Nepotism and other Abuses of Power

The recent story of Democratic Montana Senator Max Baucus nominating Melodee Hanes, his live-in girlfriend, for a U.S. Attorney position reminded me of how power can often blind people and cloud their wisdom. My hometown Kansas City has been embroiled for a year or so in a weird battle over the mayor's wife and whether she should have the sway she seems to have at city hall. I do think that it can be a rough call at times.. people want to help and promote the ones that they trust the most.. but really.. nepotism is.. generally speaking.. not a good idea.

Over the years I have witnessed this phenomena inside of religious circles.. it is often said that one of the most powerful people in the church is the pastor's wife.. sometimes other family members are on church boards or placed in ministry positions of the church.. sometimes churches can look a lot like the family business. Again I think that mostly these people simply want the people they know the best to be involved in the things that they are involved with and have influence on.. but sometimes people in power are simply not wise when their decisions appear to be influenced by nepotism.

A search of the word "nepotism" in Google News for the last week produces 1,157 results.. seems that charges of nepotism have been leveled against all layers of power.. from UK Prime Minister Gordon Brown and French President Nicolas Sarkozy to Saturday Night Live cast member Abby Elliot stories abound of how people are involved in nepotistic activities.

An interesting aftermath to the Melodee Hanes appointment was that she withdrew her name earlier in the year but in June she became acting Deputy Administrator for Policy in the Justice Department’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention.. of course both Senator Baucus and the Department of Justice said that she got the job solely based on her qualifications.. hmmm.. gotta wonder.

Guess I am wondering.. wondering if you have any experience in this area of nepotism. Have you ever been affected positively or negatively by this phenomenon? Care to share?


  1. Bob,
    It makes my heart rejoice when some of my advice about the scriptures work for me-- and i love to pass them on per my own humble on-line Journal. Thanks for the warm comment.
    Nepotism is one of my favorite topics, but it will never go away until the Lord comes back. Seeing it in politics, working for small family controlled welding companies and AMC. Chrysler-- it is always present, no matter if I was more qualified or not. I don't get too excited about things that I have no control off....
    Heaven is my Home!

    Tom Schuckman
    Jesus is Lord.

  2. I can't even begin to go there without getting myself upset so I'll leave it at this: The place I formerly worked at encouraged the hiring of spouses, children, brothers, aunts, name it, but ONLY IF you were a certain type of "staff". If you were the other type (the type I was) it was against the ministries policy. Nuff said.

  3. Thanks for the comments all.. I did make one change in the post thanks to Shane.. sometimes I write too fast.


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