then induced the oblivious woman to give him oral pleasure. After the woman discovered she'd been had--literally had--she filed a civil lawsuit; in 1993, Borrell settled for $20,000. In his deposition, Borrell attributed the boorish behavior to everything from the Ides of March (no kidding) to alcohol. By his own count, the consumption of spirits was heroic: a 12-pack of beer, five screwdrivers, and three kamakazes. Okay, you say, that was a long time ago. Let bygones be bygones. But there is little evidence that Borrell's bad-boy streak ever abated. Earlier this year, the 52-year-old Waverly native pleaded guilty to a gross misdemeanor charge of making false campaign statements--a fairly stunning thing when you consider how much lying occurs in politics, and how few criminal charges are leveled. In February, Borrell landed in court again, where he pleaded guilty to packing a loaded handgun in his carry-on luggage at the Minneapolis-St. Paul Airport. Sadly, for Borrell's fans (and anyone else who enjoys the spectacle of imploding politicians), Borrell finally did display a modicum of shame. On the occasion of his second guilty plea in as many months, Borrell announced he would not seek another term come fall.