Shocked (shocked!) that patronage exists in Chicago politics

NPR reported on a startling discovery in Chicago: That government jobs go not to those best qualified to perform them, but rather to those with the best connections. Who'd-a thunk it?

Shocked by this discovery, the Daley administration vowed to end it.

The City of Chicago's top lawyer Mara Georges told incredulous City Hall reporters yesterday that the hiring system will now be completely fair, objective, and free of political influence. "City hiring will be on the square, yes."

The Associated Press notes that "City officials have long denied that political favoritism or patronage had anything to do with who got jobs." The Chicago Sun-Times captures the sentiment quite succinctly: Who knew politics as usual in Chicago is against the law?

Comments (4)
  1. Michael Pryhodko says:

    :) It is only tip of the iceberg. Well… smallest part of tip.

    Good connections is the most important treasure in this world.

  2. Eldo says:

    Sometimes good connections are better than a good resume.

    It could be the guy with the best connections, who can get the job done.



  3. Duff says:

    I always thought that a certain amount of patronage jobs were ok, because at least the people in them only stick around until their sponsoring politican leaves. Merit-based civil service has its downsides, as employees often stick around way past their prime and start to become part of the furniture.

    Also, corrupt people are always going to be corrupt, and giving a brother-in-law a bogus city job is probably cheaper than giving his company lucrative contracts.

  4. "On the square"? As in the phrase which originally meant "is a brother Freemason" and therefore was indicative of nepotism and patronage at the expense of "fair" hiring? Heh.

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