sweetheart

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sweetheart agreement

 and sweetheart deal
a private agreement reached between a public agency or government official and a private company that includes illicit payments or special favors. They found that the mayor was involved in a number of sweetheart agreements. Most of the building contractors in town would be out of business if they didn't have sweetheart deals with the local politicians.

sweetheart deal

n. a deal made between friends so that both may profit well. (Such deals usually involve illegal or unethical practices.) Most of the general contractors in town would be out of business if they didn’t offer “sweetheart deals” to the politicians.
See also: deal, sweetheart
References in classic literature ?
It's respect and duty to her aunts, and the rest of her kin as are so good to her, should have kept my niece from fixing about going away again without consulting us; not sweethearts, if I'm to use such a word, though it was never heared in
Could they care so much for a ray of sunshine, for the primeval forest, the cold spring hidden away in some unseen spot, which the tramp had marked three years before, and longed to see again, as he might to see his sweetheart, dreaming of the green grass round it and the bird singing in the bush?
Such a pretty lass as you can get a sweetheart any day.
All right, sweetheart, I'll be through by noon for sure--by noon for sure.
Lost Margaret took my heart with her--out there," said the old lover, who had been faithful for fifty years to his drowned sweetheart.
You may believe every word I say, said the Raven; "for I have a tame sweetheart that hops about in the palace quite free, and it was she who told me all this.
That may be," said the Raven; "I did not examine him so minutely; but I know from my tame sweetheart, that when he came into the court-yard of the palace, and saw the body-guard in silver, the lackeys on the staircase, he was not the least abashed; he nodded, and said to them, 'It must be very tiresome to stand on the stairs; for my part, I shall go in.
It is said he spoke as well as I speak when I talk Raven language; this I learned from my tame sweetheart.
For there was Katie Mahorner, his sweetheart, of County Sligo, lost since she started for America three months before with two hundred dollars, her own savings, and one hundred dollars from the sale of Tobin's inherited estate, a fine cottage and pig on the Bog Shannaugh.
There's been trouble in your life on account of your sweetheart.
Willum's sweetheart is in the "veast" somewhere, and has strictly enjoined him not to get his head broke at back-swording, on pain of her highest displeasure; but as she is not to be seen (the women pretend not to like to see the backsword play, and keep away from the stage), and as his hat is decidedly getting old, he chucks it on to the stage, and follows himself, hoping that he will only have to break other people's heads, or that, after all, Rachel won't really mind.
His sweetheart, getting tired of female companionship, has been hunting the booths to see where he can have got to, and now catches sight of him on the stage in full combat.
But the old gamester gives the new hat to the shepherd, and, soon after, the half-sovereign to Willum, who thereout decorates his sweetheart with ribbons to his heart's content.
Your old sweetheart an't far off, and she's a blabber.
His old sweetheart, being in fact so near at hand that she was then reclining against him in a flutter, a very substantial angle of forty-five degrees, here interposed to assure Mistress Affery with greater earnestness than directness of asseveration, that what she heard should go no further, but should be kept inviolate, 'if on no other account on Arthur's--sensible of intruding in being too familiar Doyce and Clennam's.