Best Scandal - 2012
Regardless of one's political leanings, we feel pretty comfy saying the year's biggest scandal was the resignation of State Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch after allegations she had an affair with a "male staffer." It now seems clear the staffer was the former deputy chair of the state Republican Party, Michael Brodkorb. Koch was confronted and pushed into resignation; Brodkorb was fired the next day. A broader term for whole phenomena might be The Great MNGOP Implosion of 2011-12, since Brodkorb had already abruptly resigned his title months earlier along with former party chair Tony Sutton after it was revealed the party has racked up $2 million in debt. Koch seems to be lying low for the most part, but Brodkorb came back swinging. He says other staffers had sex with legislators and kept their jobs. And he wants them deposed. Now state politicos may have to make an ugly choice — preemptively acknowledge the affairs and tempt political suicide, or shell out for a settlement to keep Brodkorb from squawking. Piled on are additional ethics complaints that the affair was mishandled and lied about by GOPers. The whole thing feels a lot like We The People are a bunch of parents whose kids got busted at a college kegger: "We sent you there for a purpose and you just got naked and embarrassed everyone."