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Governor Walker’s Admin Gave Married Senator Hopper’s Girlfriend Job With Big Raise, Former Job: Persuasion Partners

March 22, 2011
100% of WI teachers have a higher education th...

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The state of Wisconsin is broke, or so says Governor Walker, but not too broke to pay for the oldest trick in the book, or so says the hiring of Senator Hopper’s’ girlfriend, at a substantial raise:

The Journal Sentinel also reports that the woman was hired at a “substantial pay raise” over her predecessor. To recap: Two officials in the Walker administration secured a state job for the woman identified as the girlfriend of the GOP state senator who is perhaps the top target of the Dems’ recall drive — this, even though Walker spent weeks telling Wisconsinites that the state is “broke” and threatenening state employees with layoffs in an apparent effort to pressure fugitive Dems into coming back to Wisconsin to enable his budget repair bill to pass.

The woman apparently was hired with a “36% raise,” which you can read about below.  But Firedoglake has a more sinister version of this whole political prostitution:

You can read between the lines here. Hopper represents a swing district; he won election by 163 votes in 2008. He was going to have a lot of trouble voting for a bill stripping workers of their rights. He needed some incentive from the Governor. Days before the announcement, Walker’s Administration gets his girlfriend a job. Walker’s spokesman admits that Cass was a late addition to the Walker Administration, which raises the intrigue. Prior to that job, she was… helping Reince Priebus get the position of head of the Republican National Committee. She’s also being paid substantially more than the previous holder of the position – about $12,000 a year extra by the supposedly thrifty Walker Administration.

Daniel Bice also reports that Hopper’s wife plans to donate to his Democratic opponent in the recall.

In other Wisconsin news, as the recall petition-signing and legal battles continue, one group is highlighting the backers of Scott Walker, and urging consumers to stop buying their products. Wisconsin Wave, a civil justice group formed during the protests, is highlighting a different brand every day. Here’s today’s:

Mon., March 21st
Behind Curtain #1 – Georgia Pacific
Mon is recycling day in Maple Bluff, and in light of Gov. Walker’s proposal to eliminate state recycling requirements and state taxpayer support for local recycling programs, citizens are taking advantage of their last chance to dispose of paper, plastic, glass, and metal in a responsible manner with a drop off at the governor’s mansion (99 Cambridge Rd. in Maple Bluff) beginning at 7:00 am. Not surprisingly, one of Gov. Walker’s major corporate donors, the Koch Brothers, spent $21 billion to acquire Georgia Pacific, the nation’s largest paper company, a massive peddler of throwaway products, and global climate change denier. Volunteers will also be on hand at the mansion to provide citizens a list of Georgia Pacific products to avoid at the store.

Other companies and organizations which Wisconsin Wave plans to put under the spotlight include the big box store Menard’s, the trade group Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the Wisconsin Tavern League and M&I Bank, which union leaders have been pressuring in recent weeks, getting many of their members to move their money.

Menards kingpin has supported Walker for quite a while, and today’s demonstration is planned for Menards:

Tues., March 22nd
Behind Curtain #2 – Menards
At 4:30 pm on Tuesday, picketers will show up at Menards off Mineral Point RD (430 Commerce Dr) to encourage people to boycott the bigbox retailer. John Menard Jr., the retail kingpin, happens to be Wisconsin’s richest person – with a net worth of $5.2 billion in 2010 according to Forbes magazine. Mr. Menard is also a staunch Walker supporter and does double duty as the treasurer for Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce (WMC) – for more on this corporate frontgroup, see below.

For a full list of the “visits” designed to speak to the businesses involved in supporting Walker, at the expense of State employees, please click here.

Accorading to one source, there is no “proof” that aides knew that Hopper’s girlfriend was his girlfriend, because Hopper’s wife hadn’t told them yet.  (I know, isn’t truth stranger than fiction??)

there’s no evidence that Walker aides even knew that she was Hopper’s girlfriend when they got her the job. She was hired on February 7th — weeks before Hopper’s wife put out a statement alleging the affair.

So, apparently there’s no girlfriend until the wife says there is?  Sketchy defense, if you ask me.

While some are taking unabashed hits at Walker’s administration, other bloggers are offering a “thank you” for Walker’s inept handling of the entire situation regarding Senator Hopper, because it makes it better for “Democrats like them…”

You don’t satisfy my prurient interests and I find your relationships dull. But I admit, you are delivering a satisfying array of political “goods”. And today when I learned that you are tainting Governor Walker’s career on your way down, well I just had to write a “thank you”.

First, it is unprofessional and unethical that you hooked up with someone romantically who was a lobbyist at the time: conflict of interest.

Second,  did you have to pick a staffer who worked on contracts backed by Koch Brothers and Americans for Prosperity?

Third, was there some other job she couldn’t been tossed besides a state gig? And did the Governor’s own top lackey  – his Chief of Staff –  HAVE to be the person to get her that state job? Then, did she really have to be paid more – about 35% more –  than  than the previous person who had the job?

Crap-forgot to mention that if it’s proven you really have been living in Madison with your girlfriend more than in Fond du Lac, there’s a residency issue to worry about, because we both know if you were really from MY district, you’d never have gotten that job in the first place.

I’ve been lied to. We all have.  I usually ask only that the lies be at least well-crafted so that I do not feel that my intelligence has been insulted.

Apparently it’s best not to ask too much from Wisconsin Repubs or their “bought and paid for Guvna,” because basic tenets like “don’t break the law,” and “don’t break the law again and cost taxpayers $7,000 in legal fees,” are too trivial for them, or perhaps too mundane?  Maybe they are just way too sophisticated for Republican lawmakers, that whole bit about writing the laws but not having to follow them? Perhaps you shouldn’t ask for your Governor to tell better lies than his contemporaries, to not pay for old tricks, to not hire a married senator’s mistress.  Gosh, golly, gee whiz, guess that’s asking too much from Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and his merry band of philandering fools.

Oh, did I fail to mention Senator Hopper is getting divorced because of the girlfriend, recently hired by Gov. Scott Walker’s admin and voters are pushing to recall Senator Hopper?

Since the recall effort was launched, news outlets and bloggers have focused in on Hopper’s pending divorce. His estranged wife, Alysia, issued a statement to WTMJ-TV (Channel 4) accusing Hopper, 45, of beginning an affair with Cass, 26, last year. He filed for divorce in August.

“Randy is the love of my life,” she said in the statement. “This divorce and the lack of any attempt to save our marriage is solely his decision not mine.”…

Poor old Randy Hopper, doesn’t he realize a good thing when he has it?  Maybe not, after all, he can get a divorce and get his girlfriend hired too.  Others are seeing the writing on the wall, stating that because of his divorce and move, Hopper no longer lives in the district he claims to represent:

Although he moved out of his Fond du Lac home 10 months ago, state Sen. Randy Hopper maintains a residence in the 18th Senate District, his campaign manager says.

In a statement to The Reporter, Hopper’s wife, Alysia Hopper, said her estranged husband moved out of their Rienzi Road home in May 2010 and lives “mostly in Madison.” Court records indicate that Randy Hopper filed a petition for divorce in August. Hopper’s official Senate Web page lists the couple’s home at W5192 Rienzi Road as the senator’s official address.

In light of death threats against Randy Hopper and protests generated by Hopper’s support and the support of other Republicans for the budget repair bill, Alysia Hopper said she wanted the public to know her husband no longer lives with her in Fond du Lac. Several websites have reported that Alysia Hopper approached protesters at her home Saturday and told them her husband no longer resides in the home.

Randy Hopper has maintained an apartment in the 18th District since he filed for divorce, his campaign manager Jeff Harvey said.

Too bad for Randy Hopper that he used his kids and soon-to-be-ex-wife in his whole campaign propaganda and then decided to divorce Mrs. Hopper.  Mrs. Hopper has spoken out to media outlets (two separate sources here):

“It is correct that my husband, Randy Hopper, started an affair in January 2010 with a then-25-year-old Republican aide. This affair has caused great emotional pain for my children and me. Randy moved out, without attempting marital counseling, as of May 2010 and now lives mostly in Madison,”

TODAY’S TMJ4 received a letter from a woman claiming to be Randy Hopper’s wife, Alysia Hopper.  The letter arrived a letterhead envelope from Alysia Hopper’s business.  The letter claims Randy Hopper,  “started an affair in January 2010 with a then 25 year old Republican aide.”  It claims “Randy moved out” and “now lives mostly in Madison.

Other bloggers have found out Hopper’s mistress had a job with a right-wing lobbyist firm, with the unfortunate moniker Persuasion Partners…

3. It seems that this young lady was formerly employed by “Persuasion Partners” ( :shock: ) a right-wing lobbying agency. Yesterday morning all references to her were mysteriously scrubbed from the company’s website, though they could still be seen on cached versions.

“Randy Hopper”? “Persuasion Partners”? Apparently God does have a sense of humor after all.

Anyway, it’s hard to know what’s the worst part of all this:

Republican senator campaigns on family values while having a multi-year affair with a woman young enough to be his daughter? And she’s a lobbyist? And he’s moved out of his senate district, making him no longer legally eligible to run in the recall election that will be happening this summer?

Persuasion Partners?  Aww, poor little Randy Hopper lived up to his name. Maybe he shouldn’t have.

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