Saturday, July 23, 2011

Hopper Coached Cass on Scoring State Job

In March we learned that state Senator Randy Hopper (R-Unknown) left his wife and filed for divorce last year. According to his wife he had taken up with 20-something Republican operative Valerie Cass. It didn't take long for additional reports to surface showing that this girlfriend was hired by the Walker administration under questionable circumstances and at a questionable pay rate.

Some have wondered if Randy Hopper played a role in getting his girlfriend the taxpayer funded job. A number of newly obtained emails now provide a closer view of some of his involvement.

Based on a November 30th email Hopper and Cass wasted no time in trying to score a state job for her. In that email Hopper forwards a press release to her that announces Keith Gilkes as Walker's chief of staff. In that forwarded email he also advises her that she "might want to congratulate him if you call or email this afternoon."

At 1:25pm on December 28th Cass sends Hopper an apparent draft of an email to Keith Gilkes. In the draft email Cass mentions that she enjoyed talking to Gilkes a few weeks ago and that she is excited about the changes at the Department of Commerce. At 1:57 pm Hopper responds to her draft email and suggests that she add that she is excited to be a part of it. At 2:27 on the same day Cass sends the actual email to Keith Gilkes. The final version to him includes a version of the Hopper suggested comment.

Hopper's coaching of girlfriend Valerie Cass certainly didn't hurt as she was eventually hired by the Walker administration on February 7th.

Randy Hopper is a member of a full-time state legislature and as such he receives a very generous paycheck and outstanding benefits. In fact I'm fairly certain that many of his constituents only wish that they could enjoy such security. Yet apparently he finds it acceptable to use state time coaching his girlfriend on how to successfully score a generous state paycheck of her own. One would think that Randy Hopper would be more concerned about doing the people's work on a Tuesday afternoon. But that would mean that Randy Hopper was in office to actually represent the people of his district in the first place.

Related: "I Google you"

1 comment:

Annie K. said...

Hooper is a douche, no question. But giving your GF advice like "say this" or "he's in a good mood today" or looking over her resume is not the same as if Hooper had called this boss or that contact and said, "help me out here, I need a favor" and "do this for me and I'll...". Or, "I know you're interviewing but that's all for show - here's who we need to hire".

I think the headlines and build-up is somewhat misleading here. Readers arrive expecting the kinds of "leaning on" and power abuse tactics I described above. Yet, not.

Telling people about job openings is just normal "networking" and not unethical. Helping your friend/wife/whoever with how to word stuff in letters and emails is also normal human behavior. Not unethical. He wasn't coaching her on how to extort or strong-arm the guy, just on social niceties.

The wife-cheating and other stuff is unethical. But this is a let-down as far as a huge scoop goes.
You can "not allow" my comment if you don't like it, but I think most people who are not FANATICAL Democrats will feel somewhat let-down as well. Certainly the Right will not feel this is particularly damning.
"Say you'll be excited to be part of the team?"
Not huge.

But anyways - Go Jessica King!