Howie Carr: Elect someone to yell ‘Stop thief!’

If you think everything is going swimmingly in Massachusetts, you probably shouldn’t be voting for GOP state Rep. Peter Durant of Spencer in the special state Senate election next week.

If, on the other hand, you are somewhat less than ecstatic about outrageous taxes, hordes of illegal aliens on welfare, the Legislature’s impending gun grab, the fifth or sixth highest utility rates in the US, the utter breakdown of law and order and not just in Boston either….

If any of this concerns you, you might want to… send them a message, as they used to say.

Next Tuesday, you can do just that by voting for a Republican in the special election to replace a Democrat who resigned to grab a $117,000-a-year hack job from Gov. Maura Healey.

Only three of the 39 current members of the state Senate are Republicans. The GOP could literally caucus in a telephone booth. That’s how far the party has fallen, and it’s why a Republican victory might actually mean something.

Rep. Peter Durant is running in a semi-rural central Massachusetts district that includes one city (Gardner), a couple of Worcester wards, and 19 towns, all but one of them in Worcester County.

A Durant victory would be the first Republican takeaway of a Democrat seat since 2018. That’s how long the party’s tailspin has been going on.

Despite their iron grip on power, the Democrats are pulling out all the stops to defeat Durant. They want Massachusetts to be even more of a one-party state than it already is.

The Democrat candidate is another state rep, a 33-year-old named Jonathan Zlotnick. He seems to be rather a nonentity, but all that matters is that “D” after his name.

By his campaign contributors, ye shall know him, and you should see the collection of hacks who’ve ponied up big time for Mr. Z.

First, Marty Meehan, the career coat holder who is now the $697,076-a-year president of hack-infested UMass. Ya think Marty could afford that $200 he sent the Democrat?

Marty has an “assistant to the president” named David McDermott. He makes a mere $350,000 a year. At ZooMass this is called a starting wage. McDermott gave $250.

More interesting, though, is the $200 contribution Zlotnick pocketed even before this current election, from one Ken Halloran. Does that name ring a bell? Probably not, but keep your eyes on this payroll patriot.

Halloran is the “partner” of Tara Healey, the younger sister of Maura Healey. Partner – that’s how Tara is described in the obituary for Halloran’s mom, and in the pages of a local state-run media outlet, the Globe.

He was basically a state-paid lobbyist for the State Police during the very ethical era of Leigha Genduso, Troop E organized racketeering, tubby corrupt union boss Dana Pullman and a cast of dozens of other unspeakably corrupt troopers.

Halloran retired in January 2022, after it became clear that the sister of his “partner” was going to be the next governor. He pocketed his $90,451-a-year pension.

Now he’s in a new lobbying firm with, among others, ex-Sen. Henri Rauschenbach, age 76. Republican Rauschenbach has a nickname – Kickenbach – from his corruption trial in 1995 on conflict-of-interest and conspiracy charges. He beat the rap. It always helps to be tried by a Suffolk County jury.

Like all the other ancient lobbyists I wrote about on Sunday, Kickenbach last won an election in the 20th century – in 1996.

But now Kickenbach is living large, partnered up with the governor’s almost brother-in-law. Ya think that connection helps when you’re soliciting business on Beacon Hill?

It’s only natural that Halloran would be funneling cash to Rep. Peter Durant’s opponent. Democrats, you know.

Many of the ancient lobbyists I wrote about in my Sunday column want to keep the party going. The state is imploding, but they’re getting filthy rich on their way out the door.

Zlotnik’s lobbyist contributors include all the old Boston glad-handers, with names like Joyce, Delaney, Malloy and Hickey. From the Worcester forgotten-but-not-gone brigade, he’s grabbed cash from Joe Ricca and Paul Giorgio.

He’s also collected from most of the furthest-left state senators in the far, far left state Senate: Pat Jehlen, William Brownsberger, Susan Moran, Jason Lewis et al.

But the lobbyists’ showering of cash to Zlotnik is the most telling. These slugs run everything on Beacon Hill. As a group, they’re not terribly swift, but in the kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man shall lead.

When they write another billion-dollar blank check for their bundlers and advocates and brothers-in-law, all the lobbyists do is scrawl a few words at the top of the legislation:

“Notwithstanding any general or special order to the contrary….”

And that is exactly the reason there should be at least a handful of Republicans up there to yell: “Stop thief!”

Perusing the list of greed-crazed hacks who are spending thousands to defeat Rep. Peter Durant, I keep asking myself one question.

Is there a single ex-legislator over the age of 75 — indicted, convicted or otherwise — who isn’t riding off into the sunset pocketing hundreds of thousands of dollars a year from “lobbying” at the State House?

I just came across two more of the erstwhile solons approaching the checkout counter yesterday.

One was an ex-state rep named Steve Karol. He last won an election in 1992. Now, at age 75, he has a lobbying firm with a 78-year-old ex-state senator named W. Paul White. White’s name most recently appeared on the ballot in 1996.

But when the Democrats blew the hack dog whistle, these two old-timers raised their snouts from the trough and came hobbling back to the crime scene. Because they want to keep the dumpster fire that is Massachusetts state government going.

It’s good for business – monkey business.

If you agree with all the above tax-fattened Democrat millionaires that happy days are here again in Massachusetts, you should definitely not vote for Peter Durant in the special state Senate election next Tuesday.

Durant wants to be that guy yelling, “Stop thief!”

(Order Howie’s new book, “Paper Boy: Read All About It!” at or


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