The Herald of Everett, Washington
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Political cronies

Hiring supporters is nothing new

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Sunday's Herald contained back-to-back letters to the editor on local politicians. The first lauded the career of the late Sen. Henry M. Jackson, while the second took Aaron Reardon to task for hiring cronies.
Among the well-deserved praises for Jackson was the comment that he hired John Salter and "John and the senator had grown up together." The letter writer also praised the senator's hiring of another Everett product, Ed Hansen.
Sen. Jackson accomplished great things so I assume his staff was pretty good. But was the senator hiring "cronies"? I guess it depends on your perspective.
The jury (and there may be an actual "jury") is still out on Reardon's actions. The allegations that appeared long before the current hiring flap were enough to convince me how to vote if he runs again. Still, all politicians have a long history of rewarding those who have supported their elections and policies. Elected officials have the double burden of not only performing selfless public service, but also getting the job in a highly competitive, often cut-throat election. Friends, even cronies, are crucial to that process. I doubt that Mr. Reardon's accomplishments will ever be mentioned in the same sentence as Sen. Jackson's accomplishments, but the two appear -- at least to the casual observer -- to share a common political philosophy on hiring practices.
Francis J. Lynch

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