A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
- “There’s optics, and then there’s math." That observation by an analyst at the Cook Political Report seems the perfect summary of the state of the Democratic race for the White House following Tuesday's Wisconsin primary. Vermont Senator and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders picked up a big victory – with the win in Wisconsin, Sanders has won six of the last seven Democrat contests over President Obama's former top diplomat, Hillary Clinton. Sanders is also amassing millions in campaign cash from enthusiastic donors. But the bottom line is, he's barely touching Clinton's massive delegate lead and his hopes, at this point, of capturing the Democrat nod remain decidedly uphill. But with the FBI investigation into Clinton's handling of classified materials as Obama's secretary of state on-going and remaining in the news, and enthusiasm for Sanders' campaign still apparent in states across the US, the Sanders campaign is vowing to press on.
- Meanwhile, Texas Senator Ted Cruz had a big victory besting New York businessman and current GOP presidential frontrunner Donald Trump in the Wisconsin contest. A new Reuters poll shows the Republican race now in a statistical dead heat nationally between Cruz and Trump. Only a month ago Cruz trailed Trump by 20 points. However, Trump has a big card yet to play coming up in the April 19 primary in his home state of New York. Trump remains wildly popular there with more than 50% of the vote and 95 delegates up for grabs. Cruz is likely to come in third behind Ohio Governor John Kasich as Cruz has often cited Trump's "New York values" in other parts of the country as a good reason to vote against him.
- On Monday the Department of the Treasury issued temporary regulations on corporate inversions and also unveiled proposed regulations to address “earnings stripping.” The regulations will make it more difficult for companies to invert. Inversions occur when a US company buys a foreign company and changes tax residence to reduce or avoid paying US taxes. On Tuesday, President Obama said the new rules would prevent “one of the most insidious tax loopholes” and he called on Congress to permanently close the loophole.
- Also on Monday, the Senate unanimously passed the Defend Trade Secrets Act. The bill, which is supported by the White House, authorizes a trade secret owner to file a legal claim in federal court and establishes remedies for stolen trade secrets. The bipartisan House version of the bill has more than 120 cosponsors, but has not yet received Committee consideration.
Meeting Up With MacKay
So we hope all y'all enjoyed your Easter and spring breaks! Your former US Ambassador to Canada, David Wilkins, enjoyed a few days down at beautiful Pawleys Island, SC, but you know he never finds all that relaxin' too relaxin' and so he headed on up to Toronto last week for some real Wilkins' fun – board meetings and catching up with new and old friends!
Wednesday kicked off with a Porter Airlines board meeting headed by our pal – the one and only Porter chief, Bob Deluce.
Later that day, it was wonderful to catch up with the most Honourable Peter MacKay. In touch Carolina-Canada Connections readers know that your former Attorney General and Minister of Justice, as well as Minister of National Defence and Minister of Foreign Affairs, is now a partner at the global law firm, Baker and McKenzie.
On Thursday, it was a privilege to enjoy lunch with the head of the US Consulate General in Toronto – Juan Alsace. CG Alsace has nearly three decades of service in the US Foreign Service and has worked across the world at posts including in Iraq, Chile, Pakistan and Spain.
A Big Voice for Small Business!
Team Wilkins' own Tom Sullivan is spearheading a new business coalition designed to give small business a much bigger voice in Washington, DC.
Sullivan's Coalition for Responsible Business Finance represents the growing number of non-traditional lenders and finance companies that use technology to provide credit to small businesses that often can’t get loans from traditional banks.
Sullivan, a former chief counsel for the Small Business Administration’s Office of Advocacy, says the coalition will focus on educating lawmakers and policy makers on the financing of small business through technology and developing industry best practices.
Team Wilkins' Tom Sullivan will continue his work with Nelson Mullins and head the new Coalition for Responsible Business Finance.
Here's a blurb from the Politico Insider last week:
FIRST IN PI: Tom Sullivan, former chief counsel for advocacy in the Small Business Administration, will lead the new Coalition for Responsible Business Finance, a joint venture of the National Federation of Independent Business, the National Small Business Association and the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council dedicated to growing the non-traditional small-business lending industry. The group will establish best practices and advocate for the industry, which helps make up for small businesses' access to capital that they say has been strained by the Dodd-Frank reforms.
Wall's Winning Ways!
Team Wilkins is sending out big congrats to Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party for their history-making win in Monday's provincial elections! Here's to four more years and to your beloved Roughriders enjoying the same smashing success!
Martin, Weston in Myrtle Beach?
Keep this one just between us, but rumor had it that some distinguished (and well-known) Canadian gents snuck off to Myrtle Beach, SC, last week to play a few (read: many!) rounds of golf.
So, your crafty CCC editors, getting wind of the jaunt down South, decide it was in the best interest of US-Canada bilateral relations to check it out for ourselves, and sacrificially took a drive on down to the beach.
And lucky we did!
Because check out who we happened upon – four Ottawa-based, Canadian treasures at the aptly named Sea Captain's House restaurant!
Meeting of the minds in Myrtle: Dan Dunlop, Christy Cox, Don Martin, Greg Weston and Rob Stanton.
As you might imagine with this crowd, along with the great seafood, plenty of talk on the state of US and Canadian politics was dished up. But hey, what's mentioned in Myrtle Beach, stays in Myrtle Beach!
They Said What?
- "Tonight is a turning point. It is a call from the hardworking people of Wisconsin to America. We have a choice. A real choice," – Texas Senator Ted Cruz Tuesday night after winning the Wisconsin GOP primary, defeating frontrunner Donald Trump and Ohio Governor John Kasich.
- “We weren't going to let Ted Cruz come to the Bronx and not face him and let him know he's not welcome," – New Yorker and protester Rodrigo Venegas who shouted down Cruz at a campaign event in the Bronx yesterday.
- “Every time I drive around my hometown and see my name on someone’s sign they put up, my name to indicate they’re supporting me – that is a humbling thing. Every single time it is," – Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall just before voting Monday in his home riding of Swift Current – where he was easily reelected.
- "Wait a minute? She wants to do a debate with George Stephanopoulos as the moderator? Didn't he work for them?" – An incredulous MSNBC host Mika Brzezinski regarding Hillary Clinton's agreeing to a debate with Bernie Sanders moderated by Clinton former staffer and Clinton Foundation donor George Stephanopoulos on ABC's Good Morning America.
- "The White House censored the video of French President Francois Hollande daring to argue that 'Islamist terrorism' is at the 'roots of terrorism.' According to MRCTV, the White House pulled the original, unedited version from WhiteHouse.gov and YouTube and then reuploaded the video with the words 'Islamist terrorism' silenced," – Reporter Steve Guest writing for the Daily Caller. (Hollande's authentic remarks have since been restored with the White House deeming its edits a technical "glitch.")
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.