Special Easter Weekend/Spring Break Edition -
A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
- Tuesday night saw more Presidential caucuses and primaries. On the Republican side, frontrunner Donald Trump won Arizona, while Texas Senator Ted Cruz won Utah. New polls out today show the race tightening up nationally between Trump and Cruz on the GOP side. Meanwhile, Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton won Arizona, while Vermont Senator and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders won Idaho and Utah.
- Yesterday, the House unanimously passed a resolution condemning Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Brussels. The House then adjourned until April 11, while the Senate is only gaveling in for pro forma sessions to avoid recess appointments by President Obama and is due back on April 4.
- On Sunday, Obama became the first sitting US President to visit Cuba in 88 years. The three day trip touched on everything from business to human rights to baseball – the president taking criticism for attending that baseball game despite the horrific Belgium terror attack and spending less than a minute addressing it in his speech from Havana. Obama defended the optics saying to change his schedule would have played right into the terrorists' hands. The president then traveled to Argentina.
- The Obama administration and its treatment of conservative groups is continuing to take heat – this time by a federal appeals court that slammed the Internal Revenue Service and the Justice Department on Tuesday for what it deemed three years of “continuous resistance” to turning over documents in connection with a class-action suit. The suit was brought by tea party groups that were unfairly targeted by the tax collection agency for lengthy and burdensome scrutiny in considering their tax exempt status in the time leading up to the 2012 presidential election.
So, fun times, in US politics, eh? What with secret home email servers and FBI probes, threatening notes and suspicious white powder, bad hair and fake tans, not to mention potential riots and contested conventions, the 2016 run for the White House has been anything but boring.
Be that as it may, the cogs in the wheels of Washington keep on turning despite the seeming chaos of the presidential race. And so it was your former US ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, was back up in DC this week attending the annual dinner for the National Republican Congressional Committee. Wilkins was honored to sit with South Carolina Representative Jeff Duncan. Team Wilkins' Tom Sullivan and Craig Metz were also there along with about 1,000 other noteworthy Republicans including South Carolina Congressman Joe Wilson.
The dinner was held at the National Building Museum and was keynoted by former Massachusetts Governor and 2012 GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Other GOP bigwigs included Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, and House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy.
(Editor's note: Ya think the subject of Donald Trump came up a time or two in that crowd? Ah, if only those walls (and individual tables!) could talk…just sayin'…)
Tomorrow is Good Friday to be followed Sunday by Easter – one of the most sacred times of the year for Christians around the world.
David Wilkins will be headin' on down to his beloved Pawleys Island to celebrate Easter and spend a few days R&R…although, in his case, no doubt, we suspect there will be little rest and relaxation and lotsa runnin' around with these two:
The Wilkins' Wonder Twins! Clary and Whit Wilkins, David and Susan's grandkids, are growing up!
On behalf of Team Wilkins, here's wishing all of you a truly blessed Easter weekend. And for those heading out for spring break – hope it's happy, warm (unless, of course, you're skiing) and safe!
They Said What
- "Obama gave the terror bombing 51 seconds of his speech today in Havana. I thought the whole story of his presidency and its foreign policy was seen in a split screen. On one side you had the video footage of the attack in Belgium. This is the real world. And on the other side was Obama in a fantasy world he inhabits where Cuba is of some geopolitical significance...This is hair-raising stuff. The Belgians are completely outmanned... That's the real world. Obama calls ISIS the JV team, he pretends it is contained and controlled. It is not. Instead he does this ideological holiday trip in Cuba while the world burns," – Washington Post columnist and Fox News analyst Charles Krauthammer regarding the Belgium terror attack this week and the president's trip to Cuba.
- "After decades of craziness, it's heartening to see smart policy regarding Cuba. So Cuba remains a repressive country run by a dictator. We do business with those kinds of places all the time. And nothing is going to change Cuba faster than a surge of American visitors and investors," – Columnist Froma Harrop writing in support of the president's trip to Cuba for RealClearPolitics.
- "It's unrealistic to say we're going to completely shut down our borders to everyone. That would stop commerce for example and that is not in anybody's interest. But we have to do a much better job in coordination with the Europeans on tracking and following anyone who has any connection with terrorism," – Democrat presidential frontrunner Hillary Clinton in the wake of the Brussels terror attack on NBC's TODAY show Tuesday morning.
- "If any other State Department employee had decided to conduct all of his or her official business on a personal server located in his or her private home, that person would have already been prosecuted. Period. Full stop…It’s the same thing with the free-trade advocates and the Keystone XL pipeline opponents. There is not one business executive who thinks a President Hillary Clinton would actually block the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade treaty. The anti-Keystone groups will rely more on Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau than on Hillary Clinton’s newly minted assertions that the pipeline won’t get built. Don’t just take it from me. Voters can sense her lack of authenticity and sincerity. In the latest Washington Post/ABC News poll, 59 percent of voters said that Hillary Clinton is not honest and trustworthy. The only person who is viewed as being even less trustworthy is the Republican front-runner, Donald Trump. How is it that in a country of approximately 330 million people, there aren’t two well-adjusted, honorable people who are likely to end up being our choices to be president of the United States?"— Washington Post contributor Ed Rogers writing in the PostPartisan Blog yesterday.
- "While homicidal, suicidal and genocidal jihadists are busy plotting the next soft-target terror attacks on the West, docile Westerners are busy shedding cartoon tears and doodling broken hearts on social media...How far the West has fallen. Farewell, steeled wills. You've been replaced by an army of sad-faced emojis. #WesternCivilizationRIP," – Columnist Michelle Malkin observing reaction to the latest murderous terror attack entitled, "Post-Jihad Gesture Theater: Je Suis Sick of It."
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.