"When it came to having dialogue with leaders of the union they knew exactly where I stood because for the last two years I worked extremely hard to work across the aisle and have developed a relationship with those people. They are upset for losing their collective bargaining benefits, but it is important to help drive this state forward". - Sen. Randy Hopper, R-Fond du Lac
The quote is certainly jarring when you compare his words to his actual record and the actual reality of what has transpired this year. Just like Scott Walker, Randy Hopper never campaigned on trying to wipe out unions forever in Wisconsin. During his alleged "dialogue" with leaders of unions I am fairly certain that he never mentioned taking away all of their most fundamental rights in the workplace. It is not real "dialogue" when you talk to people and the whole time you are hiding the fact that you plan on "dropping a bomb" on them. No wonder union leaders and state employees in his district are so angry with him. He was dishonest, he shut them out and he was not and still isn't listening to them.
In fact, I've obtained yet another Randy Hopper email and I think that it really speaks to Hopper's phoniness when he suggests that he ever had a real "dialogue" with union leaders in the first place. The email also reveals what he really thinks about some of those union leaders when he is not actually talking directly to them.
On December 28, 2010 a union leader sends Hopper an invite to a local union meeting. They are hoping that Hopper will come to answer questions about his vote against the union contracts late last year. They also were anticipating that Scott Walker was probably going to do some "stupid things" to "screw over" state workers. So they also wanted to know what position Hopper was going to take when that time came.
You can argue about the appropriateness of the the guy's language because it was clear that he was probably very frustrated and angry and wanted some answers for his members. But the one thing that you can't say is that this guy was being a phony. Some may consider his tone harsh but it was also very clear, very honest and very direct. We might call it very open "dialogue", to use the word accurately.
After Hopper's staffer received the direct and very honest email he forwarded it to his boss. I don't have a copy of the actual reply from Senator Hopper to this union leader but I do have the email where Hopper forwards it to his alleged girlfriend Valerie Cass. Somehow I don't think that his actual response to the union official was the same as what he said to Cass. Here was his real unvarnished opinion in that email:
"Check this out then ask yourself how someone like this is elevated to lead? Wow what an idiot" -Randy Hopper to Valerie Cass in 12/28/10 Email
Again the union leader was certainly upfront and brutally honest about what he thought. You may not like what he said or how he said it but it was brutally honest "dialogue". Randy Hopper on the other hand proceeded to forward the guy's email to his alleged girlfriend. By the way, how many other constituent emails was he sending to her and is that even appropriate? In any case, Hopper proceeded to not only send that email to her but then went on to call the union official names behind his back and indict the workers that elected him to his position. Sorry Randy but that is NOT "dialogue". In fact it is much closer to the definition of phony.