ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. -- "Hey, everybody, welcome to another episode of "Wrong about Everything!" GOP lobbyist Brian McDanlel is the designated "quarterback" this week for the weekly podcast that brings together opposing views, and exchange of ideas, and lots of jokes.
The venture began out of an unlikely friendship. "This was back when the marriage equality debate was before the legislature," explained McDaniel. "Javier and I would be on the local political talk shows on opposite sides."
Javier Morillo, president of SEIU local 26, represents thousands of blue collar workers, and his politics align with democratic blue. But even though he and McDaniel represented different sides of the marriage equality debate, personally, they found agreement.
After some shared beers on a few occasions, Morillo proposed a podcast where the two would discuss current events, both local and national. The cast now includes "social justice person" Carin Mrotz, from Jewish Community Action, and former GOP Senate Majority Leader Amy Koch.
"I wanted to get people who disagree to get together and talk and laugh together," Morillo explained. "We live in a very siloed society and we mostly laugh in our own silos."
"I thought it would be an interesting experiment to put people together who disagree and are comfortable enough with each other that they are willing to laugh and joke about their own party and each other's party and the politics of the day."
Koch is free with her hearty laugh throughout the show, and because of her high-profile history, finds herself frequently teased by her co-hosts. She recently attended Morillo's wedding, and has a friendship with Mrotz that extends beyond the studio.
"Amy's in my life in a real way," said Mrotz. "She's like my actual friend, which I think really surprises people." Mrotz says Koch deepens her understanding of issues the two may disagree on..
Koch says a commitment to the idea of the podcast is a key to its success. "We absolutely have had moments where we kind of had to pull it back in, but we are commited to trusting each other- that's a big piece, and we are commited to this idea."
"I think it's a lot easier to get along with people, and it's a lot easier to work with people when you respect them and you trust them," said McDaniel. "the only way you get to trust and respect people is by actually talking with them and that's what this podcast has done."