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Resource ID: #18763
Subject: Nepotism
Source: Times-Picayune (New Orleans)
Date: Nov. 4, 5, 6, 7



The Times-Picayune discovers that state-commissioned pilots who navigate the Mississippi River are "letting inexperienced relatives and drug abusers take control of huge oceangoing ships on the most treacherous commercial waterway in North America." The stories examine the dangers involved in allowing river pilots, who are considered state officials, to elect and regulate the members of their three pilot groups that operate the Mississippi. The major findings are that 85% of the new pilots are related to existing members, and that those involved in accidents are rarely, if ever, disciplined. "Efforts to overhaul pilot legislation have routinely failed in the face of aggressive lobbying by river pilots, one of the state's most generous and powerful special interest groups," the Times-Picayne reports.

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