Randy Hopper, former Wisconsin GOP senator, says drunk driving arrest politically motivated

Categories: Weird Wisconsin
Randy Hopper.jpg
Hopper claims that police were out to get him because of his anti-union views.
And we think Minnesota's politics are bitter...

Randy Hopper, a former GOP state senator in Wisconsin from Fond du Lac, testified yesterday that he believes his October 2011 drunk driving arrest was a result of his support for Governor Scott Walker's effort to eliminate collective bargaining for public employees.

Hopper, 46, lost a recall election last summer. Fittingly, on the night of his arrest, he was driving back to Fond du Lac from a Packers game.

On the stand, Hopper said:
The day everything broke loose in Madison I had members of the union in my office who said, 'If you don't support us, we are going to destroy your life. We're going to picket your kids' schools, we're going to tear apart your reputation, we're going to have you recalled.
He said in the months leading up to and following the recall election, people would leave threatening notes on his vehicle while he shopped for groceries. Hopper claimed public employees, including police, send him "some of the most vile messages you have ever seen."
wisconsin fist.jpg
Apparently, even drunk driving arrests have become politicized in Scott Walker's Wisconsin.


Regarding the officer who arrested him, Hopper said, "I don't have a lot of faith and trust in Officer Venne at this point because it seemed to me that he was out to get me."

Venne admitted he signed the petition that led to Hopper's recall, but said it didn't play a role in the arrest. He testified Hopper smelled of alcohol and gave signs of intoxication during his field sobriety test.

Hopper admits he drank as much as three-and-a-half beers during the Packers game, but claims he wasn't over the legal limit. Jail staff registered Hopper's blood alcohol level at .13 following his arrest, but officers and jail staff, for some reason, failed to procure a blood sample.

Hopper was pulled over after a motorist behind him noticed his car swerving all over the road. Hopper's defense attorney, taking a page from the Joseph McCarthy playbook, repeatedly asked the motorist during her testimony whether she had signed petitions to recall either Walker or Hopper. The motorist said she didn't have politics in mind when she called police to report someone driving erratically.

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13 comments
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Brent23
Brent23

No Breathalyzer, cop didn't get a blood alcohol level, stated it would have taken 2 more pages of paperwork and getting a supervisor but it was never done, sounds like a lazy, sloppy, union cop.

Phoenix
Phoenix

Wow.  So Randy Hopper thinks his vehicle is so recognizable that motorists know he's behind the wheel and thus can report him?  Dude, get over yourself.  Admit that you were in no condition to be driving, especially in the late afternoon/evening after a Packers game.

Slik
Slik

Yeah, it does kind of make me into a Rightwing Asshat without the content edited.  That's ok though, some, "journalist", over at Minnpost had all the party affiliations in an article wrong once and I called him on it, never a comment in reply, never acknowledged he had made a mistake, that happens quite frequently over there.  At least in this case we know where Aaron was headed...

So just to set things straight I in no way condone Rightwing Asshatery, and this article is now up to my somewhat anal retentive journalistic standards.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

There could be validity to his accusations, plus there are holes in the prosecutors case.

Phoenix
Phoenix

 Oh, really?  What holes?  Where? 

Hopper's grabbed hold of Occam's Razor and is hacking himself to pieces with it.

effeminate dad
effeminate dad

They didn't administer a blood test for one.The officer signed a petition gainst him for another.

I'm not saying he's innocent for sure, but why not save typical knee-jerk reactions until more is known.

atrupar
atrupar

Ugh! My bad everyone. I swear to God I was thinking of the right McCarthy and just had a momentary brain melt, but you'll have to take my word for that one. It's fixed. Thanks for the heads up.

Slik
Slik

Way to know your Minnesota politicians.  Eugene McCarthy was as progressive as progressive gets.  I think Kenwith is correct you were thinking about Joe "Redscare" McCarthy, with his blacklists and guilt by association factoids. 

Generally if you are going to write a story where you make the stupid conservative into the asshole that he is you should get your names right...

Mark Gisleson
Mark Gisleson

A disclaimer stating that the article has been edited should be inserted. Otherwise it makes you look like a rightwing blogger.

Markie Daytons
Markie Daytons

He should have been a senator here in Minnesota, he could not be arrested for DUI!

Research
Research

Lock him up and throw away the key!  What kind of person leaves half a beer behind?

Kenwith
Kenwith

I think that's Joseph McCarthy you're thinking of.  Eugene would have quite a different take.

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