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The former Republican operative and Senate Staffer claims he has “dirt” on members of the legislature. He is also suing his former employer, the Minnesota Senate Republicans alleging invasion of privacy, defamation and gender discrimination. He had and intimate relationship with a female Senator. He was fired.
He claims that female employees who have been involved in an intimate relationship with (presumably) a male Senator were not fired. He has threatened to make the relationships between female employees and Senators public if his settlement demands are not met.
To date, the Republican Senate Caucus has refused to accede to the former staffer’s demands. Now the media seems intent on reporting how much the legal dispute has cost rather than suggesting that perhaps the former staffer is blowing smoke in an effort to leverage a large settlement. Outside of the courtroom this would be called “extortion” or “blackmail.” So long as it is in the courtroom, I guess our news media assumes it is about justice.
Is it possible that the Senate Republican Caucus has hired an attorney to defend against these claims because the claims are entirely without merit? Is it possible that the former staffer has nothing? Is it possible that all he has is the threat of a story that might appeal to the public’s prurient interest? Is it possible that he is manipulating his longstanding relationships (after all, he was in charge of Communications for the Senate Republicans) with reporters and certain seedy bloggers who are unwittingly spreading hollow innuendo?
If the news media is really interested in reporting “the story” then perhaps they should start by demanding the litigant tell them what he is threatening to disclose. Call his bluff. In fact, I question why the Senate leadership, Republican and Democrat, haven’t already called for the former staffer to go ahead and disclose every lurid detail he claims to be holding over them. If he really does have facts about intimate relationships between female staffers and Senators, then make it public – if he doesn’t, then the obvious conclusion must be that he has simply been playing a game of legal extortion that should end immediately.
No doubt, Senate Majority Leader David Senjem wants to focus on the campaign and the last thing he and his caucus want to deal with is this needless distraction. Somebody might want to remind Senate Majority Leader David Senjem, the truth will set you free.