Kass: Chicago has royal babies too

"Nepotism is always a problem," Simpson said in an interview Tuesday. "It goes with Machine politics, like patronage and corruption."

He said the issue isn't whether Deb Mell is qualified, but rather that other citizens knew not to try.

"You can find examples where children, uncles, aunts, nephews are qualified, but it's always better not to make that appointment," Simpson said. "It convinces everybody whose name isn't Daley or Mell or Rostenkowski or Stroger that there's no point of being part of government because they're not going to get the good jobs."

Former state Senate President Emil Jones, the savvy political godfather of President Barack Obama, explained it all years ago.

Jones, who is African-American, noted that when black politicians install their children, they're met with indignation. But when the pink guys do it, the news media generally applaud while raising their journalistic shillelaghs in honor.

"I recall John F. Kennedy, president of the United States, when he became president, he recommended his brother (Robert), right?" Jones said. "And his brother (Ted) was elected (to the Senate).

"Mayor Richard M. Daley begot Mayor Richard J. Daley," Jones continued. "(Comptroller) Dan Hynes — by former state Sen. (and Cook County Assessor) Tom Hynes. Mike Madigan, Lisa Madigan. So that's nothing new."

On Tuesday on the floor of the council, Ald. Ed Burke, 14th, son of an alderman, listed all the nepotistas he could find.

"It's true that over the years there have been generational legacies in this chamber, like me," Burke said. "And I frankly can't think of anything that would make someone more proud than to succeed their parent in an office that that parent had held.

"But over the years ... there have been two Burkes, four Cullertons ... two Ogdens, two Hoellens, two Knickerbockers, two Baulers, two Clarks, two Brandts, three Keanes, two Sheridans, two Vrdolyaks, two Austins, two Beavers, two Sawyers, two Laurinos and now two Mells. Congratulations, Deb."

He meant, of course, the Debonheiress of Mellatonia, daughter of Dick of Mellatonia.

And the people cry under heavy taxes, and the jobs flee to other states, and our refugees follow them across the borders. Happily, at least one industry in Illinois never suffers.


Here it's a family business, and it thrives.


Twitter @John_Kass