Caleb Hale did a nice piece on "The Role of Partisanship" in the SI today. Made me wonder, does Sheila have a patronage job? The reason I ask is that anyone with any sense knows that kids of big shot politicians often do, it is in the grapevine that she does and Sheila's supporters have made such a big deal out of Brad's state jobs.
Let's review the history a little. Paul came back in SIU in 1997 to start his institute, good for all of us. In 1998, there was a legal clinic created in the SIU Law School with soft money that was a perfect fit for his daughter (Faculty on the left, Sheila, check the vita, the website is messed up and doesn't give you easy links to pages. Kills their search rankings and should be fixed.).
A little history about Illinois funding of soft money centers, they always start in Chicago. Once they have it in Chicago, sometimes they create something smaller in other regions of the state. Often, they throw a little money at Southern Illinois and that often lands at SIU in the form of one or two head count. A good example of this is Dunn-Richman and all of the soft money centers there.
When I started to look at Sheila's vita, I realized that she was hired to run the only (at least the only one I can find) Domestic Violence Clinic in the State. Since I know that Chicago always has something like this first, we know that it wasn't created by the State (unless it was a special "favor" for Paul). Someone put a bunch of soft money together, that opened a job at SIUC, that was perfect for Paul Simon's daughter. When Dad is a big shot, it is amazing how "magical" things might happen around him.
Following my trail of bread crumbs, Paul comes in 1997 and in 1998, his daughter is hired into a job that is perfect for her recent resume. It follows that it is most likely funded either by his institute, under the sheets, by FOP (friends of Paul) or as part of his signing package directly out of the law school. That sounds exactly like the way that SIU works when they hire Deans and other high level people. I'm sure if this happened, that was a good deal for SIU in total. It wouldn't surprise me if there is a really good funding source that looks clean and will last as long as Paul's friends are in office, but does that make it right or fair?
It has been interesting watching people poke at Brad because of his State jobs, but at least he got them through hard work and they look pretty clean. What we do know is that Brad excelled in his state jobs, just as he has as Mayor of Carbondale. The guy works hard.
I think a whole lot less of people who get jobs, not because they are qualified and hard working (maybe in the right party), but because they are someone's relative. Reminds me of the JAL Board member who thought if they excluded his children from the job pool, there would be no one qualified to hire. I certainly have no problem with people spending their own money hiring their children, just not tax payer money.
I'm not saying that Sheila isn't good at work. It sure looks like Sheila might have received her foot in the door at SIU, because of her father. We all knew that was a fair chance already, in our heart of hearts, but it sure looks a lot worse when you type it out in your blog. The details of Paul coming and the next year (first hiring cycle with a new budget) the perfect job appearing for his daughter, sure looks fishy.
Your comments are welcome.