So Tom Delay has been in the news lately for putting his family on staff and -gasp- paying them for it. Now while many find this "unethical" it is a common practice in Washington… and I would argue in business as well. Everyone knows some shmoe working for a fortune 500 company because his uncle was a big wig with the company. I think it's more envy than ethics that we feel in those cases (why isn't MY uncle someone important…). Small businesses often employ family members, I know I do. In fact studies have show that family business have harder working employees because they are not just employees — their family. A concept not lost to big business as they try to build "team", "group", or "family" cohesion. Anyway, I digress. The irony is that the two people pointing the finger at Delay have done more and worse… Harry Reid not only has family working for him but has sponsored legislasion that gave kickbacks to a lawfirm that employs 5 family members. Nancy Pelosi was slapped with a $21,000 fine by the Federal Election Commission for funnelling more than $100,000 in illegal contributions to Democratic candidates in late 2002 as she was vying to become Democratic leader. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black.