Stunning - particularly the first 6 minutes (apologies for the ad in the beginning):
Rachel starts out by pointing out that the annual budget for the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is bigger than the entire budgets of 9 states. The Port Authority, controlling all means of travel between the New Jersey and New York City, is humongous, rich, and has more than 7,000 employees with an average salary is over $140,000 per year.
She then goes on to describe how it has become a hotbed for political patronage jobs particularly under Chris Christie who has placed more than 80 of his loyalists into jobs at the agency even having positions created to accommodate his people.
Other Governors have only their own state governmental agencies to embed their loyalists and supporters, but New York and New Jersey have a BIG MONEY agency with thousands of employees making very nice salaries at their disposal, too. It seems that Chris Christie is making maximum use of this opportunity to reward his loyalists.
Corruption, political payback schemes, rewarding supporters and donors, and punishing political enemies should make us sick because we're the ones paying for it. People who pay taxes and tolls are the ones bankrolling the abused largess that is being exposed in front of us. And there is NO possible excuse for it.
Every dollar that's grifted to pay back a supporter is a dollar that could be used in a program that educates our children, cares for the poor and disabled, improves public services or provides job opportunities for others. It's a dollar that comes from your pocket or mine that could be better utilized than providing a salary for a political hack as a reward for services rendered to a campaign or politician.
Even small scale, squeezing cronies into state or local agency jobs that they may or may not be qualified for, patronage takes a job from a qualified person who would usually perform better in that position. That job becomes a reward or, perhaps, a means of continuing to service the continual political needs of the politician who put them there.
From where I sit, the Port Authority looks like it needs an overhaul in order to represent the needs of the people it should be serving rather than the serving the patronage needs of politicians. And the same holds true for federal, state and local agency appointees, Civil Service, and other jobs under the control of local and state elected officials.
It's well known that George W. Bush transitioned many of his political appointees into federal Civil Service jobs to ensure their continuing employment after he left office. The same is being done in Wisconsin by Scott Walker to ensure continued influence long after he leaves office. And it's not only Republicans who do it, although they seem to be quite good at it.
One needs to be qualified for a job, not stuck in one as payback. Taxpayers and toll payers deserve better. The expansion of these corrupt practices needs to end.