For the record, let me state that I did not rig the 2019 Registry of Motor Vehicles’ low license plate lottery.
Believe me, if I’d put the fix in, I’d have scored a much better plate than the one I did win – 63 M.
I’ll take it, of course, but honestly, any plate with a letter in it doesn’t float my boat, or anybody else’s who follows this little obsession of ours in the hackerama.
I would have greatly preferred to grab, say, a “straight three” – for instance, 870. But in an amazing coincidence, 870 went to Daniel Risteen, a former lieutenant colonel in the State Police who is now collecting a pension of $160,389 a year.
On social media, you can find various photos of Risteen with Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito, usually in the company of Risteen’s erstwhile girlfriend, ex-State Trooper Leigha Genduso.
Genduso, like Polito, is from Shrewsbury, and she had a meteoric rise in the MSP, despite her public admissions in federal court to drug dealing, money laundering and perjury. That’s the State Police in the Polito era, don’t you know.
Leigha is no longer employed as a trooper, and I wish her well in her new career in the hospitality industry, tending bar down in Quincy Market. But Leigha stands out as perhaps the only neighbor of Lt. Gov. Polito who in the last year has gotten neither a) a clerk-magistrate’s job, b) a judgeship, nor c) a low-digit license plate.
And that may be why this year’s plate lottery has raised so many eyebrows. There were 13,5662 applicants this year for 231 plates, and three of the winners were from Shrewsbury. They can’t get suspensions out to drunk drivers, but the RMV can figure out a way pass out low-digit license plates to Shrewsbury-connected hacks.
And two of the Shrewsbury lucky winners just happened to be a married couple who’ve donated tens of thousands of dollars to Polito and her boss, Gov. Charlie “Tall Deval” Baker.
James Coghlin collected license plate 4969, after donating almost $48,000 to assorted state politicians, including $6,100 to Polito, $4,500 to Tall Deval and $2,100 to disgraced ex-Lt. Gov. Tim “Crash” Murray. Coghlin was also the cohost of a time for Karyn in 2015 at the Worcester Country Club.
Nancy Coghlin grabbed 56 D after chipping in $30,225, including $6,000 to Polito, $5,500 to Baker and $1,500 to Crash Murray.
The RMV says these latest good things happening to good Shrewsbury people is “completely coincidental,” which is exactly what I said in 2006. That was the year the lottery drawing was held live on my radio show and I just happened to win a straight four, which used to be held by a guy from the town I lived in as a kid, who had also gone to the same high school I did.
These things happen. I mean, I’m not the only guy in Wellesley who won this year. My primary-care physician scored 5341.
Another winner was Paul Travaglini of West Peabody – 2672. Hmmm… I called up the former Senate president, Bobby Travaglini.
“That’s my nephew, Paul,” said Trav, who is now a lobbyist. “He’s a lucky fellow. Myself, I don’t want one of those plates – I want one like they have on the buses in London, long and skinny, about 16 numbers.”
Then there was Gregory Sullivan of Milton — 3267? Could it be the former state rep from Norwood, the ex-inspector general, son of a judge?
“No, thank God,” he said when I reached him. “But good to hear from you.”
Another guy who won a straight four has the same name as a former thug union boss and political appointee of ex-Gov. Bill Weld who did a stretch in federal prison about 15 years ago. My fellow winner has donated money to, among others, the disgraced Crash Murray, jailbird ex-Speaker Sal DiMasi, the son of convicted felon speaker Charlie Flaherty, the late sheriff of Middlesex County Jim DiPaola who committed suicide before he could be indicted, and of course, the aforementioned Trav….
Do you begin to get the picture with these low-numbered license plates? There’s another winner with the same name as the guy in whose house Billy Bulger took the phone call from his serial-killing brother. But his name is too common – it could be somebody else, so I won’t name him.
As for me, at first I wondered if I should really grab 63 M. Then somebody told me, think of it the ultimate “Deplorable” license plate – as in the 63 million people who voted for Donald Trump.
“I don’t think as many people care about this stuff as 30 or 40 years ago,” Trav was saying.
I’m not sure about that Trav. Seems like everybody I know won this year, except for Leigha Genduso. Maybe it’s time, Leigha, for you to move back to the luckiest town in Massachusetts – Shrewsbury.