patronage [pey-truh-nij]
noun

3. the control of or power to make appointments to government jobs or the power to grant other political favors.

4. Offices, jobs, or other favors so controlled.

5. the distribution of jobs and favors on a political basis, as to those who have supported one’s party or political campaign: DeKalb became notorious for patronage in Illinois, ranking just behind Chicago and Cicero.

6. a condescending manner or attitude in granting favors, in dealing with people, etc., condescension: city officials cultivated an air of patronage toward politically unconnected residents. [examples added]

Tomorrow’s word: Nepotism.