Laura Brod underwear photo: What it means and why it matters

Laura Brod underwear photo: What it means and why it matters

Laura Brod admitted to City Pages yesterday that the boudoir photo of her on the Internet was authentic.

In the immediate aftermath, several competing media outlets poo-pooed the story. Myopically focusing on the content of the photograph rather than the context in which it was taken and distributed, they chided that it was no different than the bikinis you might see at the beach.

In the hope of further explaining the significance of the story and why we saw fit to investigate and publish it, we are dissecting several unanswered questions that were left unaddressed by Laura Brod's statement to City Pages.

Who took the picture?

Some commenters seem confused, wondering if Brod had a camera in her bedroom, or if the pictures were stolen by hacking her computer.

But her statement includes what seems to be a tacit admission that the photo was taken by a paramour with whom she was having an affair. Otherwise, there would be no reason for her to discuss the state of her marriage and publicly volunteer the info that she is in the process of divorce:

Those who know us understand that we have had a difficult marriage for quite a number of years. And while we love each other as friends, and respect each other as parents, we have effectively led separate lives, have been separated and are presently going through a very amicable divorce. We felt no need to publicize or communicate this private matter.

From this passage, it seems clear that the picture was taken by someone with whom she was having an affair, and that she is arguing that she did not betray her husband because their marriage was already in the process of dissolution.

Who disseminated the picture?

Obviously, the person who released the picture did so in order to embarrass Laura Brod and shame her for having an affair.

The circumstances immediately bring to mind the Michael Brodkorb/Amy Koch tryst that erupted last March. Since that scandal broke, Brodkorb has sued the Minnesota Senate, claiming wrongful termination.

The crux of his suit is that other legislators have had similar affairs which did not result in termination.In fact, just a few weeks ago, a legal filing by Brodkorb briefly revealed a list of 10 legislators and six staffers who allegedly had affairs.

Although we have no hard and fast evidence of any involvement by Brodkorb, he's known to be friends with Shawn Towle, who tweeted out the link to the Tumblr, and it fits his modus operandi.

When was the picture taken?

The photo is undated and there's no indication of when it was taken.

If the photo was taken sometime between 2004-2010, that was when Laura Brod was a member of the Minnesota House of Representatives.

As a family values Republican, Brod advocated against abortion rights and gay marriage. If she was violating her own marriage at the same time she was trying to prevent gay people from having the right to wed, she is guilty of the same

hypocrisy that dogged Amy Koch


It certainly gives new relevance to this 2007 radio conversation with -- of all people -- Michael Brodkorb:

Brodkorb asked Rep. Brod on AM 1280, "Do you think that because of the Iowa decision that there will be a lot of discussion this legislative session on gay marriage and that issue in general?"

"I think obviously any decision like that gears up the issue and puts it ahead on the table," said Brod, likening the decision to the Kelo v. City of New London case that dealt with property rights in 2005. "I would expect that the Iowa decision would have the same kind of impact," Brod said.

But the "protection of traditional marriage" isn't the true agenda for any member of this amendment-promoting echo chamber. The goal is no relationship rights whatsoever for same-sex couples.

"We are seeing pro-homosexual legislators trying to incrementally legalize homosexual marriage even in the state Legislature," Minnesota Majority's Davis told Brodkorb and Brod on AM 1280. "Last session there were four individual bills that were essentially there to put into law the recognition of same-sex unions. The only explanation for this is to essentially codify into law a status that then can be used to essentially force this down the throats of Minnesota citizens."

If, on the other hand, the photo was taken after February 2011, then it was during her tenure on the Board of Regents, and her current employers at the University of Minnesota might have a bigger problem with it than they already do.

There's also the question of when Brod became aware that the picture was out there. It could explain why she put her Twitter account on hiatus a few months ago with no explanation:

Is the FBI really involved?

In her statement to City Pages, Laura Brod says, "This matter has been referred to the FBI and we are pursuing all legal means possible to prosecute whoever is responsible for the illegal dissemination of this material."

But those who remember the Anthony Weiner case -- which has recently been plunged back into the headlines -- will recall that he too claimed that he had contacted the FBI in the early stages of his own lewd photo scandal. As it would turn out, this was a lie -- the FBI never received an official complaint from Weiner, and it would later be revealed that he wasn't "hacked" as he claimed.

If indeed the photo was willingly posed and released by the photographer rather than the result of a computer hack, then no laws would have been violated.

Regardless, when a prominent former legislator and member of the U of M Board of Regents says she has initiated an FBI investigation, it is definitely newsworthy. City Pages will continue to follow this story as it develops.

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