Affirmative Action: Massachusetts Style

(This is just unbelievable.  I should be numb to this stuff by now. – promoted by EaBo Clipper)

William Hayhurst III’s dream of joining the Boston Fire Department and carrying on a family tradition – his late father was a Boston firefighter for 32 years – appeared to be dashed when he received relatively dismal scores on the civil service exam all three times he took it.

There has been a Hayhurst in the Boston Fire Department since 1913, William Hayhurst III told lawmakers in his testimony.


more stories like thisThen, in what critics call an example of the patronage and favoritism lingering in Massachusetts government, the Hayhursts’ political connections turned things around.

A special state law passed this year for the benefit of the Hayhurst family vaulted William III from 623d place to the pinnacle of the hiring list. As a result, he is now slated to be the next person hired by the Boston Fire Department. His brothers Marc, who ranked 202d on the list, and Michael, if he passes the test, are also guaranteed head-of-the-line status.

The jumps were made possible in large part by state Senate President Therese Murray, who, said two public officials involved in helping the Hayhursts, told several influential people throughout the process that the Hayhursts were family friends and were deserving of special treatment.…

I’m really speechless.

Where does this kid get off thinking that he “deserves” the position any more than the 622 other more qualified applicants just because of his last name?

My grandfather was a firefigher. My father is a firefighter. Two of my uncles are firefighters. Does that give me a free pass if I ever apply for the job? I sure hope not. This really angers me because everyone in my family earned a place in the department and I feel like its an insult to them that someone who is obviously unqualified is being put at the top of the list because he knows the right people.

Of course there is no shame in the state of Massachusetts when it comes to things like this. Here’s the kicker:

A Globe review found that 40 of the 218 state laws passed in 2007 provide benefits to specific individuals by name.

In other words, almost 20% of laws passed in Massachusetts this past year were used to benefit politicians’ friends. Unbelievable.

Where’s the outrage? Well, in Massachusetts even the outrage is outrageous:

A group representing minority firefighters says the political boost that resulted in the preferential treatment of the sons of an Irish firefighter over dozens of nonwhite applicants with higher test scores is “disgraceful.”

“It’s just another example of the favoritism and nepotism and patronage that exists,” said Karen Miller, president of the Boston Society of Vulcans, an organization of black firefighters.

No outrage because there was preferential treatment from politicians here – only outrage that it was the wrong kind of preferential treatment.

Its just another day in the true blue world of Massachusetts politics.

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