Now that Wisconsin has ended much of collective bargaining for public employees, an effort is underway to recall the 18 state senate Republicans who voted for the measure.
Politically, this is mainly bluff and Democrats trying to be an irritation to the Republican senators. However, a few who ran in competitive districts may find the recall a threat.
State Senator Randy Hopper is one of those vulnerable Republicans. In 2008, He won election with only 163 votes out of 83,000. Besides his job, Hopper is also facing a seriously embarrassing political situation.
Protesters went to his home in Fond du Lac. They did not find Hopper there. Instead they found his wife, who Hopper filed papers to divorce in August 2010. Hopper’s estranged wife, Alysia, told the protesters to look for him in Madison where he is living with his 25-year-old mistress and former lobbyist Valerie Cass.
It seems that Cass’ position with the aptly named Persuasion Partners lobbying firm has ended as public attention drew to her relationship with Hopper.
It is awkward enough that the 45-year-old Hopper has parted ways with his wife for a much younger woman. Hopper also has two children from the marriage. Nevertheless, the real embarrassment is that his former maid has offered to sign the recall petition. Sources also say that his wife is willing to sign as well.
Hopper was scheduled to take part in a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Fond du Lac, but backed out, citing the political turmoil in the state.
“I had looked forward to walking the parade route and sharing this celebration with my family, friends, neighbors, and constituents, but I, in no way, want to put the citizens of Fond du Lac in harm’s way,” Hopper said.
Exactly who Hopper’s family is remains unclear. Probably, he is speaking of his children; surely not his wife; hopefully not his mistress. For a man in his situation, expressing desire to spend more time with his family is not the best choice of words.