Dave Wedge of the Boston Herald reports: “Ware’s report says that top legislators regularly recommended campaign donors for jobs and that those candidates were given routine preference as part of a pay-to-play scam.
It’s common practice for lawmakers to write letters for job applicants, but Ware’s report outlines a pattern of ‘rigging’ the interview process to hire politically connected candidates.”
To anyone living in Boston Massachusetts and who is trying to find a job in this market they know that there are a lot of corrupt practices that go on behind closed doors. This may be the tip of the iceberg as this scandal details just how the “pay for play” job rigging works in the Probation dept. It is known that once upon a time in Massachusetts patronage hiring involving nepotism was common, with regard to Massachusetts state government laws were put in place to disallow family members to be hired in the same workplace. If you work in probation you aren’t allowed to use your insider influence to get your brother hired.
This did not and does not prevent individuals who are politically connected from getting their friends hired. If what we hear about in this scandal is true then what we have is a system where politicians are in an indirect way selling the coveted positions in government to the highest bidder.
The power of the patronage system is not new. All political machines operate in a similar fashion. Quid pro quo is standard as is rewarding those who are politically connected with jobs, and as is rewarding those who donate to the campaign. It is an expected tradition that the politician who gets elected reward those who help him or her to get elected. This could also be helping family and friends of these individuals.
Alternatively it is known as evidenced in the Dianne Wilkerson scandal that bribery of all sorts is to be expected. A politican who receives a donation from a prominent business owner may try and give a secure government job to the business owners son.
ThePatriotLedger reports on the scandal:”It’s sickening to fathom how many applicants were brought in on sham interviews for jobs that were already promised to those who were politically anointed. Ware said department commissioner John O’Brien of Quincy had a list of favors that at one point ran 130 pages long and that he would alter applicants’ scores to benefit those who were connected.“
Pardon my cynicism but I hardly find this to be much of surprise. The connected individuals have the advantage in hiring in the public sector? Say it ain’t so! I’m sure the same practice takes place in the private sector as well. You can bank on the fact that the politicians son or daughter will receive the coveted job at the prestigious law firm just as you can count on the fact that they’ll get into the ivy league university.
Unfortunately this is unlikely to change anytime soon. Political traditions are difficult to break and there are far too many power players involved to expect serious action to be taken.