I read with amusement Betty Marquardt's recent letter leaping to the defense of current Sen. Ted Lillie (aka, Travelin' Ted), who recently moved to Woodbury for the purpose of running in an open state Senate seat. Shakespeare's "The lady doth protest too much, me thinks," springs to mind.
Ms. Marquardt states, "One of the biggest untruths being spread is that our Republican senators are somehow financially responsible for the scandal and lawsuit involving Michael Brodkorb." So glad Ms. Marquardt brought this up!
Well, yes, as a purely ethical matter Republican senators should be responsible for legal bills arising from a sordid sex scandal involving their own—former Republican Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch and former Republican staffer Michael Brodkorb—who took the Republican "sanctity of marriage" philosophy to a whole new level.
And as assistant leader of his caucus, Lillie should never have expected Woodbury taxpayers to foot the $103,000 (and counting) legal bill brought about by the behavior of the Republican Senate Caucus. Not once since this scandal broke has Lillie called for a private legal defense fund to be set up to pay these bills.
Not once has Lillie shown even a shred of leadership in bucking his caucus and saying that it is simply wrong for taxpayers to foot the bill. And not once has Lillie suggested that his caucus dip into their $860,000 campaign war chest to relieve the taxpayers of this burden. And finally, if expecting taxpayers to pay this bill is so "right," then why doesn't Lillie defend himself on this charge?
Ms. Marquardt also takes offense at the accusation that Lillie moved to Woodbury for the purpose of running in an open Senate seat. Well, let's look at the facts. Lille lived in Lake Elmo for 17 years. When the new redistricting maps were unveiled in February, he found himself in the same Senate district as his Republican colleague, Sen. Ray Vandeveer.
Rather than square off with Vandeveer in a primary election, Lillie's eyes strayed south of the 94 border to Woodbury, which—lo and behold—had an open Senate seat. Next thing you know long-time Lake Elmo resident Lillie's moving van was being unloaded in a Woodbury driveway—but as he told the Patch in March, “This is a family decision more than a political decision.” Sure.
One final thought. Ms. Marquardt's far-fetched and frankly, whiney defense of Travelin' Ted Lillie only underscores President Harry Truman's comment that "I never did give anybody hell. I just told the truth and they thought it was hell."
—Leslie Thompson, Woodbury