Bar-hopping with Braintree Rep. Mark Cusack
Meet Rep. Mark Cusack, D-Braintree – a man with a great thirst for public service.
Not to mention a great thirst, period, judging from Cusack’s most recent damp, beer-stained
six-month filing on expenditures with the state Office of Campaign and Political Finance (OCPF).
I bring this up today to explain that House Speaker Robert DeLeo, the unindicted coconspirator,
isn’t the only State House hack livin’ large with fine wining and dining, not on his own dime, but
on the tab of either the taxpayers or campaign contributors.
Before putting on the green eyeshades, I should explain how to pronounce the solon’s last
name, Cusack. It rhymes with “hack.”
In the first six months of this year, Cusack spent at least $7765.96 during 73 visits to restaurants
with liquor licenses. Here’s the breakdown, by gin mill:
Emmet’s Pub and Restaurant, Beacon Hill: 32 visits, $3474.
Braintree Brew House, Braintree: 25 visits, $2077.75.
Southside Tavern, Braintree: 11 visits, $1204.11.
Carrie Nation, Beacon Hill: 4 visits, $874.60.
21 st Amendment, Beacon Hill: 1 visit, $115.50.
Did I mention, his favorite Merle Haggard song is “Swinging Doors?” His favorite Moe Bandy hit
is “Barstool Mountain.”
On his OCPF filing, Cusack lists as the reason for these expenditures as “meetings” with
“constituents… local officials… colleagues, etc.”
It’s an old joke that on Beacon Hill, everyone says “Have a good weekend” on Wednesday. But
judging from his “meetings,” Rep. Cusack is a full-time solon. In fact he held more “meetings”
on Saturdays – 17 – than on any other day of the week.
The second most popular nights of the week for Rep. Cusack to convene a meeting in a
barroom were Thursdays and Fridays, tied with 14.
Do they still call Fridays and Saturdays “Date Nights One and Two?”
You may have been reading recently about the controversy over NDA’s – non-disclosure
agreements. The Speaker has been refusing to release the names of his grabby payroll patriots
who’ve paid public funds to aides who’ve been harassed.
The only victim we know for sure who received money is Diane DiZoglio, now a state rep from
Methuen. As a legislative aide in 2011, she was discovered late one night in the darkened
House chamber, doing something or other with…. Rep. Mark Cusack.
Both denied that anything untoward happened, but the gossip was so brutal that her boss
finally let her go. DiZoglio got a payout, and now she’s a hack herself, conducting her own
meetings no doubt, but I’m guessing many fewer than her old friend, especially on weekend
Getting caught in the House chambers is the only thing Cusack has done in his eight years of
extinguished, I mean distinguished service.
Oddly, Cusack reports no visits to local pubs on Sunday. It is, of course, a holy day of obligation.
Not to mention, a health night. Although I’m guessing that he’ll be scheduling some Sunday
night “meetings” once the new NFL season begins next month. Don’t the Pats usually play one
or two Sunday night games every season?
Cusack is the House chairman of the “Revenue” Committee, formerly known as Taxation. His
Senate counterpart is the tomato-nosed Sen. Mike Brady of Brockton, who was recently in
court after his second OUI arrest in Weymouth.
You may be wondering, who is financing the liquid lifestyle of Mr. Chairman? While spending
$23,170.82 in the first six months of the year, he raised $20,510, mostly from old-line lobbyists,
ex-hack legislators themselves.
It’s almost touching, the way these dinosaurs respond to Cusack’s touch, as if any mere
committee chairman, especially a three-watt bulb like Cusack, has any power in the modern
It appears Cusack had a “time” for himself earlier this year, and all the old hacks ponied up
$200. Among the friends of Cusack (rhymes with Hack): Brian Dempsey, a former legislator
once arrested for drunk driving, and also once taken into protective custody by the local
constabulary after a drunken Mother’s Day brawl with his brother.
Another $200 contributor: ex-state Rep. Emmett Hayes, who retired from the legislature in
1990 due to ill health – the voters in Whitman got sick of him after his second drunk-driving
arrest in Weymouth. (Weymouth is the Bermuda Triangle of Democrat tosspots).
Talk about forgotten but not gone: also chipping in $200 was ex-House speaker Good Time
Charlie Flaherty, now 80 years old. He went down on an income-tax evasion rap back in 1996.
But Good Time Charlie wasn’t the oldest oldtimer picking up Cusack’s bar tab – that honor goes
to ex-AG Frank Bellotti, age 96. He threw in a C-note.
Then there was Carlo Basile, the tattooed ex-rep from Eastie who went on to become Tall
Deval’s patronage secretary. Other worthies in the lobbying community included ex-Registrar
Jerry Gnazzo, Wacky Jackie Murphy Jr., Jack Brennan of Malden, ex-Reps. Mike Costello and
Mike McGlynn, and assorted other Hibernian highwaymen named Joyce, Coyne, Muse,
McDermott, Delaney and Hickey.
Multiple calls were made to Cusack over the past week, none of which were returned. Maybe I
should have had him paged at one of his favorite joints while he was on a night crawl. Or
perhaps I can catch him at this summer’s induction ceremonies at the Beacon Hill Alcohol of
Fame. First round’s on Mistah Chairman!
(Listen to Howie’s new podcast on the 50 th anniversary of Chappaquiddick at