I keep trying to summon up some rage and bile over the practice of Congressmen employing their families, but I just can't. Businesses employ family members all the time. Politics is an all-consuming occupation. If families can find ways to involve the clan, all the better. Dana Rohrabacher paying his wife $40,000 to manage his campaigns doesn't bother me (and he's my congressmen, by the way). In fact, I'm glad he does it -- hopefully it makes the process a bit less grueling for him. Tom DeLay paying his wife and daughter $500,000 over 4 years also isn't too shocking, that's an average of $62,500 per year per family member which, assuming they actually did jobs, isn't particularly excessive. Now, if there are congresscritters paying their wives and children princely sums in return for occasionally decluttering the congressman's desk, I'll call for the guy's head. But simple nepotism at fair prices is too pervasive, too understandable, and too unthreatening to really raise my blood pressure. The LA Times article on it, however, is pretty interesting; give it a read.

Clarification: In case it's not clear, these are general comments on political nepotism, not Tom DeLay. If he's simply funneling lobbyist money to family, well then that's bad. And if he's simply paying his family members rather than having them work, bad as well. But I kinda assume that he's a bad dude, which is why I spend a fair chunk of time raising my (and your) blood pressure over it. It's the widespread practice of nepotism, rather than DeLayism, that I'm not excised over.

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