Clout Kids

“They’re good-paying summer jobs. Hundreds of jobs for teens and college kids that pay $13 and hour. But unless you have Chicago-style clout, chances are your kid won’t get one,” Dane Placko reports in the first part of his latest excellent investigation.

“A Fox News Chicago investigation into seasonal employment at the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago found that many of their summer jobs are going to children of politicians, city and county officials and full-time employees of the District.”

My favorite part – aside from watching slimy weasels like aldermen Patrick Levar and Ike Carothers run scurry away from Placko during questioning – comes at the end when District Superintendent Richard Lanyon explains that A) it’s everyone else’s fault for not “taking the opportunity” to make the proper connections that would help them get these jobs and B) it’s too much of a hassle to go through a lot of applications anyway.

The investigation continues tonight with a look at the MWRD commissioners and employers who are giving their kids jobs.

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4 responses to “Clout Kids

  1. What do they say about a ‘chip off the old block’? At least we know the calibre of employee that we’re are getting for our tax buck.

  2. While this is infuriating, as I’m sure there are many candidates out there who are much more qualified than the children of these employees and yet still don’t have jobs that pay $13/hr, you’re overlooking the fact that this happens in many industries, not just government agencies. In this competitive job market, it’s become who you know, not how qualified you are. In the long run, though, the parents won’t be able to do everything for these kids and they’ll learn what the rest of us figured out a long time ago.

    Regardless, these arguments are ridiculous. While they were busy coming up with excuses as to why they couldn’t open up the application process, they overlooked the fact that most universities (like the University of Chicago) have internship/job programs where, according to the employer’s criteria, the school will screen and interview applicants and give the employer only the top applicants to choose from. How much effort would that take them? Oh right, no more effort than it takes to call up some city employees and ask them to have their children apply.

  3. Here is the difference between leveraging a personal contact in the corporate world and doing so in a government agency. The latter is supported by taxes. Yours and mine. Essentially our taxes are providing incomes for other (privileged) people’s kids. It makes me sick.

  4. Tired of business as usual in Chicago? Me too. You’ll have an option on February 2, 2010 to do something very different.

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