Patronage database: White Dems more successful than Blacks, Latinos

Steve Korris Oct. 23, 2009, 6:00am

Requests from white Democratic legislators to former Gov. Rod Blagojevich seeking jobs and raises succeeded 68 percent more often than requests from other legislators, according to statistics the Chicago Sun-Times published last week.

Almost half the requests of white Democrats achieved their purpose, but the success rate dropped below 30 percent for blacks, Latinos and Republicans.

As a result White Democrats, less than 40 percent of the legislature, secured more than 70 percent of the jobs and raises that resulted from the requests.

The Sun-Times, examining a database of patronage hires kept by Blagojevich aides from 2003 to 2005, found 467 successes for White Democrats and 195 for others.

Rep. Jay Hoffman of Collinsville, a white Democrat, gained the best results.

He sent 205 requests and succeeded 140 times, a success rate of .683.

Nearby white Democrats topped his rate, though not at his volume.

Rep. Dan Reitz of Steeleville sent 84 requests and succeeded 58 times, a rate of .690.

Sen. Deanna Demuzio sent 38 and succeeded 28 times, a rate of .737.

Rep. Brandon Phelps of Norris City sent 50 and succeeded 40 times, a rate of .800.

Blagojevich didn't get too excited about requests from House Speaker Michael Madigan of Chicago, who sent 98 letters and succeeded 33 times for a .337 rate.

At least Madigan scored better than black legislators.

Sen. Donne Turner of Chicago sent 57 requests and succeeded nine times, a rate of .158.

Sen. Rickey Hendon of Chicago sent 40 and succeeded seven times, a rate of .175.

Rep. Constance Howard of Chicago sent 21 and succeeded twice, a rate of .095.

Rep. William Davis of Homewood achieved the best result among blacks, with 15 successes from 23 requests, a rate of .652.

Latino legislators fared worst of all.

Sen. Iris Martinez sent 41 requests and succeeded three times, a rate of .073.

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