GOP hacks head for cushy state jobs ahead of Maura Healey’s governorship

Not working is an extremely difficult habit to break – consider the millions of Americans who got used to being on the dole and on the couch during the Panic and now have no intention of ever returning to productive labor.

In the hackerama, of course, this phenomenon was well known long before the Wuhan flu was concocted to oust Donald Trump from office.

No clinical studies exist, but empirical evidence suggests that most politicians who hold elective office for more than three terms – six years at the legislative level – are thereafter incapable of ever holding down a real job again.

There are exceptions, but they are few and far between. Most hacks emeriti must be put on some sort of public welfare – such “jobs” as commissioner, dean, judge, clerk magistrate, or, most pathetically, perennial losing candidate for office.

The hacks understand how terrifying it is to be ejected from the public trough – just ask Geoff Diehl how much fun it is to be an Uber driver. So most begin seeking no-heavy-lifting sinecures from the moment they’re elected to office.

Which brings us to this year’s lame-duck feeding frenzy at the State House. The Republicans are surrendering the governorship to Maura Healey, so GOP hacks are seeking refuge, anything to avoid having to get a real job.

Take James Kelcourse – please. Until very recently, he was the Republican rep from Amesbury. He ran for mayor, was defeated, and realized that he was going nowhere in his part-time $87,380-a-year job as a legislator. He’d been in since 2014 – past the six-year sell date for solons.

So Kelcourse checked out – he now has a $136,292-a-year sinecure on the Massachusetts Parole Board. Thanks, Charlie Parker!

Then there’s Sheila Harrington, a 11-year Republican state rep. Obviously not much was ever going to be happening again for her in the Dreaded Private Sector, but not a problem – last winter Charlie Parker nominated her as clerk magistrate in the Gardner District Court for $174,532 a year.

That’s a sweet gig, clerk magistrate. It’s a lifetime appointment. Just ask Jen Caissie, the last GOP member of the Governor’s Council. She’s been interred at the Dudley District Court since 2019.

With Hurricane Maura about to make land, the GOP reps are stampeding for the exits. Take Bradford Hill of Ipswich. How unemployable was Brad? He’d been in the legislature since 1998, and before that, he was a staffer on Beacon Hill. Sad, very sad.

But the Brad Hill story has a happy ending, at least until 2025, when his term on the Massachusetts Gaming Commission (for there is indeed such a body) expires. He’s making $136,292 a year, and behind that comes the 80 percent pension, plus health care.

In any governor’s office, the job of chief secretary is very important, because he’s the guy in charge of dealing out the hack jobs. 

During Charlie Parker’s lame-duck period, this extraordinarily significant position was held by one Jordan Maynard, who drifted into Massachusetts from Kentucky and is very proud to call himself a “first-generation college graduate.” (Like, who isn’t?)

There are no flies on Maynard, however, because come January this blow-in won’t be on the unemployment line when Maura Healey becomes governor.

You see, Jordan spotted another opening on… the Mass. Gaming Commission, and guess who grabbed it? 

None other than Jordan Maynard, a stranger in a strange land. He handed himself a full five-year term at the Gaming Commission trough, two years longer than poor career hack Brad Hill. 

So now Maynard’s beginning his all-expenses-paid five-year vacation, until 2027, at $136,292 a year, after which he’ll have to start looking for his first real job ever – at age 39.

Personally, I consider it bad form for the patronage czar to grab one of the sweetest sinecures out there. Kinda like what happened on the Titanic, when the ship’s owner jumped on the last lifeboat.

Remember Francisco Urena, who was one of Charlie Parker’s scapegoats in the Holyoke Soldiers Home fiasco? He got the boot, but hey, you can’t keep a good fall guy down. Francisco has resurfaced at one of those quasi-public authorities, Mass Development.

He’s “deputy director of military initiatives” for $102,000 a year. His boss is another big Baker bum kisser, Dan Rivera, the former mayor of Lawrence who’s now pocketing $158,353.99 per annum. Charlie runs a diverse hackerama, you gotta give the RINO that.

Then there’s Rep. Brad Jones, the minority leader in the House, whom the state comptroller says last year made $155,550 for doing… what, exactly?

Jones’ State House office, though, is an incubator of future Republican hacks who are now furiously trying to burrow themselves in before the Democrat putsch.

After several stops, Jones coat holder Matt Cocciardi has his golden parachute, “associate court administrator” at the Trial Court. For $182,500 a year! 

Of course, the best way for a Republican to survive the coming tsunami of pink slips is to marry, literally, someone who works for Maura Healey.

C’mon down, Eric Rebello-Pradas, who’s been a GOP coat holder for first Brad Jones and then another GOP hack solon turned commissioner or secretary, Matt Beaton. Eric is now at something called Mass Police Officers Standards and Training, some kind of post-George Floyd touchy-feely hackerama.

It’s good for $158,000 a year for the hyphenated one, meaning that the POST Commission pays a lot better than the Post Office does.

Eric is now married, to one Alicia Rebello-Pradas. It was a good career move for him, given the ways the political winds are blowing, because Alicia is likewise a payroll patriot, in the office of… Maura Healey. She makes $121,275 a year. And that new hyphenated last name just adds to Eric’s bona fides as a wimpy wokester.

Now that’s some real job protection. Sure beats just working the phones or volunteering for Maura’s campaign like many of the local Republican payroll Charlies are doing, to save their phony-baloney jobs.

Granted, not every GOP coat holder on Beacon Hill can hunt down a Maura Healey acolyte to get hitched to. So my advice to all hack Republicans in Massachusetts is to at the very least get yourself a hyphenated last name.

Maybe come January you can… pass.

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