Gov. Pat Quinn and Ald. Edward Burke know how to do nepotism, the modern way. You don’t hire your own relatives. That would look tacky. You get someone else to hire your relatives.
Quinn just appointed Burke’s daughter, Jennifer, to a $117,000-a-year job on the Illinois Pollution Control Board. Quinn was sworn in as governor by Burke’s wife, Justice Anne. He also received a $200,000 loan and $52,000 in donations from Friends of Edward M. Burke, the alderman’s multimillion-dollar campaign warchest. If Quinn repays the $200,000 with interest, that means Burke bought his daughter a job at less than fifty cents on the dollar.
Burke already has his own state legislator – his brother, Dan – but every ward boss worth his salt controls a legislator. Burke is more ambitious than that. He also has the city clerk – Susana Mendoza represented part of Burke’s 14th Ward in Springfield, and he was a major backer of her campaign. Burke tried to put his own man in the mayor’s office (after failing to put himself there), but his protégé Gery Chico lost to Rahm Emanuel.
Now, though, Burke appears to have his own governor. The Tribune called Justice Anne to ask about her daughter’s new job. The justice said she hadn’t heard about the appointment, but it was “absolutely not” connected to the alderman’s political donations.
Despite his influence, Burke still doesn’t control a congressman, a U.S. Senator, or a president of the United States. Perhaps this is because his campaign fund contains only $8.1 million, less than Mayor Rahm Emanuel has in his bank account. To help Burke expand his power, send contributions to:
Friends of Edward M. Burke
2650 W 51st St
Chicago, IL 60632
If you send enough, there may be a job for your daughter on the Finance Committee.