Pay For Your Own Vacations and Wedding Receptions

There is a storm brewing in Virginia because the top two officials in the state fell victim to a disease that seems to befall most elected officials:  Vacationitis.  Vacationitis is not what we, the plebeian masses experience, to wit, “I really need a vacation.”  Nay, nay, vacationitis is a disease of the elected class.  They want a vacation, but need to have someone else pay for it. Or they use someone else’s house.  Or they ride on someone else’s jet to get there.  And once there, they float on
someone else’s boat and have dinners at someone else’s house.  The Clintons used a friend’s house at Martha ‘s Vineyard and had the late Walter Cronkite take them out on his boat.  The Obamas also frequent the Vineyard in someone else’s house.

Enter Virginia’s attorney general and would-be governor, Ken Cuccinelli.  Businessman and political donor, Jonnie R. Williams, let Mr. Cuccinelli use a vacation home on Smith Mountain Lake near Roanoke and paid for a $1,500 Thanksgiving dinner.  Buy your own turkey! The information comes to us via Todd Schneider, a former chef for Governor Bob McDonnell.  Oh, and Mr. McDonnell stands accused of
having Mr. Williams pay for his daughter’s $15,000 wedding reception.

Also, Mr. Cuccinelli bought $20,000 in stock in Mr. William’s company, Star Scientific.  Mrs. McDonnell flew on Mr. Williams’ jet to Florida to promote Antabloc, a dietary supplement made by Star Scientific.  Mrs. McDonnell also gave a luncheon at the Executive Mansion to introduce a new Star Scientific product.  Mr. Cuccinelli
received a box of Antabloc. Buy your own joint supplements! Oh, and Mr. Williams in in litigation with the state of Virginia over $700,000 in back taxes.  Until just recently, Mr. Cuccinelli had refused to recuse himself and his office from the Williams tax

There is but one conclusion: serious conflicts of interest going on in Virginia.  An investigation is ongoing to determine whether there are other issues, including delays in reporting the Williams connection, Williams gifts, and other things Williams.

The two men are bright and capable leaders.  Why do so many with bright futures risk all that they have for a big vacation house? For avoiding a big wedding reception bill? For a box of joint supplements?  For a stock tip?  The rest of us slog along housed in rental condos with mismatched furniture in frightening colors and bent forks in the
tiny kitchens of rental class properties. We buy our own Osteo-Flex.  And we
grin and bear the costs of our children’s’ wedding receptions.  Somehow, on our limited budgets, we make ends meet.  There’s a certain pride in having done so, on our own.  Why is it that our elected officials can’t understand the dignity of paying your own way?

About mmjdiary

Professor Marianne Jennings is an emeritus professor of legal and ethical studies from the W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University, retiring in 2011 after 35 years of teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in ethics and the legal environment of business. During her tenure at ASU, she served as director of the Joan and David Lincoln Center for Applied Ethics from 1995-1999. In 2006, she was appointed faculty director for the W.P. Carey Executive MBA Program. She has done consulting work for businesses and professional groups including AICPA, Boeing, Dial Corporation, Edward Jones, Mattel, Motorola, CFA Institute, Southern California Edison, the Institute of Internal Auditors, AIMR, DuPont, AES, Blue Cross Blue Shield, Motorola, Hy-Vee Foods, IBM, Bell Helicopter, Amgen, Raytheon, and VIAD. The sixth edition of her textbook, Case Studies in Business Ethics, was published in February 2011. The ninth edition of her textbook, Business: lts Legal, Ethical and Global Environment was published in January 2011. The 23rd edition of her book, Business Law: Principles and Cases, will be published in January 2013. The tenth edition of her book, Real Estate Law, will also be published in January 2013. Her book, A Business Tale: A Story of Ethics, Choices, Success, and a Very Large Rabbit, a fable about business ethics, was chosen by Library Journal in 2004 as its business book of the year. A Business Tale was also a finalist for two other literary awards for 2004. In 2000 her book on corporate governance was published by the New York Times MBA Pocket Series. Her book on long-term success, Building a Business Through Good Times and Bad: Lessons from Fifteen Companies, Each With a Century of Dividends, was published in October 2002 and has been used by Booz, Allen, Hamilton for its work on business longevity. Her latest book, The Seven Signs of Ethical Collapse was published by St. Martin’s Press in July 2006 and has been a finalist for two book awards. Her weekly columns are syndicated around the country, and her work has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, Washington Post, and the Reader's Digest. A collection of her essays, Nobody Fixes Real Carrot Sticks Anymore, first published in 1994 is still being published. She has been a commentator on business issues on All Things Considered for National Public Radio. She has served on four boards of directors, including Arizona Public Service (1987-2000), Zealous Capital Corporation, and the Center for Children with Chronic Illness and Disability at the University of Minnesota. She was appointed to the board of advisors for the Institute of Nuclear Power Operators in 2004 and served on the board of trustees for Think Arizona, a public policy think tank. She has appeared on CNBC, CBS This Morning, the Today Show, and CBS Evening News. In 2010 she was named one of the Top 100 Thought Leaders in Business Ethics by Trust Across America. Her books have been translated into four different languages. She received the British Emerald award for authoring one of their top 50 articles in management publications, chosen from over 15,000 articles. Personal: Married since 1976 to Terry H. Jennings, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office Deputy County Attorney; five children: Sarah, Sam, and John, and the late Claire and Hannah Jennings.
This entry was posted in News and Events. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.