John Stossel wrote an interesting post on how political connections are used to keep out competition, with 4 examples. http://www.humanevents.com/article.php?id=38896
It is very clear there is an "in factor" when we see family members and well connected contributors employed by or involved with firms doing business with government. Ms. Blago was a gross case in point. Cellini is another prime example with his no bid contracts. He is still waiting for the shoe to drop.
Could it even happen here in our local scene? Can lack of a connection be a powerful barrier to entry?