Should presidents be allowed to hire family members? | The Tylt
Should presidents be allowed to hire family members?
Nepotism is a criminal offense for good reason—it's a serious abuse of power. Robert Wechsler, Director of Research for non-profit organization City Ethics, lays out the reasons why:
Nepotism includes many of the basic government ethics issues: conflict of interest, misuse of office, preferential treatment, and patronage.
Nepotism undermines public trust by making government look like a family business run not for the community, but for the families in power.
Nepotism is bad for morale within the government organization. It goes far beyond hiring. It remains a problem every time raises and promotions occur.
Nepotism and its cousin, hiring friends, are the leading methods of keeping other ethnic and racial groups out of local government.
Many of Trump's supporters are perfectly fine with him including his family in his administration, and point to the Bush, Clinton, and Kennedy White House administrations as examples of routine government business. Thus far, President Trump may not actually be breaking the law:
As long as Kushner and the Trump children are not federal employees, whether paid or unpaid, but are simply “hanging around the White House a lot”, one ethics expert said, they may dance around the law. The expert...said that if Trump’s children and son-in-law continued talking to Trump without giving any administration staffers instructions, then it would be difficult to find a law that they had violated.
Calling family members "unofficial advisors" seems like just a way to skirt nepotism laws to many. When Trump's children, several of whom are running his multibillion-dollar global business, are brought to high-level meetings with tech leaders and foreign officials, critics say it's clear his children represent access to the president, and we need more explicit laws banning this kind of behavior.
How ineffective is a Nepotism law if daughters & Son In Laws can simply be named as 'Sr Advisors/Counselors to the President? #morningjoe
But is this kind of family favoritism really new? The Bush White House had plenty of hires that skirted the bounds of nepotism laws. People are defending Trump's hiring of his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, by pointing to legal justifications for Bill Clinton when he appointed his wife to lead health care reform in the '90s. The president's family members will probably always serve as unofficial advisors in some capacity. Did we pass laws banning Nancy from talking to Ronald Reagan?