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Junking Junkets

In, yet again, another example of how Washington sets two standards, today’s Wall Street Journal reported that Congressional Junkets are defended as “Work-Based”. For example, Republican members of the House of Representatives, recently, went to the Homestead Resort, paying for their travel and lodging with campaign funds–while the rest of the “business trip” was paid for by lobbyists. A day later, Democrats held a two-day “issues” conference at a resort & spa in Williamsburg, VA–paid for by the taxpayers from congressional office expenses. This is amid hypocritical Congressional reprimands of Wells Fargo and other corporations, which have recently planned business meetings and retreats at resort locations, and were forced to cancel them. Business is going to drive the recovery, and meetings and conferences will be essential to collaboratively working our way out of the current economic mess–but these gatherings should be paid for by the individual companies, not special interests, lobbyists or our taxes.

Tony LoPinto is CEO of Equinox Partners, an executive search firm specializing in the real estate industry, and parent company of SelectLeaders. The views expressed in this article are the author’s own.
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