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

Categories: Politics
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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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49 comments
Dave Young
Dave Young

Like Beth McDonough shouldn't be upset about Mpls cops accessing her personal information because she's over 40 and not 'young' right?? City Pages USED to be hard hitting reporting with journalistic integrity;wtf happened??

mplstim56
mplstim56

Hoffman wrote: " 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. . "

I submit that Hoffman's lack of denial that nude photos of him exist on the internet is a tacit admission that Weinerowski photos of Hoffman are out there circulation, surging, thrusting....

Since he's a major media star in the Twin Cities writing stories about other public types with such photos, seems hypocritical that he doesn't report on his own nude photos to which he continues to tacitly admit.

...again, he tacitly admitted to them..

and again, there,,   see it?? ?hear it?? that's a tacit admission if I ever saw one...

r

Abby Faulkner
Abby Faulkner

This article is just fluff, rife with speculation. Not a big Laura brod fan by any stretch, but don't announce that you're about to tell your readers" why something matters" and then immediately prove, through lack of any actual fact, that it really doesn't.

Joe Strom
Joe Strom

I remember my first underwear photo. Del

Myra Jensen
Myra Jensen

Again with this? OMG She's a hypocrite, that's why we should care that there is a picture of her in her under ware. thanks for clearing that up City Pages.

Edward Bertsch
Edward Bertsch

How long can city pages milk this story, I wonder

Bob Alberti
Bob Alberti

Nice: next time try explaining these nuances in the initial story and it might have greater impact.

GuyDownTheStreet
GuyDownTheStreet

If, if  and if: you offer nothing more than speculation. 

jo1glex
jo1glex

If these rotten people hadn't made so much hay out of exploiting everybody else's weaknesses, pointing fingers, moralistic tut-tutting and fitting other people for scarlet letters to gain power for themselves, then nobody would care.  But they did all that stuff, even while they were doing the same exact things themselves that they decried in others, and if they ever came clean at all, it was after getting caught and exposed and "outed" by others.  If they hadn't been caught, they'd still be militantly hypocritical and victimizing others for their own empowerment and amusement.  That's why anybody cares and why it's worth pursuing such stories.  If they would be decent, humble, honest people like 99% of everyone else, nobody would hold a transgression against them.  But they're not like the rest of us.  They're mean, vicious hypocrites and maybe sociopaths.  They need to be exposes and driven out of positions of authority, if only to protect everyone else.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

To the poorly informed and ignorant MNJoe. GOP isn't the problem. Dem's aren't the problem. The culture of Washington is the problem. If you think this is bad, what do you say about Weiner? Do you really think politics has two shades or just slight skews of the same color? I find your comment to be embarrassing as a Minnesotan. And I hope, your ignorance is not shared by many....but given news sources prey or fear, ignorance, and ego....I am sure they are. 

Oh, I am not a Republican. Let me say that right now. I voted for Obama. Twice. I wan't my second vote back. 

More crap like this just detracts from the thousands of important issues at hand. Economy, Our over-involvement in foreign conflict, and our nation's ego and laziness as a whole has gotten us here. The majority of comments come from those who have read headlines, not news....and if news largely from sources that they feel bolster their argument rather than open their minds. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

Republicans are scum!

Love Dustin Thomas
Love Dustin Thomas

don't tell us what matters. there are important things happening in the city: cover that. effective journalism doesn't need tabloid tackiness, save it for the majors

mplstim56
mplstim56

It's "tryst," you knucklehead.

you should try having one.


bethtravers2000
bethtravers2000

It is sick and sad the way you are trying to make this into a news story. Clearly you are trying to link Brod to Brodkorb even though the two situations are totally different. If you want to drum up further support for Brodkorb's case against the Senate--- then do that. This story line is generated drama on your behalf to further embarrass the victim of cyber harassment. Clearly from her statement you can see that this situation has no similarities to the cases you cited. Drop it and let their family move on. Yawn.

Edward Bertsch
Edward Bertsch

What issue exactly should the u of mm have with the photo?

Brie MacDougall
Brie MacDougall

I'm glad the issue is with her consent of the release and she's not yet another person losing their job for having a sex life.

Matt Touchette
Matt Touchette

Was this meant to be an opinion piece or an actual news article?

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@Myra Jensen underwear (one word)

jo1glex
jo1glex

@karoke12 I kind of like that you've spammed so many threads with this video.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

@MNjoe Ignorance is scum, so you might need to buy a mirror. Both parties do the same crap. It's just about spin. I would recommend not getting the majority of your news from biased sources. 

kennyX
kennyX

@Love Dustin Thomas If it weren't for "tabloid tackiness", Shitty Pages would get no advertising revenue. But then on the other hand, considering that most readers of CP are low-information Liberals who thrive on attacks against anyone with an (R) at the end of their name, it is a no-brainer. That said, I used to rip on Rupar for his blogging, but at least he calls out any politician (D or R) when they fuck up. While Rupar may be a hard-core Liberal, at least he is bi-partisan when it comes to these issues. 

So Rupar, if you are reading this, I apologize for anytime that I have ever ripped on you. Unlike your buddy Hoffman, you may actually have a shot at being a real journalist someday. 

kennyX
kennyX

@Matt Touchette Neither. Just typical Republican bashing from yet another miserable, anger-filled Liberal who is pissed off at the world because all he could accomplish in life was to become a blogger for a third-rate weekly. 

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

@Robert VanZandt Jr 100% agree. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@k2yeb @MNjoe Yeah, same except for the tens of millions of uninsured who now have some form of heathcare and the millions with "pre-exisiting" conditions who can now get covered. And except for the millions of GLBT folks who can now live a better life (incl. those in the military), the tens of thousands of American soldiers who didn't come home maimed or in a body bag thanks to Obama getting us out of those two fucked-up wars. Oh, and what else didn't both parties do?  Hmmm,oh yeah - killed Bin Laden. If you're not a mega-millionaire or a mental patient, how else could someone be a Republican't?

kennyX
kennyX

@MNjoe The only difference is that most Republicans are the producers, while most Liberals are the takers. Republicans are the job creators and tax payers, while most Liberals are the ones living off of the Government dole. FACT. (See OWS protesters). Here are some facts for you Liberals to swallow (not that Liberals ever paid attention to facts, unless the facts were given to them by MSNBC or Mother Jones):

Number of States won by: Obama: 19 Romney: 29

Square miles of land won by: Obama: 580,000 Romney: 2,427,000

Population of counties won by: Obama: 127 million Romney: 143 million

Murder rate per 100,000 residents in counties won by: Obama: 13.2 Romney: 2.1



Professor Olson (from Hamline University) adds: "In aggregate, the map of the territory

Romney won was mostly the land owned by the taxpaying citizens

of the country.



Obama territory mostly encompassed those citizens living in low

income tenements and living off various forms of government

welfare..."


So who are the true "scum"? The producers or the takers?

nick.vittum
nick.vittum

@kennyX I'm so jealous of your high-information. Where can I get some high-information, huh? It certainly can't be in higher education, where all those "low-information" liberals seem to be situated. 

Someday I'll be a high-information producer just like you. I'm just sure of it! 

btw, I've heard it's pretty easy to be a high-information type person when you invent all of your own information, but I haven't tried that yet. I guess we can't all be smart like you.  


MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kennyX The only "anger-filled" jackass in sight is you Kenny. Look up the word projection sometime. (Read ALL the definitions and see if you can figure out what I'm talking about.)

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@j.reiter Actually, I know how to pronounce 'faux' but the definition fits perfectl. If a moron like yourself thinks I'm 'silly', I take that as a complement. Have a great day!

thomas.m.crouse
thomas.m.crouse

@kennyX @MNjoe No point in producing something if no one's going to take it. You've laid out a picture of supply and demand, not the stereotypical description of liberals and republicans you were going for.

jo1glex
jo1glex

@j.reiter "Fauh?"  What?  Most people would write the word "Faux" phonetically as "Foe."  Anyway, it's not a spoken joke but a written one.  Lame, I'd say; just like silliness liike "LameStream Media," or "0bama" (note the "0" rather than "O"), or any other sophomoric usages so popular in our tabloidized society.

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

@MNjoe Of you and your kind? You sound like a 2 year old that's dad told him no. I am guessing you probably don't just act like that behind the anonymity of the internet. 

kennyX
kennyX

@MicheleBachmann The bottom line is that Romney won the popular vote. Obama won the Welfare vote. And as we all know, as long as people are dependent on Government, they will always vote DFL. It has been that way since the 1960's. Why on Earth would the government-dependent vote for any GOP candidate? The GOP insists on hard work, education, and getting your ass out of bed each morning. It is far easier to vote for the DFL who gives you free shit. Just sit on your ass, don't do a fucking thing, and collect a check. That is what the DFL is all about: Raping the producers to give "free shit" to the parasites. Keep on voting DFL. We'll see how great that works (SEE Detroit, Chicago)

kennyX
kennyX

@MicheleBachmann Yes but the top 10 states in per-capita-income are also the states who are downing in debt. But derelicts like you can't see that. But you are a low-information voter. 

MicheleBachmann
MicheleBachmann topcommenter

@kennyX @MNjoe The top 10 states in per captia income 9 voted for Obama, 1 voted for Romney.  The bottom ten in per captia income 9 voted for Romney and 1 voted for Obama.   You look stupid everytime you post Kenny the stupid racist dumbass. 

Dave2
Dave2

KennyX

What a shame that states, square miles, and counties can’t vote. When Republicans realize that it’s people that vote, and that they vote for what pleases them, maybe they’ll stop being floor mats for the Democrats. …But shucks, best keep that a secret.

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@kennyX @MNjoe Thanks for all those wonderful "facts" Kenny. Did you make them up yourself or get them from Faux News? Does it change my opinion of you and your kind? No - just reinforces it - you're lying, cheating, greedy, hypocritical scum and you lack basic empathy for your fellow man. Have a great day!  Here's a fun fact for you that actually matters! Electoral votes: Obama 332, Romney 206.  And Ted Cruz is your likely 2016 nominee against Hillary? It'll be even more of a landslide, sucker. (I can almost hear you sputtering and turning red as I write this.)

kennyX
kennyX

@nick.vittum HAHA! You think that just because some idiot attains a "higher education" that it miraculously makes them intelligent. Let me guess, you probably have a B.A. in 19th Century Neo-Classical Italian Literature (with a Minor in Gay and Lesbian Studies) and somehow think that you are this worldly educated man who knows everything about everything because you took PoliSci and Psych 101 when you were a freshman? LOL! Let me guess, you also work as a part-time barista at Starbucks and spend the rest of your time smoking week and Occupying street corners. I bet you also hate the rich and think that they should pay more of their "fair share" too. 

MNjoe
MNjoe topcommenter

@k2yeb Yes, and why is that? Maybe because most Republicans favor tax breaks for the rich and want to cut medical and nutrition programs for the poor at the same time. Maybe because they start trillion dollar wars and then whine about the country's debt and are too stupid to see the corrolation. Hmmm, maybe that's why we're so polarized. And remember, you're free to leave the state anytime. :-)

k2yeb
k2yeb topcommenter

  @MNjoe @kennyX Wow, you make me ashamed to live in this sate. Both of you do, to be honest. Polarized political affiliation is what is the root of many of our problems as a state. 

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