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Letter to the editor: Presidential pardon would compromise integrity


By Otto Kanny on February 15, 2013

Dear Editor:

Congrats on the Business Times — you continue to produce a quality product and I especially like reading Editor Henry Dubroff’s column each week. You are usually right on the pulse, but I can’t agree with you on the presidential pardon for Gene Haas.

There is no doubt that Gene Haas is brilliant and that he has surrounded himself with exceptionally intelligent and dedicated professionals; I’ve had the pleasure of dealing with a few of them. They’re so good they drew Texas Gov. Rick Perry, and I’m delighted that Jeff Gorell implied Sacramento is asleep at the wheel on making California a business-friendly (translated: jobs-producing) state. However, there is a sticking point on a presidential pardon, and that is integrity.

Everything I have ever read or learned about leadership is that integrity is the most important attribute. Mr. Haas made a grave mistake in violating that integrity, and a political pardon will not reverse the facts. I look at people such as Barry Bonds and Lance Armstrong, who compromised their integrity, and I’m saddened. Their priorities were wrong, but they should not be pardoned and admitted to their respective hall of fames; that would be unfair to those who earned it without violating their integrity. Some people like Jane Fonda will never be forgiven.

I applaud Mr. Haas for “paying his dues” and picking up the pieces and moving on to even greater heights. But a grassroots effort to obtain a pardon for political and financial expediency seems to be a compromise on integrity.


— Otto Kanny
General Manager,
River Ridge Golf Club,