March 12, 2011

In re Randy Hopper: Only 15,268 signatures to go

Recall organizers having reportedly obtained the support of the State Senator's estranged wife: Via Mal Contends and Blogging Blue.

Little of the above appears to have been confirmed by more traditional means, but it is true that Randy Hopper, Republican of Fond Du Lac, is embroiled in divorce proceedings and headed for trial, and it is true that Persuasion Partners Inc. scrubbed Sen. Hopper's alleged Madison girlfriend from its website yesterday.
Domestic arrangements substantially similar to marriage neither valid nor recognized in this State.
— Shorter Wis. Const., J. Appling, ed.
Persuasion Partners is a Republican PR/lobbying outfit operated by Darrin Schmitz,* famed orchestrator of the notorious Mike Gableman for Wisconsin Supreme Court campaign of 2007/08. Schmitz helped Gableman get formally charged with ethics violations, a case that dragged on for many months and the charges remain pending against Gableman: the State Supreme Court split 3-3 on its disposition, with Justice David Prosser, who himself stands for reelection on April 5, holding in sympathy with Gableman's aggressive rationalizations.

Hopper is believed to be the most vulnerable of the eight Republican State Senators against whom recall efforts are underway. If organizers can topple three of them then Democrats might regain control of the 33-member body. The others would most likely be the 8th Senate district's Alberta Darling and the 32nd's Dan Kapanke.

Sen. Darling's constituency presents an interesting challenge, as it straddles the affluent and increasingly liberal northern lakeshore Milwaukee County suburbs and the three most defiantly conservative counties in the State: Ozaukee, Washington, and Waukesha.

Sen. Kapanke's district spreads over five counties along the State's western border. Kapanke won the district in 2008 but narrowly lost the most populous (by far) of the five, La Crosse County. So the signature-gatherers know exactly where to concentrate their labors.

As for Randy Hopper, he should probably just resign.

* Schmitz calculated then-circuit court judge Gableman's rate of reversal on appeal by counting as cases thousands of uncontested traffic tickets, which Schmitz claimed Gableman had "presided over."

That a sly (or possibly clueless) partisan operator would pull such a risible stunt is unsurprising, but that a State judge with an advanced degree in law would let him get away with it is almost beyond belief.

6 comments:

gnarlytrombone said...

he should probably just resign

If he does, I wonder how much is lessens the Dems chances in taking the seat. I hear there are some people in this state who actually still believe in white-hat Republicans.

Anonymous said...

Out of respect for a nice woman from Fond du Lac, reports have avoided the salicious.

But the soon-to-be-ex Hopper has not been shy about telling folks in Fondy what has traspired informally.

The fact base is clear:
Sen. Randy Hopper does not live in Fondy anymore at the W5192 Rienzi Road residence.

The 'ex' has spoken about the situation often, just not on the record. Good for her; she needs to take care herself in difficult times, though this position may change.

See Fond du Lac County Case Number 2010FA000374

http://wcca.wicourts.gov/caseDetails.do;jsessionid=A4B890F33EA188ABB2283280450597A0.render6?caseNo=2010FA000374&countyNo=20&cacheId=6D66CBE044620570680C0557C8280B20&recordCount=3&offset=1

Anonymous said...

The recall process allows a primary in both parties and I would be very surprised if the GOP didn't try to find someone to step up to the plate to try to hold the seat.

I understand that the parties are under a gag order during the proceedings. I'm not sure how long that will last.

The really nice touch is that the Koch brothers are indirectly involved (again) because PPI has a contract with their astroturf group - Americans against Posterity (or something like that).

John Foust said...

Here he is on one of those wind turbines we can't have any more.

illusory tenant said...

Gold.

Anonymous said...

If you go to the state lobby site, where lobby groups and people are supposed to be registered and licensed, one will find that Valerie has never been licensed and that her previous employer, Persuasion Partners and the three stooges who "work" there are also not licensed or registered. This does bring up an interesting question related to Hopper having an affair with someone from an unregistered lobby group, which was apparently not in the business of lobbying. This curious situation makes Mr. Hopper look as if he was working with an un-documneted lobby firm while cheating on his wife and kids. There is also the question of residency and Hopper's lack of disclosure in his financial filings, thus, one can see he's busy not being a real senator playing by the rules.

http://ethics.state.wi.us/LobbyingRegistrationReports/LobbyingOverview.htm

Look for: Persuasion Partners

Valerie Cass

Mike Austin

Bryan Kaegi

Darrin Schmitz