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It’s Not What You Know, It’s Whom You Know
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Post It’s Not What You Know, It’s Whom You Know 

Employment opportunities are based entirely too often not upon the basis of one’s qualifications, but rather the personal connections one has inside or outside the desired employment field.

Beverly Ascaridis, a proud opportunistic woman, recently landed a $45,000/year government job with the Department of Natural Resources. This was truly a remarkable feat given she recorded a failing score in an exam administered to employee applicants. This statistic, however, was conveniently overlooked. Beverly also managed to skirt around the state law in which preference is given to qualified military veterans for government positions. Instead, her application and employment status was placed in the highest regard despite never serving in the military, nor being the most intellectually qualified. So, what trait enabled her to acquire such a promising position? Are you ready for this? She happens to be the spouse of Michael Ascaridis. “So what,” you might reply. So what? Well, Mr. Ascaridis also happens to be Governor Rod Blagojevich’s childhood chum, and today remains as the governor states, “like a godparent and godfather to my kids.” Hey, that’s great, right? What does Gov. Blagojevich’s kids have to do with anything? Well, shortly after Mrs. Ascaridis secured this government position in Whiteside County (a mere 130 miles away from her Chicago residence), Gov. Blagojevich’s eight year-old daughter received a check from the Ascaridis family for $1,500. That’s right…$1,500. The public and authorities investigating this matter are led to believe by both Gov. Blagojevich and the Ascaridis family that this monumental gift is just that, a “gift” targeted for the eight year-old girl’s college fund. They both contend it is not a “thank you” compensation for Beverly’s miraculous acquisition of a government job in which she was not qualified to receive.

The suspicious nature of this matter escalated when Beverly Ascaridis was questioned by Chicago Tribune reporters regarding the location of her new place of employment. Tribune reporters (and they are not alone) found it a bit surprising that a woman would be willing to travel 130 miles each way to work on a daily basis. The fact of the matter is, she never did. And even more surprising is that Beverly wasn’t made fully aware of her own employment conditions, for she remarked, “I don’t even know where Whiteside County is.” She never worked a day in this county, yet her employment relocation to Dupage County was not made official until one month after her start date. Wow, how nice it would be if all employees of the state received this kind of preferential treatment. I suspect $1,500 ‘birthday’ checks would then be exchanging hands as if they were nothing more than a pat on the back. Think about it…College educations could be paid in full before the recipients ever reached the age to enter a university.

It’s a bit disturbing to know practices such as these exist. But, it’s even more disheartening to learn that those that practice such manners feel no wrongdoing has occurred. Is Gov. Blagojevich, his friends of the family, and politicians like him, really naïve enough to believe their unethical actions will go unnoticed, or worse yet, once noticed…tolerated? The corruption that these politicians often practice need to be dealt with. The public must demand authorities to take action, or changes for the greater good will never be made.

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