Well! Things just took an interesting turn in the race between State Representative Demetrius J. Atsalis (D – Barnstable) and his primary opponent Brian R. Mannal – courtesy of Mr. Mannal’s former boss, former state representative Marie Parente.
Last week I mentioned that Ms. Parente formally endorsed Rep. Atsalis, and Mr. Mannal tried to take out that endorsement out at the knees by pointing out some issues that arose following her departure from office – trying to goose her pension by factoring in standard perks for legislators, ties to the probation department scandal, etc.
For your reference, here is that release: Mannal Press Release Re Parente Endorses Atsalis and Brown.
On Tuesday Ms. Parente called me to rebut Mr. Mannal’s rebuttal, and summed it all up by calling his accusations an “unforgivable lie” and portrayed his condemnation of her endorsement as “the act of a bitter, disgruntled ex-employee.”
According to Ms. Parente, Mr. Mannal worked for her for all of four months, took a great deal of time off, and was terminated when she caught him in a lie about why he took some time off (a dentist’s visit that allegedly was not as lengthy as Mr. Mannal claimed). She also said that prior to her endorsement of Rep. Atsalis, Mr. Mannal contacted her repeatedly to request her endorsement, which she refused to give due to his work history issues.
Here, complete and unedited and uncorrected, is Ms. Parente’s response, a letter to the editor submitted to the Enterprise on Wednesday:
The recent remarks by candidate Attorney Brian Mannal about my public service and values are alarming indeed. However, they can serve as insight to his character. I write to the voters of the 2nd Barnstable district not only to set the record straight but to inform them of the untruths contained in Mannal’s public statements that are nothing more than a, “say anything about anybody to get elected.”
When I composed my endorsement of Rep. Demetrius Atsalis (D) of Barnstable, I, intentionally, did not include any negative remarks about his opponent Atty. Brian Mannal.
Perhaps it is better this way. Now, the voters of the 2nd Barnstable District will realize, in my opinion, they have a professional storyteller seeking their votes.
Brian Mannal was employed in my state house office from February 7th, 2000 to June 27, 2000, a total of four months and 20 days including week-ends and his excessive absences from work. I fired him mid-June 2000 for the following reasons.
The first day of his state house employment he asked for approximately three weeks off to attend a friend’s wedding in India. The second request for time off was made a few weeks later when Brian came into my office crying real tears, literally, and again asked for a week or two week leave to assist a friend who had been assaulted in Ohio. The third request for leave was bizarre. A few weeks after returning from Ohio, Brian came in the office on a Friday morning and complained about a painful tooth ache. Further, he informed my chief of staff he had scheduled an appointment with a Beacon Hill dentist and would be gone about an hour or so. As the day progressed, it became obvious Brian Mannal was not going to return to work.
My chief of staff, concerned about his “condition.” called the dentist She was told by the dentist that Brian Mannal canceled the appointment and told the dentist he had to meet his lady friend at Logan airport and they were going to spend the day on the Cape.
This is when I decided to test Mannal’s inner value system. Already obvious was his constant need to roam the hallways of the State House compounded by his penchant for taking time off from his tax-payer funded job.
On the Monday morning following Mannal’s cancelled dental appointment, I invited him into my office and asked him to describe his Friday dental visit.
He described the dental procedure as a tortuous one. According to Brian the tooth extraction involved pulling and twisting the target tooth and cause severe injury to his gums. He described his bloody clothes as being in need of change ergo he needed to return to the Cape whereupon he was so ill from the painful extraction he decided to recover at home. I expressed my disappointment that Brian concocted such a deceptive story I told him his fallacious story cast doubt on all his previous requests for his absences from the work place. An untruth is wrong for many reasons, but mostly because one can never trust the perpetrator again. I asked him for his resignation.
I heard through the grapevine Mannal gained employment in Washington and obtained a job using my name for reference. Chutzpah indeed.
I question his prowess as an attorney. He slandered my name without researching the truth of his statements. Most important, he never called me for a statement.
I have never been charged or spoken with by any official source about recent probation issues. A disgruntled constituent who had contacted me six times for herself and members of her family, was told that I could not help her with her seventh request for political intervention. I hesitate to discuss this issue in minute detail as the case is ongoing for the participants involved.
As for the “pension” increase accusation made by Mannal, my request for a pension adjustment was based on the request made by UMass President William Bulger who was allowed to include the value of a university campus home that he never lived in as a non-salary benefit to enhance his $300,000 salary. . It was granted and later confirmed by the Supreme Court as falling within the statute i.e. “salary includes compensation in any form.” The statute was changed shortly after my request. I know of no employee who would not want the same benefits fellow employees receive.
I am sorry that the voters of the 2nd Barnstable District have to endure negative talk during this election season, However, Attorney Brain Mannal chose to bring his despicable campaign methods to their doorsteps. I strongly advise Atty. Mannal to review the state’s slander laws and at the same time revisit his sporadic employment record at the Massachusetts State House where he is seen as an example of insincerety and undependability. He owes all of us a public apology.
I anticipate a response from Mr. Mannal rather quickly. That too will be posted here in its entirety.
This week’s column offers some friendly advice on how to deal with LaRouchies.
LaRouchies, for the unfamiliar, are followers — disciples, if you will — of Lyndon LaRouche, an eight-time failed candidate for president who served six years of a 15-year prison sentence for credit card fraud, and an all-around nutjob (in my humble opinion).
They have been seen in significant numbers across the Cape lately and appear more active than in past election cycles. LaRouchies are easily recognized as they like to set up small tables in public spaces and display a poster-sized photo of President Barack Obama sporting a Hitler mustache. They’re very proud of their complete lack of historical perspective and their surplus of hyperbole.
They are also notoriously shy around media-types and do not like to be interviewed or photographed.
Some of the more outrageous things LaRouche and his minions are responsible for include – and believe me, I had a HUGE list to choose from:
- The dissemination of fraudulent and often racist and homophobic materials to discredit critics;
- Frequent “discoveries” of alleged assassination plots against him, often by Manchurian Candidate-style brainwashed assassins;
- Telling supporters to make any and all personal financial resources available to the movement, and take out bank loans for LaRouche if so requested;
- During his 1976 presidential campaign predicting the extinction of the human race by 1995;
- Accusing Ronald Reagan’s campaign staff of conspiring with Iran to delay the release of 52 hostages in order to leverage Reagan’s 1980 election win;
- Declaring AIDS an invention of the Soviet Union, having far greater communicability that it actually did, equating HIV-positive individuals to “a person with a machine gun running around”, and in his 1988 campaign vowing to quarantine HIV-positive citizens as a public health measure;
- Calling the attacks of September 11 an “inside job.”
The man also has an inexplicable hatred/fear of Great Britain, which he adamantly believes the U.S. is still beholden to financially and politically.
Recommended techniques for dealing with LaRouchies: giving them a dollar and, when they look at you funny, saying, “Oh, I thought this was some sort of weird performance art”; shaking your head in pity and tsk-ing audibly as you pass; declaring, “Hey, why is Obama made up to look like Charlie Chaplin?”; and having a normal conversation with them while affecting a pronounced British accent.
This last one is most effective if you end by saying “I have confirmation on the targets. The game is afoot – repeat, the game is afoot. Tally-ho!” into your phone as you walk away.
The best approach, however, is to ignore them completely. They thrive on attention just as a misbehaving 5-year-old would, so don’t play into their game. Besides, it’s only a phase. They’ll grow out of it.
Political news and announcements may be e-mailed to Michael Bailey, senior political reporter, at email@example.com.
The views and opinions in the Enterprise blogs are those of the author and are not neccessarily shared by Falmouth Publishing.