Lame Duck Season
On Beacon Hill, the hackerama – or at least Charlie Baker’s allies – are stampeding the lifeboats like the Titanic just hit another iceberg.
The end is near! The end is near! Abandon ship!
And now the coatholders and payroll patriots and yes men are all trying to wedge themselves into their phony-baloney, no-heavy-lifting state jobs before Maura Healey becomes governor in January.
Not just Republicans either. Anybody who’s not woke is trying to use these final days to find shelter from the storm.
It’s unfortunate that the Boston media no longer cover local politics, because this appears to be a lame-duck feeding frenzy for the ages getting underway here.
If you were looking for an omen of how out of control this fall is going to be, check out the results of the Registry’s low-digit license plate lottery a couple of weeks ago.
The winner of the very tasteful 8905 plate was one “William M. Bulger” of Pembroke.
It wasn’t the Corrupt Midget, or even the CM’s son and namesake. It was a different William M. Bulger, but it was still a portent, as the ancients would say. A straw in the wind.
And now we have Shannon O’Brien, of the forgotten-but-not-gone O’Briens of Easthampton, the former state treasurer and receiver general, a hack’s hack, married to another hack’s hack, a bust-out state rep turned lobbyist.
Shannon O’Brien is a Democrat, and she just scored a $181,722-a-year appointment to the same clownish Cannabis Control Commission that she’s been recently seeking favors from. It’s yet another indication of why Sonny McDonough used to say that “lame duck is my favorite dish.”
Sonny, by the way, used to serve with Shannon’s late father Eddie on the Governor’s Council. The past is never dead, as William Faulkner once said, it’s not even past. And certainly not at the State House.
And by the way, would Deb Goldberg have ever dared make such an outrageous appointment if she had even the usual feeble pro forma Republican opposition in the Nov. 8 election?
But Goldberg is running unopposed, because the dysfunctional, broke state GOP couldn’t be bothered fielding a candidate against her. They were too busy trying to recruit primary opponents against Anthony Amore, the candidate for auditor, and also trying to knock Amore off the ballot at the state convention.
Elections have consequences. The consequences are even more dire when you allow Democrats to run unopposed, or when you nominate as your candidates the unemployable political equivalent of the Washington Generals of Harlem Globetrotters punching-bag fame.
Let’s start with the Governor’s Council, which James Michael Curley used to call the hock shop.
The Council just confirmed a new judge – one Sarah Jubinville. Does that name ring a bell? There just happens to be a governor’s councilor by the name of… Robert Jubinville.
A nationwide search… for Bob’s daughter!
Then there are the Flahertys from South Boston. The Flahertys are from that increasingly rare breed of Democrats who are not insane.
Michael Sr. was a state rep and then judge – Judge Flats. His son Michael Jr. – Baby Flats – is a Boston city councilor who last year should have been appointed by Gov. Baker as the district attorney of Suffolk County after Rachael Rollins become US attorney.
But Baby Flats had a problem in securing his deserved promotion (in addition to his original sin of being a white Irish-Catholic native of Massachusetts) – he’d been a Baker guy. If they ever name a street after Charlie Parker (as Biden calls him) it’ll have to be one way.
Instead of rewarding a supporter like Flaherty, Parker appointed Kevin Hayden, who is kind of a stiff and had never run for office.
What followed was a brutal primary between Hayden and the uber-dodgy Ricardo Arroyo. Suffolk County almost had a collective nervous breakdown trying to prevent a Defund the Police freak like Arroyo from taking over and unleashing a Soros-style crime wave on the city of Boston.
That primary was a needless trauma and its after-effects continue, with Arroyo’s new City Council redistricting plan as a payback to his tormentors like Frank Baker.
Which brings us to Charlie Parker’s latest judicial nomination – Margaret F. Albertson, the F being for “Flaherty.”
She is Baby Flats’ sister, Flats Sr.’s daughter. Another nationwide search!
This is what they call in basketball a make-up call. Charlie Parker blew it by not giving Baby Flats the d.a.’s job so he makes up for it by nominating his sister for a judgeship.
What I don’t understand is why Peg even wants the black robes. She’s already the clerk magistrate of the South Boston District Court for $174,532 a year.
It’s a lifetime gig – lifetime! No mandatory retirement age. Peg Flaherty Albertson knows this better than anyone because she used to be the assistant clerk magistrate for the previous clerk magistrate in South Boston, one John Flaherty.
No relation – just another one of those funny coincidences, like the license-plate lottery winner named Bulger. Here’s another coincidence — before John Flaherty got his 58-year sinecure at the courthouse, he was a state rep from Southie, just like Peg and Baby Flats’ father was before he got the job at the courthouse.
John Flaherty was appointed to the clerk’s job in 1945, and he was still grabbing a paycheck 58 years later in 2004, when he died at the age of 94.
Of course Clerk Peg will be getting a pay raise when she’s rubber-stamped through by the Governor’s Council, up to $207,855 a year. But judges must retire at age 70, while clerk magistrates can serve ‘til death do them part from the public trough.
As good as that 80 percent kiss in the mail is, 100 percent is better.
I’m out of space and I haven’t even gotten into the endless list of Republican legislators and former State House aides who are parachuting into six-figure jobs before the Healey hellscape takes form.
On Sunday, the hackerama continues….