A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
- An interfaith memorial service was held Tuesday in Dallas, Texas in honor of the five Dallas police officers murdered last week by a sniper who was targeting law enforcement. President Barack Obama spoke at the service as did former President George W. Bush. Vice President Joe Biden and Dr. Jill Biden, First Lady Michelle Obama, former First Lady Laura Bush, and Texas Senator Ted Cruz were all in attendance.
- Also on Tuesday, Vermont Independent Senator and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders officially endorsed presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at a rally in New Hampshire. Tomorrow, presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is expected to announce his running mate. In other campaign news, former Indiana Senator and Governor Evan Bayh announced that he will run for his old Senate seat in a boost for Democrats seeking to win the seat being vacated by retiring Republican Dan Coats.
- With the House and Senate preparing to leave Washington as early as today until after Labor Day, both chambers are working through a handful of issues this week. On Wednesday, the Senate cleared a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through September 2017 and sent the bill to the president to sign just two days before the existing authorization was set to expire. The House approved the measure earlier in the week. The House is expected to vote on a Senate passed bill on GMO labeling requirements later today. The bill, which would preempt state labeling laws, is expected to be signed by the president.
- Questions continue regarding the FBI’s clearing of Hillary Clinton in her email scandal. According to a new poll out in the wake of the FBI’s decision, the majority of Americans are uneasy with the FBI’s pass for Clinton. The ABC News/Washington Post poll showed 56 percent disagreed with the FBI’s recommendation not to pursue charges despite the FBI’s conclusions that Clinton and her team mishandled highly classified information. Just 35 percent approved. Last week FBI Director James Comey was on the hot seat testifying about the federal government’s investigation and controversial decision before a House committee and this week, it was Obama’s attorney general, Loretta Lynch. Lynch mostly avoided answering the committee members’ questions surrounding the investigation into Clinton’s email use for the four years she worked as Obama’s secretary of state including why Lynch didn’t recuse herself from the matter after she met privately on her plane with former President Bill Clinton just a week before the charges against his wife were dropped, issues related to perjury and handling of secure materials, as well as fairness under the law. Democrats maintain this was a thorough and impartial investigation that cleared Clinton and slammed Republicans for holding hearings only to keep the email issue alive to try and hurt Clinton’s presidential campaign.
The Wilkins’ Whirlwind
Many parts of the US are experiencing a record-breaking heat wave. But much like a little cold and snow never keeps a good Canadian down, a little heat and humidity (read: a dang pile!) never stops a steadfast Southerner (aka your former US ambassador!) from getting his work done!
And so it is that David Wilkins has been traveling across North America far and wide since your last edition of CCC!
Last week found him at the US-Canada border attending meetings in Detroit, Michigan and across the border in Windsor, Ontario as he continues to chair the George W. Bush Institute’s North America Competitiveness Working Group. Faithful CCC readers know that this distinguished group of business, academic, political, governmental and policy leaders from the US, Canada and Mexico has been meeting to discuss innovative ways North America can set the pace for global innovation and production under the auspices of the Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas. The Group is expecting to present a detailed report to policy leaders in all three nations before the end of the year.
Wilkins began this week in scenic Nova Scotia, the home of the stunning Fox Harb’r Golf Resort and Spa, and more importantly for Wilkins, Frank McKenna’s annual networking event where – let’s be honest – some pretty giant big shots have shown up over the years: Bill Clinton, Tony Blair, John Major, George W. Bush, and a host of other glittering stars from the worlds of politics, business and pro sports.
The fab facility is owned by none other than Mr. Tim Hortons himself, Ron Joyce. This year’s swank guest list included a host of well-known US and Canadian figures including former Minister Peter MacKay; PEI Premier Wade MacLauchlan; Nova Scotia Premier Stephen McNeil; former Prime Minister Brian Mulroney (who gave the rousing keynote, just FYI); the always gracious and hospitable Julie McKenna; Saskatchewan businessman extraordinaire Paul Hill; Canada’s Treasury Board President Scott Brison; former PEI premier and current Gowling partner Robert Ghiz; NRStor Inc., CEO Annette Verschuren; TD Bank CEO Bharat Masrani, and many others.
David Wilkins, Ron Joyce and Peter MacKay catch up in fetching Fox Harb’r this week.
From Nova Scotia it was onto Plattsburg, New York and a couple days meeting of the Resolute Forest Products board followed by a dash home and more board meetings, this time up at Clemson University. (Editor’s note: 43 days till football season kicks off. We (read: Wilkins) knew you had to know. Not.)
From Calgary to Cleveland
The crazy train that is Wilkins’ schedule will keep rollin’ on through the rest of the scorching summer with stops next week up in Calgary for one of the best bilat conferences going – the Pacific NorthWest Economic Region (PNWER) Summit.
From there he heads on down to Cleveland, Ohio and the Republican National Convention for what is sure to be a run of the mill, calm, no-news-making convention (read: ha!) as Donald Trump is expected to formally receive the GOP nod for the White House.
So look for all the details in next week’s edition of your Carolina-Canada Connections.
Fingers on Finance!
Team Wilkins’ (as well as Nelson Mullins’) own Tom Sullivan is a passionate believer in small business and has been all about helping to build them for most of his professional life. (In fact, Sullivan was tapped by President George W. Bush to run his Small Business Administration during the W years.)
And so it is this week, the always busy Sullivan finds himself in New York City, chairing the Small Business Track for this year’s AltLend Summit. The annual meeting, held at the Princeton Club yesterday and today, attracts top CEOs in the FinTech, banking, and finance sectors and features presentations by providers, investors, and third-party servicers in a growing area of commercial lending and finance.
According to the fancier press release our Firm puts out:
“Mr. Sullivan is a member of the Firm’s government relations practice who serves as Executive Director for the Coalition for Responsible Business Finance (CRBF), which is a group of businesses that advocates for the Non-Bank Small Business (NBSB) financing industry. The CRBF's purpose is to bolster the trust and credibility of this sector through responsible business practices while ensuring that NBSB financing meets the needs of America's small business community.”
Team Wilkins’ Tom Sullivan – a builder of small and bilat businesses!
They Said What?
- “It’s one of two things: Either you’re saying that to avoid the appearance of impropriety in which case you should have recused yourself, or you’re trying to protect Hillary Clinton,” – Congressman David Trott (R-MI) in a House Judiciary Committee hearing on the Clinton email investigation to Attorney General Loretta Lynch.
- “This is over with, this controversy about emails from Hillary Clinton,” – Congressman Hank Johnson (D-GA) in that same hearing with AG Loretta Lynch.
- "We're convinced that this suspect had other plans and thought that what he was doing was righteous and believed that he was going to target law enforcement…” – Dallas Police Chief David Brown in an interview with CNN's Jake Tapper regarding the Dallas, Texas sniper who murdered five Dallas police officers last week.
- “Too often we judge other groups by their worst examples, while judging ourselves by our best intentions,” – former President (and former Texas governor) George W. Bush at the interfaith memorial service held Tuesday for the five Dallas police officers.
- “He was a supersized can of kickass,” – Colleagues of Dallas police Sr. Cpl. Lorne Ahrens in describing their friend and fellow officer at his funeral yesterday. (Editor’s note: Officers from as far away as Canada are in Dallas attending the funerals of the fallen officers. 48-year-old Ahrens was a 6-foot-5, 300-lb semipro football player before moving to Texas and joining the Dallas police force.)
If you are interested in the possibility of having Ambassador Wilkins speak at an event, please contact Christy Cox at Christy.Cox@nelsonmullins.com or call 803.255.9470.
The articles published in this newsletter are intended only to provide general information on the subjects covered. The contents should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion. Readers should consult with legal counsel to obtain specific legal advice based on particular situations.