Did Wisconsin GOP Senator Hopper’s Estranged Wife Sign Recall Petition Against Him?

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“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” — William Congreve, The Mourning Bride (1697)

Upon returning to Madison and speaking at a press conference on Saturday, the “Wisconsin 14” Democratic Senators who had fled the state for Illinois implied that the thousands of protesters gathered at the State Capitol would soon drop their signs and pick up clipboards as part of a nearly statewide recall campaign against eight Republican Senators from swing districts who supported Gov. Scott Walker’s union-killing bill.

Some of those clipboard-carrying demonstrators were met with quite a shock that day in Fond Du Lac, an hour and a half north of Madison, at the home of State Senator Randy Hopper, who reportedly worked closely with Walker on the unpopular legislation. Alysia Hopper — aka “Mrs. Hopper” — answered the door and told the crowd that Sen. Hopper no longer lived there, but had taken up residence in Madison with his 25-year-old mistress. On Monday, the Milwaukee television station TMJ4 reported that it had received a letter from Alysia Hopper — on letterhead envelope from her business — claiming that Sen. Hopper “started an affair in January 2010 with a then 25 year old Republican aide.” The letter claims “Randy moved out” and “now lives mostly in Madison.” Court records confirm that they have since filed for divorce. According to TMJ4, the letter also implied that Alysia Hopper might have signed the recall petition against her estranged husband.

Sen. Hopper’s affair contradicts the union-supporting family-man image he sought to portray on the campaign trail last year. Behold this photo of him in an AFSCME t-shirt, and this video of him with wife and children:

Who is Hopper’s new fling? According to the Daily Kos, it’s Valerie Class, a lobbyist for a right-wing lobbying firm called Persuasion Partners, Inc. — at least she was until this past weekend. According to her bio on Persuasion Partners’ website (which has since been removed from their site), prior to going to work for Persuasion Partners, Cass staffed the Senate Economic Development Committee, of which Sen. Randy Hopper happened to be a member.

Jacob Wheeler

In addition to shooting videos for The UpTake, Jacob Wheeler is a contributing editor at the progressive political magazine In These Times, publishes the Glen Arbor Sun in his native Michigan, and authored "Between Light and Shadow," a recent book about the Guatemalan adoption industry. Wheeler's stories have appeared in such magazines as the Utne Reader, Earth Island Journal, Rotarian and Teaching Tolerance magazine, and newspapers including the San Francisco Chronicle and Christian Science Monitor. He speaks fluent Spanish, German and Danish.

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