In what can only be seen as a major victory for the Elizabeth Warren campaign, ex-”Democratic” legislator Marie Parente, a favorite of Herald columnist Howie Carr, endorsed Scott Brown yesterday. Parente became famous early in 2007, when, shortly after the voters of her district turned her out of office, she applied to the state pension board for a bump of several thousand dollars a year in her pension based on the value of … wait for it … her parking space. Here are the key points from the Globe story (sub. req’d):
With her W-2 statements in hand and without apology, recently ousted state representative Marie J. Parente told the state Retirement Board yesterday that she should be given a boost in her pension, following the path of William M. Bulger, former president of the University of Massachusetts.
Parente, 78, a Milford Democrat who lost in last fall’s primaries, said her State House parking space and other perks were included as income on her tax return and therefore should be included in the calculation of her pension. In an interview from home, she said it was amazing that her salary remained so low after 26 years as a state legislator.
“Don’t I sound like I’m a piker when that Japanese pitcher gets $50 million and I get $55,000?” she said, referring to newly acquired Red Sox pitcher Daisuke Matsuzaka.
Also noteworthy is that Parente, along with Brown himself, was one of a handful of legislators inducted into BMG’s “ConCon Hall of Shame” back in 2007 (interestingly, Brown was the only Republican Senator afforded this honor). The honor was reserved for those legislators who, as I phrased it at the time,
did everything wrong [at that session's constitutional convention]: voted YES on the anti-marriage amendment, and voted NO on discharging the health care amendment from committee, thereby both trampling on the rights of gay people and violating their constitutional oaths. (All in a day’s work on Beacon Hill, I guess.)
The hypocrisy of those legislators was noted not only at BMG, but also in an editorial in the MetroWest Daily News, which argued:
It is also particularly hypocritical for anyone who voted to advance the anti-gay marriage amendment on the grounds that the people deserve to vote to turn around and deny a spot on the ballot for a different issue…. With this act, Travaglini and his followers have thoroughly discredited the Constitutional Convention. Gay marriage supporters have said all along that the constitution’s low threshold for getting a question on the ballot was being enforced only when it comes to taking away their rights. The lawmakers have made their case for them….
And lest you think that news of Parente’s shenanigans is ancient history, the ever-alert Hester Prynne pointed out on Twitter that Parente was in the news again just a couple of months ago, this time over a dubious promotion in the embattled probation department:
The promotion of a relative of former Milford state Rep. Marie Parente to a supervisory probation job has been thrown into question by a judge’s ruling last month that 11 probation promotions over the last nine years must now be reviewed by an arbitrator to determine if those promoted were the most qualified for their jobs…. Amy M. Pighetti, a grandniece of the retired Milford Democrat who makes $79,599 as assistant chief probation officer in Milford District Court, got her current job in 2005 in a promotion process that was questioned by a more senior candidate who alleged that Ms. Pighetti passed over her and got the promotion because of her political connections.
The unsuccessful candidate, Karen Jackson, a Milford District Court probation officer making $69,630 a year, argued in a 2005 arbitration hearing — which she lost — that Ms. Pighetti’s promotion was tainted by the intervention of William Burke, a now-retired deputy director of the probation department and key figure in the scandal.
At the time, the Globe reported that Ms. Jackson said the former lawmaker told her that she felt guilty to have lobbied for Ms. Pighetti. “The fix was in,” Ms. Jackson told the Globe. “If you don’t know anyone, you’re not going anywhere.” Ms. Jackson was hired in 1978, Ms. Pighetti in 1998.
In the Milford Daily news article reporting Parente’s endorsement of Scott Brown, Brown is quoted as being “honored” by Parente’s endorsement, and continues thusly: “I’ve been getting endorsements from lifelong Democrats like Marie.” And, indeed, he appears to be making inroads into the hack/patronage/Howie Carr wing of the Democratic party.
You know what, Scott? You’re welcome to it.