Heck of a Guy

By DAVID S. BERNSTEIN  |  May 26, 2010

Glodis also led the passage of a 2000 law disenfranchising felons. He was widely quoted at the time professing his opinion that, “philosophically, no inmates deserve the right to vote.”

He also has taken positions and voted against welfare programs; voted for the income-tax roll-back to five percent; and, although he is pro-choice, received only a “mixed” rating from Planned Parenthood for his votes on abortion in the Senate, due to his opposition of “buffer zone” clinic-access legislation.

None of these positions are inherently wrong, or even unpopular — but they all run contrary to the strong views of many, if not most, of the delegates to next weekend’s convention.

That is particularly true of one of Glodis’s signature issues during his Beacon Hill years: English-only instruction in public schools.

Glodis championed that cause with gusto, repeatedly introducing bills to eliminate bilingual education, or to reduce the three-year “immersion” period for non-English-speaking students to one.

In 2002, Glodis actively supported the ballot referendum that accomplished what he didn’t have the votes to do: reduce immersion to one year, and prohibit all other non-English instruction. The referendum provided for suing teachers — potentially even jailing them — for teaching en Español. Teachers’ unions, which hold tremendous clout in the state’s Democratic Party — especially at its state conventions — adamantly opposed the referendum. Glodis, perhaps the most visible elected official supporting the proposal, was openly critical of the teachers’ unions on the other side of the issue. Yet the teachers, rarely ones to hold their tongues, have been notably silent about his candidacy for statewide office.

This little piggie?
Those are the issues. But there are also the inappropriate jokes and comments, which date back at least as far as Glodis’s college days, when he reportedly picked on a lesbian student while hosting a televised program. For that incident, Worcester Magazine, during his 1996 House campaign, dubbed him “the Howard Stern of UMass-Amherst.”

The gaffes continued as recently as 2007, when Glodis displayed a mock-up poster of former state representative Marie Parente’s face on a bikini-clad model’s body, at a bachelor party for the Milford police chief (with whom Parente had publicly feuded).

Perhaps his best-known lapse came in 2006, when his years of wisecracks about Boston Mayor Tom Menino’s appearance and speech led to Senator Jack Hart banning him from the South Boston St. Patrick’s Day breakfast. Glodis had previously used that forum to crack tasteless jokes at the expense of women and homosexuals, and even gubernatorial candidate Robert Reich’s height. (Glodis referred to Reich as a “leprechaun” and suggested that his mother had left him in the dryer too long.)

And in 2003, Glodis raised the ire of Muslims by distributing to his fellow senators a flier recounting, and praising, the myth of US General Jack Pershing executing Philippino Muslims in 1913, then burying them with pig entrails to prevent their entry into Heaven.

Those, and other tales, led several political veterans, not wishing to be named, to describe him using terms like “pig,” “chauvinist,” and “disgusting.”

Glodis doesn’t seem especially apologetic. “I have obviously grown and matured as an elected official from when I was first elected in my 20s,” Glodis tells the Phoenix. “However, I am not one of those types who is going to reinvent myself for a political race.”

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