Coronavirus, meet your match: Massport hackerama cannot be stopped
Amidst all the cancellations, suspensions, halts, closures, postponements, dispensations, etc., one hackerama stands unbowed.
Coronavirus be damned, the Massachusetts Port Authority refuses to allow this life-altering plague to put the brakes on its latest round of huge pay raises for all the politically connected hacks interred at Logan International Airport.
Restaurants may be deserted, schools shuttered, churches padlocked, but the public trough that is Massport remains wide open, its spigot of public cash gushing forth as always — the average pay of a Massport hack is now $101,000 a year.
If the Massport hacks don’t get their pay raises, COVID-19 wins!
So this morning let us salute the payroll patriots of Massport who are still courageous enough to keep cashing their very big paychecks for very little work.
Of course there are other stories of note this morning, including the fact that in local grocery stores, stocks of Cottonelle and Soft Angel toilet paper now appear to be marked the same way lobster is on fancy restaurant menus — M.P. And that searching for said TP resembles Arnold Schwarzenegger’s frantic search for the Turbo-Man toy in the old Christmas movie “Jingle All the Way.”
But let others speculate whether local bookies will be eligible for emergency Small Business Administration loans to tide them over until the wretched Red Sox begin their already lost season.
Likewise I leave it to others to predict how the jock-sniffing pom-pom boys of local sports radio will fill the endless empty hours of the next few weeks:
Will Tom Brady catch the virus? Would you give up your coronavirus testing kit for No. 12? Would you stand in line at Market Basket for two hours to buy Charmin toilet paper for Tom Brady?
Come to think of it, Shillville radio’s topics won’t be changing very much at all.
But this morning, let us praise the sunshine soldiers of Massport, doing … whatever … in the midst of this greatest crisis since, well, the last one.
They coughed up (bad phrase) their payroll to the Herald a couple of weeks ago, and now it’s time to check in, starting with the head of the hackerama, Lisa Wieland, a former employee of backstabbing Sen. Willard M. Romney. In other words, a Republican hack from Bain Capital.
Lisa Wieland is now grabbing $360,000 a year, a $65,000-a-year raise since she edged out a former state rep for the job last year.
She succeeded the interim chief, John Pranckevicius, who didn’t have the necessary hack pedigree, and now must make ends meet in a consolation Massport job for a mere $311,825.01 a year.
Among other things, Massport is the answer to the question, Whatever happened to all of the late Mumbles Menino’s hacks?
Start with his speechwriter — Reed Passafaro. Listen, do you think it was easy for Passafaro writing speeches when he couldn’t use any words of more than two syllables, and always having to remember to type in “yooze” as the plural of “you”? Passafaro got the job done, and now yooze, the taxpayers, are giving him a “gross” salary of $196,154.04 a year.
Jennifer Mehigan was Mumbles’ flack. Now she’s at … you guessed it … $170,335 a year.
John Affuso was another payroll Charlie at City Hall. Now he’s up to $152,736 a year at Massport.
Does the name Paul Scapicchio ring a bell? Used to be the city councilor from Eastie, before he went to Mintz, Levin, where he ran into Steve Tocco, who used to have Lisa Wieland’s job, if not her salary. Lou Scapicchio is Paul’s cousin, and this year he’s up to a “gross” of $106,958.35.
Tom Butler Jr. is a second-generation payroll patriot from Southie, and he makes $130,000 a year as the very essential “deputy director state affairs & community affairs.”
Which is not to be confused with the equally arduous position of “deputy director community relations & federal affairs,” a $129,375-a-year sinecure filled by one Anthony Guerriero, who used to be a hack at the State House for Tom Birmingham, the fourth- or fifth-to-last Senate president, who last won an election in 2000.
I got a call recently from a guy I know whose son was interested in dying and going to heaven at Massport. I dutifully made an inquiry and then washed my hands (for 20 seconds, as instructed, with hot water and Purell) of everything.
For the record, though, there is a Carr on the Massport payroll, Gordon Carr, for $172,584.30 a year. No relation, but he is eminently qualified to be “deputy director, real estate strategy & policy.” He has thus far contributed $3,250 to the Republican governor Tall Deval and his lieutenant governor, Pay to Play Polito.
Some things never change, and Massport is one of them. Take your best shot, virus, you’ll never knock a single one of these hacks off the payroll.