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Question of the day

Wednesday, Apr 25, 2007

First, the setup, from The Onion

CHICAGO—Mere weeks after his unusual mid-March graduation from Northwestern University’s School of Law, Shaun Daley, son of Chicago mayor Richard M. Daley, was named chairman of the Illinois Nepotist Party Monday.

“I’m thrilled and humbled to be chosen to lead one of Chicago’s most beloved and respected political organizations,” said Daley, who was sworn in at his family’s ancestral residence, the Chicago City Hall. “I swear to you all that I shall do my best to uphold the principles and last name that have made Chicago what it is today.”

Daley vowed to use his position to combat unemployment amongst the sons and daughters of Illinois’ most prominent politicians and business figures.

Question: Do you think the current backlash against the election of Cook County Board President Todd Stroger has put the kibosh on this nepotism thing for a while? Why or why not?

- Posted by Rich Miller        

39 Comments
  1. - Levois - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:27 am:

    It will have to take plenty of factors to put a sock on nepotism. For now I’ll say no only because there has to be more to say other than nepotism is bad. Perhaps Stroger is doing that job himself though.


  2. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    Hmmmmmm. Is Emil Jones’ son the vice chairman of the Illinois Nepotist Party?


  3. - Tom - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:30 am:

    No. Nepotism will continue to thrive as politicians in Chicago and Illinois in general are absolutely incapable of feeling shame.


  4. - cp - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:32 am:

    Forrest Claypool made a big deal about nepotism to focus attention on his race. If nepotism were a big deal, we would see a few more shifts around the region. Stone in the 50th ward stands out as an example of somebody who should have lost.

    Many black voters saw the fascination with the Stroger nepotism as a veil for other stuff. It remains to be seen if indeed the veil reveals substance about a stand against nepotism.


  5. - anon - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:41 am:

    Most of us who live in Chicago have some ties to the local organizations or Daley. Maybe not in every ward but the ones that turn out in high numbers. Even though there has been some backlash to the nepotism and many have strayed off the reservation when it comes time to vote, the problem usually comes with who the alternative candidate is. Sometimes the best candidates have been the kids. Obviously, not all the time but most of us have graciously taken favors from the politician in the past and just suck it up and accept their choice of a replacement.


  6. - DO - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:42 am:

    Now, the MAYOR has a son named SEAN,please someone check the facts.,


  7. - the Other Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:46 am:

    If there is a backlash, Todd Stroger certainly doesn’t know about it. I haven’t seen any sense of shame coming from his office about laying off thousands of front line public health and safety workers while continuing to give six-figure salaries to family members.

    I don’t see a big change in political nepotism in the near future. One big reason is that some of the beneficiaries of nepotism (e.g., L. Madigan, D. Hynes, Jackson, Jr., and of course Daley) have ended up being pretty good public officials. This seems to be a counterweight to the examples of promoting unqualified relatives.


  8. - Beowulf - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 9:48 am:

    Since nepotism has been an accepted practice in Illinois and Chicago politics forever and since Cook County and Chicago voters seem to cast their votes in such a manner as to encourage the practice, it will always be an accepted part of Illinois politics. The Cook County voters will always allow the politically privileged (Stroger, Lipinski, Jackson, Daley, etc.)to get the cake as long as they receive a few of the crumbs that fall off of the cake tray. It is much like the battered wife who still stays with her spouse or boyfriend. She knows that she will still be getting three meals a day and a roof over her head for her and her kids despite the black-eyes and broken bones that she gets with it. She and the Cook County voters have much in common. Many would call it “lack of self-esteem”.


  9. - Lip service - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 10:11 am:

    It will never end, the individuals in power will have more kids they’ll will be given plum jobs too.
    It’s more like an entitlement to the haves.
    Some news service should publish a list of families and salaries on the city and state payrolls.
    Away’s crying for more money, lay those individuals off and you’ll have loads.


  10. - True Observer - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 10:22 am:

    It is not just politicians who say one thing and do another.

    The voters are the same way.

    They say they are against corruption and nepotism but continue voting for candidates with these drawbacks.

    This is not just an Illinois problem but nationwide. Almost every state seems to have political dynasties.

    The reason nepotism will continue is that, like it or not, it is the endorsement of a brand name.

    People are voting for the brand name.

    Most people would rather go with the brand they know than try something new.

    But given the right circumstances, Toyota can surpass GM.


  11. - Cassandra - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 10:38 am:

    Real citizen participation in government is hard. You have to try to find out what the candidates really stand for and what they are likely to do while in office. If done properly, that takes time–there are a lot of candidates for a lot of public offices that affect our day to day lives.
    You have to read, go to meetings, do internet searches, maybe makes some calls to potential candidates.

    Voting for the kids is a form of heuristics for the voters. Not much thought required, just vote for the name.


  12. - What's good for the goose... - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 10:43 am:

    Paul Simon’s daughter should be added to the list of political nepotism.


  13. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 10:49 am:

    I’m unaware of Sheila Simon’s background. I know she has had some success riding on Paul’s coattails; however, I don’t know much about her career and how this nepotism thing comes into play with her. Can someone explain?


  14. - so-called "Austin Mayor" - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 10:54 am:

    Todd’s many sins of nepotism may yet awaken the voters, but voters haven’t shown any sign of actually casting ballots based on the issue.

    – SCAM


  15. - Robbie - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 10:57 am:

    I often wonder who is worse… Corrupt Illinois politicians, or the idiots that continue to vote for them.


  16. - Milorad - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 11:10 am:

    One can bet that Emil is firmly against nepotism. Just like he wants togo after ComEd.


  17. - Captain America - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 11:19 am:

    I think nepotism is alive and well forever more. Parents help their children by boosting their careers whenever possible in politca, business, and all walks of life. It’s completely natural.

    In terms of elective office, political dynasties are not necessarily bad.

    The progeny of some politicans are very capable and have turned out to be excellent public officals. This is true in Illinois as evidenced by the current MayorDaley, Dan Hynes, and Lisa Madigan and nationally - Al Gore and many, many others. Too bad Harold Washington didn’t have a son to carry on his legacy!

    JJ Jr. is obviously a fine elected official. I assume his wife will be a much better Alderman and public official that William Beaver’s daughter

    I look at the process surrounding Dan Lipinki’s and Todd Stroger’s selection differently. It’s a bad idea to nepotistically circumvent the electoral process by appointment.


  18. - Philip Sanders - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 11:23 am:

    No, it hasn’t. Nepotism is alive and well here in Illinois.

    There’s too much “other people’s money” in it. If public jobs didn’t pay handsomely and have generous pension benefits, the patriarch/sponsor would steer the relative into a vocation that did pay well. Or the offspring would go that direction themselves.

    Perhaps zeroing out public official salaries might do it, or maybe a variation of China’s one child rule…


  19. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 11:31 am:

    Nepotism has ancient roots and is older than democracy. It appears in democracies when other voter criteria is lacking. Currently we see nepotism florishing due to our political party’s refusal to clean house and reform.

    Until political party nominations are respected by voters to have value and meaning, voters will turn to nepotism. Until then it will be seen as a positive factor in elections.

    What the Democratic and Republican parties need to do is take stands against their candidate’s failures and corruptions. Today’s political parties should be willing to publically exclude tainted candidates and incumbants seeing party nominations. Instead of providing voters with a slate of qualified worthy candidates, they prostitute their nominations for the sake of winning elections.

    As long as political parties refuse to demand honest qualified nominees, their nominations will be seen as useless partisan games played at voter’s expense. Consequentially, voters will turn to nepotism in order to find someone to vote for.

    So consider the raise of nepotism to be the result of our useless corrupted political parties willing to renominate incumbants under numerous federal investigations, indicted for crimes, proven failures as officeholders, just for the sake of winning the next election.


  20. - Shelbyville - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 11:34 am:

    Who is Shawn? Richard’s children are Nora, Patrick, Elizabeth and Kevin (deceased).


  21. - VanillaMan - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 11:35 am:

    Voters are not stupid. Nepotism is better than either major party nomination right now.


  22. - PalosParkBob - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 11:52 am:

    The point is that voters rarely vote based upon the character, honesty, capability or fairness of a candidate.

    They vote for someone that will take from someone else and give to them, or not take from them to give to someone else.

    Why do you think voters vote so consistently for candidates of the same race, religion, or ethnicity regardless of qualifications?

    They think that they’ll get something “extra” from them because they share a trait.

    The vast majority of people in this big, blue state WANT politicians to be unfair and biased, but only if the unfairness or bias is IN THEIR FAVOR.

    And thus political machines are born……


  23. - blogman - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 12:03 pm:

    Where is the backlash for Stroger? He got elected, hired his cousin and is laying off workers without clout. SOS


  24. - Buck Turgidson - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 12:30 pm:

    OK, First off, Shawn doesn’t exist. The Onion is parody.

    As to the question, I think nepotism is a thing of the past! For example, the colorful and accomplished Mayor Stephens of Rosemont has just passed. No doubt a suitable replacement will be found for him…

    What?

    Oh, never mind…

    Stephens’ son poised to fill father’s shoes
    Daily Herald
    http://www.dailyherald.com/story.asp?id=303830


  25. - Shelbyville - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 12:38 pm:

    Yeah, my bad. I thought it was something from the Daily Union.


  26. - Wumpus - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 12:52 pm:

    No, Stroger won, the fools voted for both of them…despite the fact that one had a stroke prior to the primary. When most of the city of Chicago employees and Crook COunty emoployees got their jobs through some type of croneyism, why would they be appalled all of a sudden.


  27. - What's in a name? - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 2:31 pm:

    “If you can’t help out your kids, who can you help?”

    I am looking forward to the Patrick Daley administration. It will begin the election after the 2016 Olympics.

    Patrick returns from the army. Is appointed to a vacant postion by someone other than his father, runs for State Rep or Senate, Mayor retires, son is appointed Mayor, runs successfully for 10 terms breaking his father’s record.

    any doubts?


  28. - A Citizen - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 2:59 pm:

    Nepotism is hereditary - the only way to get rid of it is to only elect gay folks or Catholic priests or nuns. And then that’s not certain to succeed.


  29. - Papa Legba - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 3:22 pm:

    Robbie @ 10:57 am: hits the nail on the head. If we cared, we didn’t show it in the voting booth.

    BTW. I don’t think it is though of as nepotism in Illinois politics. The powers in charge act as if it they are a ruling Monarchy in Illinois.


  30. - Anonymous - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 4:00 pm:

    Who do you want daley to hire. His enemies?


  31. - Jenna - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 4:36 pm:

    Since the Daley’s like to exploit the name, maybe I should change my last name to Daley and run for mayor next time :)

    It would be nice to see the movers and shakers of Chicago develop some backbone to stand up against Daley.


  32. - Little Egypt - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 4:56 pm:

    I have to laugh at the thought of Patrick Daley folling in his father’s footsteps. Little known fact: Patrick received an appointment to West Point, Class of 1997. The summer of ‘93, he showed up, as required for his summer of “beast” training then completed his “Plebe” year. The following summer of ‘94, however, after having the usual 3 weeks home between classes and summer training, he decided to spend the summer at the family’s Michigan vacation home. When he did finally report for the academic year, he was kicked out. I laugh at all of this because the press made such a big deal out of Patrick signing up for the Army. I hope his Army career was more successful than West Point. How do I know? Little little egypt #1 was in the same class (slightly more successful than Patrick as LLE1 is now a Major). We personally saw Mayor Daley and family at Plebe/Parent activities in March of 1994. Patrick doesn’t have what it takes to stick to the job of Chicago mayor. ’nuff said.


  33. - cermak_rd - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 5:00 pm:

    Maybe, but people grow up and mature. I have to hand it to Patrick for volunteering while the nation is embroiled in 2 wars.


  34. - 312 - Wednesday, Apr 25, 07 @ 8:30 pm:

    Hate to say it, but nepotism is alive + well in the public sector also. But in my experiences, I’ve seen how they will eventually make an organization crumble — it just takes a while for everyone who isn’t related to finally say ‘enough’.

    My previous company, the owner hired every shirt-tail relative for positions they were woefully under-qualified — the daughter + her husband earned the nicknames of ‘Brittany + K-Fed’ because they were so incredibly ignorant, trashy + incompetent — but could do NOTHING wrong in the eyes of the owner. NOW, their sales are down about 70% since last year.

    Another company, the owner hired her spoiled grandkids, where everything they touched turned to FUBAR. NOW they’re out of the Chicago market, their long-time home.

    And at a trade association — at any given time there were at least 5 married couples (in a staff of 35), and only one set could keep their personal drama out of the office. NOW, 4/5 of the staff that was around during that time are gone, since there’s a new CEO that won’t put up with their garbage.

    Don’t get me wrong — I love my family (that puts the fun in dysfunctional) — I just don’t want to work with them!


  35. - Bill - Thursday, Apr 26, 07 @ 7:14 am:

    I love how some of you hold the voters in such low esteem because they don’t agree with your warped, extreme views of how gov’t should be conducted. So far, on just this post, you have called the citizens of Illinois fools(Wumpus), idiots(Robbie), and implied that they are greedy and self-serving and possibly corrupt themselves(Pee Pee Bob). Did you ever stop to consider that maybe it is YOUR views that are out of the mainstream, too reactionary to ever be considered by normal people, and that it is you who are the greedy, stupid, idiots? Of course not!That is why the Repubs can’t elect even one constitutional officer in this state and why Republican party doesn’t even exist in Cook County or Chicago.Maybe you should join the real world.


  36. - frustrated GOP - Thursday, Apr 26, 07 @ 8:19 am:

    I sorry, I know many sons and daugthers that went into the family business. Doctors beget doctors. Lawyers beget lawyers, teachers, etc. So doesn’t it stand to reason that the same for political office holders. As long as the next generations does the work and produces. Chicago hasn’t done too bad with the son of a mayor.
    How many CEO of companies but their kids on the payroll from time to time.

    To quote a great political modern thinker:
    “If you can’t help the family, who can you help?”


  37. - Buck Turgidson - Thursday, Apr 26, 07 @ 10:15 am:

    @Little Egypt

    “How do I know? Little little egypt #1 was in the same class…”

    Or you might have found out because Patrick Daley said as much when he signed up - even cited his dropping out of West Point as part of the reason he signed up. It was in the paper and on TV.

    Keen detective work there, Sherlock.


  38. - Up North - Thursday, Apr 26, 07 @ 2:27 pm:

    People are against nepotism in principle, but they’re still intrigued by a famous name. It’s pathetic, but it’s true. So we’re likely to continue to see Bush’s and Stroger’s and Madigan’s getting elected over better qualified opponents.


  39. - anon - Thursday, Apr 26, 07 @ 10:38 pm:

    Will Patrick Daley be qualified to run for Mayor? I think he needs more experience at a lower level first. It would be nice to see the Daley name carried on for a 3rd generation. I am not sure if that ever has been done. Just wondering.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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