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Proviso Probe

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

POL, the Chicago clout list

Earlier the media reported on a short clout list that purported to come from the Blagojevich administration.

Now a long clout list has emerged in the trial of Robert Sorich, Mayor Richard M. Daley's former patronage chief. See Sun-Times (Steve Warmbir, Fran Spielman, Mark J. Konkol and Tim Novak).

One can have a debate about what role patronage should play in political hirings. What jobs should be filled by professional civil servants? How does one keep the politicians from seeding the nominally non-political jobs with political partisans?

These questions aren't easy to answer.

But the Daley administration fails on one point that's ancient. About 3,800 years ago Hammurabi came up with a legal reform that held that the rules should be published so everybody could know how society worked. This innovation is commonly called Hammurabi's Code.

If getting a job with the City of Chicago, Cook County or the State of Illinois is going to require sponsorship from a political boss, please explain the system in writing. Quit fucking around those of us naive enough to respond to job postings.

I take it somewhat personally because I did get screwed on a State of Illinois job. I applied to investigate discrimination at the Department of Human Rights. I appeared to have all the qualifications. Since I was a veteran, I thought I had a good chance at getting the job. Illinois has absolute veteran preference. If a qualified veterans applies, s/he gets the job.

I didn't get the job. Know why? The employment agency refused to give me the test required for the job. I was told my application would be kept on file for a year and if there were any openings, I'd be called. (BTW, this was back when the Republicans controlled state government.)

So, forgive me for being a little testy about Secretary of State Jesse White and political operative Dominic Longo claiming all their candidates were "qualified". I was qualified too, but I didn't get the job.

So, if the pre-requisite for getting a government job is sponsorship, let's put it all out in the open. Who are the gatekeepers? Whose ring needs to be kissed to get a government job?


  • Well, now that there are guilty verdicts in the Sorich trial you can expect that the clout list is a thing of the past. Now would be a time to go apply for a city job.

    By Anonymous SW, at 5:06 PM, July 06, 2006  

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