You may remember Republican operative Valerie Cass as the “other woman” in Republican State Senator Randy Hopper’s life. Until recently (March 11, 2011 to be exact) Cass was working for Persuasion Partners Inc., a Republican political consulting firm run by Darrin Schmitz, but since her departure from Persuasion Partners, Cass has definitely landed on her feet, landing a job as a state employee….with a pay raise no less!
Cass was hired on February 7th as a communications specialist with the state Department of Regulation and Licensing, where she’ll be paid $20.35 per hour as a limited term employee (LTE). If Cass were to put in a full year in her current job, she will make about $43,200, which represents a very healthy raise over her predecessor’s yearly salary of $31,200. So despite a budget deficit which necessitated cuts in take-home pay for tens of thousands of rank and file state employees, Valerie Cass will get a $12,000 a year pay increase over her predecessor, which serves as proof positive that crony politics is in full effect in Gov. Scott Walker’s administration.
Reached for comment on Cass’ hire, Walker administration spokesperson Cullen Werwie said Keith Gilkes, Gov. Walker’s Chief of Staff, ABSOLUTELY DEFINITELY did not recommend Cass as a favor to Sen. Hopper, saying, “that’s certainly not the case.” Despite Cullen Werwie’s denials, something about Valerie Cass’ hiring as a state employee with a pay raise over her predecessor certainly smells funny.