Special Friday Edition
A weekly outreach to our friends and colleagues in Canada
Weekly Washington Wrap
- Donald Trump was in Washington yesterday to meet with Republican leadership on Capitol Hill with hopes of bridging divides between himself and prominent Members of Congress. In a joint statement, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and Trump said the meeting was a "very positive step toward unification."
- Independent Vermont Senator and avowed socialist Bernie Sanders defeated Democrat front-runner Hillary Clinton in Tuesday's West Virginia primary race making it the 19th state in which Sanders has bested President Obama's former top diplomat. Clinton rankled many in this depressed region of the country in March when she promised her policies would "put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business." Still, the delegate math highly favors Clinton who is way ahead of Sanders, and June primaries in big states like California are also said, at this point, to favor her. Meanwhile, the presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump easily won primaries in West Virginia and Nebraska.
- The Obama Administration dragged out a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline for seven long years and now wants it dead, but on Tuesday attorneys general from six states along the pipeline trail made sure the issue stays in the news. The six states are joining the US Chamber of Commerce and the National Association of Manufactures in supporting Trans Canada's legal push against the Obama Administration. The energy giant has filed a lawsuit alleging the president has exceeded his authority in rejecting the massive project that would create jobs and carry fuel to the Texas Gulf coast from Canada's oil sands. The Obama Administration moved to have the case dismissed in early April and a Texas court is still considering that motion.
- The US State Department claimed this week it cannot find emails belonging to the staffer who set up former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s homebrew email system. Computer specialist Bryan Pagliano set up the secret server and private email in the basement of Clinton’s New York home. She used the private system to conduct all official business for the time she was Obama’s top diplomat and while the State Department says it has been able to locate Pagliano email files for "recent" work, it cannot locate any of his emails for the four years of Clinton’s tenure. The FBI is investigating Clinton’s unsecure server and the handling of classified material. Missing emails seems to be a trend in recent years. A top official at the Internal Revenue Service resigned in the wake of a controversy where the tax agency admitted to unfairly targeting conservative groups for extra scrutiny leading into the 2012 election. The IRS claimed it had “lost” thousands of emails on “destroyed” hard drives and backups only to spend millions to later “recover” them. Some 38 conservative groups are still in court fighting the IRS on its actions.
Graduates: Be Grateful!
All across the fruited plains of the US and Canada, 2016 graduates are well, um, graduating! That means a whole lotta pomp, circumstance – and speechifying! (Editor's note: If you're wondering what "pomp and circumstance" is all about – so were we. We looked it up and found out it means "splendid celebration with ceremony and fuss." And there you go.)
Anyway, since all y'all know what "speechifying" means – we'll get right to the point: This year, your former US ambassador to Canada was honored to give the commencement address to the nearly 600-strong graduating class of Tri-County Technical College in Pendleton, South Carolina.
Here's how the Greenville News covered the commencement under the headline, “586 Tri-County Tech students graduate”:
If you want to be successful, you have to have an attitude of gratitude, David Wilkins, former U.S. Ambassador to Canada and longtime Speaker of the South Carolina House of Representatives told Tri-County Technical College’s Class of 2016.
Five hundred and eighty-six received degrees, diplomas and certificates at the spring commencement May 10 at the Anderson Civic Center.
“More than hard work, more than book sense and common sense, your tenacity, your degree, even your humility, your gratitude is the most important tool in your tool box – because it is a multiplier,” said Wilkins, who is also a member of the Clemson University Board of Trustees.
“Gratitude grows grace,” added Wilkins, a partner at Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough.
“Grateful people are truly agents of change because they don't take for granted what they've been given – they share their gifts with others. It doesn't mean they don't work hard. It certainly doesn't mean they settle for less,” he told the graduates.
“But grateful people start way ahead of everyone else because they always begin with enough. May you use your time to light your world, taking nothing for granted and everything with gratitude,” he said…
David Wilkins and Tri-County Technical College President Dr. Ronnie L. Booth
Your former US ambassador to Canada talks gratitude to graduates Tuesday night
The Mighty Mitchells
Congrats and Team Wilkins' best wishes to Alberta's Lieutenant Governor Lois Mitchell and the most Honourable Douglas Mitchell for their recognition last night by the Wilson Center's Canada Institute who conferred upon them the Award for Public Service.
A festive dinner was held at the Hyatt Regency in Calgary and the host committee included our great pals Tom Huffaker and Randy Pettipas.
Rockin' the Rooftop!
Next week David Wilkins and the Team are headed back up to DC for the annual Nelson Mullins DC rooftop bash – the party that always presents a cornucopia of opportunity for us to bring you the best photos from the best spot overlooking Capitol Hill as well as indulging in our favorite pastime – massive name dropping!
So keep watch for your CCC next week for all the DC deets!
They Said What?
- "I suggest reading a lengthy interview with Benjamin Rhodes, the president’s supremely cocky foreign-policy speechwriter and, by his own admission, master manipulator of the moronic media. The interview, published in the New York Times Magazine, makes for gripping reading. It is not usual, after all, for a senior White House official to crow about how he deceived the press (and the nation) about when negotiations with Iran over its nuclear program actually began. It was not when the more moderate current regime took power, but earlier, under the auspices of more recalcitrant hard-liners. In effect, the White House lied," – Washington Post opinion writer Richard Cohen in a column regarding the NYT magazine’s revelations on the Obama-Iran nuclear deal.
- "No, Kevin," – Obama spokesman Josh Earnest when asked by reporter Kevin Corke this week if he is able to "state categorically" that no Obama Administration senior official ever lied publicly about the controversial Iran nuclear deal.
- "I do believe in trade. We have to be smart however, and we certainly have to enforce them. That is why I have called for a Trade Prosecutor to report directly to the president. Because we can't wait until somebody takes advantage of our markets, we have to be much more affirmative on that,” – Democrat frontrunner for president Hillary Clinton on CBS News refuting criticism that she is a “flip-flopper” on trade deals such as NAFTA and TPP.
- "Yeah. It was a suggestion. Look, anything I say right now, I'm not the president. Everything is a suggestion, no matter what you say, it's a suggestion,” – Presumptive GOP frontrunner for president, Donald Trump, on Fox News this week that his plan to temporarily ban Muslims from entering the US was just a “suggestion.”
- “It was absolutely bias. We were doing it subjectively. It just depends on who the curator is and what time of day it is. Every once in a while a Red State or conservative news source would have a story. But we would have to go and find the same story from a more neutral outlet that wasn’t as biased," – former Facebook "curator" as quoted by Gizmodo this week alleging Facebook routinely suppresses conservative news and content. Facebook denies the charge but says it is looking into the matter and is inviting “leading conservative leaders” to talk about the accusations of bias.
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.