Carr: Mee­han for Hack Hall of Fame

Boston Herald - - NEWS - Howie CARR Howie’s new book, “Kennedy Baby­lon Vol. 2,” is now avail­able for im­me­di­ate ship­ment at howiecarrshow.com.

Even at his pre­pos­ter­ous salary of $659,168 a year, Marty Mee­han will not be the rich­est fan walk­ing into Gil­lette Sta­dium Sun­day for the Pats’ play­off game against the Charg­ers. How­ever, the 62-year-old pres­i­dent of the Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts will quite likely be the most loaded Tom Brady groupie who has never toiled a sin­gle soli­tary day in the Dreaded Pri­vate Sec­tor. But in lick­ing the plate clean, Maaaaahty is just go­ing with the flow at ZooMass, which is now sup­pos­edly not an apt de­scrip­tion of what was once the Bay State’s agri­cul­tural col­lege. I don’t be­lieve any­thing’s changed at UMass ex­cept the salaries, which now dwarf those in the rest of the state hack­erama — see them all for your­self right on the Her­ald web­site. And of course, be­hind Mee­han’s fab­u­lous pay­check comes the equally bloated pen­sion, and 80 per­cent of $660,000 is … $528,000 a year. In other words, Marty is in line for a kiss of $10,000 a week, for life. And don’t for­get, he’ll also be grab­bing a con­gres­sional pen­sion. Af­ter his solemn vow to the elec­torate to serve a mere four terms in the House, the very schol­arly Mee­han (de­grees from UMass Low­ell and Suf­folk) broke his prom­ise and slurped for 15 years at the fed­eral trough. I hereby dub Marty Mee­han the hacko di tutti hacki of Mas­sachusetts. No­body else comes even close. Waive the five-year re­tire­ment rule, im­me­di­ately elect Mee­han to the Bay State Hack Hall of Fame, on a unan­i­mous voice vote. All in fa­vor, say oink oink. By way of com­par­i­son, con­sider Billy Bul­ger, long­time king­pin of the po­lit­i­cal wing of the Bul­ger Crime Fam­ily. The Cor­rupt Mid­get also re­tired as pres­i­dent of UMass, and now col­lects a state pen­sion of just over $200,000 a year. What a dif­fer­ence a few decades make. When Mee­han first ran for Con­gress back in 1992, he went to then-Se­nate pres­i­dent Bul­ger, hat in hand, seek­ing his bless­ing. The meet­ing was ar­ranged through an in­ter­me­di­ary, a shady State House lob­by­ist. Marty has al­ways played his cards well. Of course, Mee­han was running against in­cum­bent Rep. Chester Atkins. On Bea­con Hill, Atkins had al­ways been known as “Billy Bul­ger’s but­ler,” for his smarmy ob­se­quious­ness to Whitey’s brother. Given that the se­rial-killing gang­ster was still at large, mur­der­ing his foes right and left, Mee­han’s dis­cre­tion was perhaps the bet­ter part of valor. So Marty de­feats Atkins in the ’92 pri­mary, and Teddy Kennedy comes up to Low­ell to of­fer his sup­port at a rally at the old Speare House. More than some­what hun­gover, Teddy stum­bles into an up­stairs func­tion room fes­tooned with count­less blue cam­paign posters — Marty Mee­han for Con­gress. So Ted nat­u­rally be­gins bel­low­ing about how much he loves … Andy Mee­han! My friend Andy Mee­han. He will make a great con­gress­man for the Val­ley — Andy Mee­han! Andy, I mean Marty, didn’t take it per­son­ally, of course. Af­ter all, Ted had been known to re­fer to Billy Bul­ger’s but­ler not as Chester, but as “Chuck Atkins.” But why set­tle for be­ing a con­gress­man mak­ing $175,000 when you can be the pres­i­dent of ZooMass for $660,000? Andy, er Marty, saw his op­por­tu­ni­ties and he took ’em. The state pay­roll is still larded with thou­sands upon thou­sands of worth­less in­com­pe­tent hacks. But they’re more dis­persed now. So many of the tra­di­tional hack­era­mas are in disarray. But at UMass, nothing has changed, ex­cept that they’re grab­bing more cash than ever be­fore. And it’s not just ZooMass. All the fourth-rate state col­leges — er, uni­ver­si­ties, are wallowing in cash. They’ve all re­named them­selves “uni­ver­si­ties” be­cause it’s worth so much more money to be the “ex­ec­u­tive deputy chan­cel­lor provost as­so­ciate as­sis­tant dean” of a univer­sity than of a mere … col­lege. They used to say that pigs got fed and hogs got slaugh­tered. Not UMass hogs, ob­vi­ously. And give Marty credit — he learned from his pre­de­ces­sor Billy Bul­ger’s mis­cues. Whitey’s brother sur­rounded him­self with hacks way too fa­mil­iar to most of us — sec­ond-gen­er­a­tion State House coat-hold­ers like Jim Ju­lian, and C-list re­porters like Bob Con­nolly. Even Bul­ger’s board of trus­tees was packed with dodgy busi­ness­men and So­cial Reg­is­ter hang­er­son. Once his en­forcer brother took it on the lam, it was only a mat­ter of time un­til the younger Bul­ger went down in flames. Marty, on the other hand, sur­rounds him­self with a crew of ut­ter non-en­ti­ties, who are more than happy to re­main as such, given that start­ing pay for ZooMass non-en­ti­ties is $450,000 a year. Can any­one name a sin­gle mem­ber of the UMass Board of Trus­tees? Out of sight, out of mind. That’s Marty Mee­han’s motto, and it’s made him a mil­lion­aire, many times over, not to men­tion his en­tire crew. But as the Pats’ No. 1 fan­boy, Maaaahty heads off to the sta­dium this morn­ing, I’m think­ing of base­ball, and what the late Bill Veeck once said of his sport, and how its dilemma ap­plies, in spades, to Mee­han’s ZooMass. “It’s not the high cost of tal­ent that’s ru­in­ing the game, it’s the high cost of medi­ocrity.”

AN­GELA ROWLINGS / HER­ALD STAFF FILE

CASH GRAB: Univer­sity of Mas­sachusetts Pres­i­dent Martin T. Mee­han, above, with his $659,168 salary, is still in line for a mas­sive pen­sion. For­mer politi­cian and for­mer UMass Pres­i­dent Wil­liam M. Bul­ger, left, col­lects a state pen­sion of just over $200,000 a year.

MATT STONE / HER­ALD STAFF FILE

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