DFL cuts MNGOP Senate staffers' salaries; Bakk cites cost of Brodkorb lawsuit

Bakk is taking money for Brodkorb's legal fees out of MNGOP Senate staffers' pockets.
Bakk is taking money for Brodkorb's legal fees out of MNGOP Senate staffers' pockets.

The repercussions from the Michael Brodkorb-Amy Koch sex scandal will be felt in the bank accounts of MNGOP Senate staffers this legislative session.

SEE ALSO: Last year, MNGOP Senate staffers couldn't even eat lunch without getting in trouble

Yesterday, the DFL-controlled Senate approved new pay rates that significant cut the pay of the MNGOP's Senate caucus employees. When Republicans made a fuss about it, Senate Majority Leader Tom Bakk told them that Democrats are simply practicing some fiscal responsibility and saving up so they have enough money to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars in Brodkorb-related legal fees.

From the Star Tribune, here's some background about the DFL-pushed pay cuts:

Republicans say some pay rates for their staffers were reduced by up to 40 percent, more than they think could be justified by their new minority status.

"What's being applied is only being applied to Republican partisan staff," said Senate minority leader David Hann, R-Eden Prairie...

The pay rates passed the Minnesota Senate Rules committee Thursday on a partisan vote, only after a proposal from Republican Sen. Paul Gazelka to make sure no employees' salary was reduced by more than 10 percent failed on a partisan vote.

After the deed was done, Hann gave a presser where he accused Democrats of lying when they said their top priorities this session were going to be the state's budgetary issues:

But Bakk, who has a certain way with words, offered two different justifications for the pay cut:

If that's really the operative logic, then Bakk and the rest of the DFLers in the Senate had a fair amount of MNGOP salary cutting to do. The legislature has already spent more than $200,000 in taxpayer dough for Brodkorb-related legal work, and the worst may still be to come. From a December 13 KARE report:

The running tab on the case has now exceeded $200,000, more than twice what it would've cost to keep Brodkorb on staff for the past year. The most expensive portion of the case, depositions and pre-trial motions, haven't started yet. "The Legislature's not insured for this, so it's coming right out of the hide of the taxpayers at this point," David Schultz, a political analyst who teaches at the Hamline University Graduate School of Management, told KARE.

"In the private sector, the private business world, a case like this would've been settled out of court a long time ago."

On second thought, maybe this whole Brodkorb business isn't as hilarious as we once thought.

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