Brodkorb: Marriage amendment on ballot to boost voter turnout

Michael Brodkorb
Michael Brodkorb, standing near the Minnesota Capitol on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2012.
MPR Photo/Tim Nelson

A former Senate Republican spokesman claims Republicans put the marriage amendment on the ballot to get conservatives to the polls in November.

Michael Brodkorb was fired from his job in January, after having an affair with then-Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch. Brodkorb is now suing the Senate.

Brodkorb said Republicans were concerned about firing up voters for the 2012 elections, and discussed a variety of possible amendments before settling on a measure that would ban same-sex marriage.

"In the context of all of these constitutional amendments, turnout and rallying the conservative base, rallying like-minded Democrats and others to the polls for Republicans and for this issue, was a constant theme of discussion," Brodkorb said.

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Brodkorb said he will vote no on the marriage amendment. He thinks the amendment may backfire, hurting Republican candidates in suburbs where marriage amendment opponents will be out in force.

The Senate sponsor of the bill that put the marriage amendment on the ballot, Republican Warren Limmer of Maple Grove, disputes Brodkorb's account.

"Being the chief author of the amendment, I was a central figure to every discussion in our caucus and I don't remember any discussion regarding a motive to turn out people to the polls," Limmer said.

Limmer said the only motivation was to give voters a chance to weigh in so courts couldn't change the definition of marriage.