Public Policy

April 8, 2022

Today’s ‘thought of the week’ is not so much a thought but a question, or more accurately, a series of questions. There’s no doubt that economic and geopolitical issues will be top of mind for voters in the coming mid-term elections, but cultural questions, both new and old, are sure to garner attention as well. With an eye to energizing their bases, conservatives and progressives see little downside to fanning polarizing issues.

March 25, 2022

Although policy and politics never seem to take a break in Washington—think the ongoing debate over additional Russia sanctions, the first Federal Reserve interest rate increase in three years, and Ketanji Brown Jackson’s Supreme Court confirmation hearings to name just a few—the conclusions of the Democrat and Republican Congressional issues’ retreats and the upcoming release of the President’s budget offer something of a spring reset before Congress begins its sprint to the month-long August recess and mid-term election campaign. The reset is akin to the symbolism of rebirth associated with the cherry blossom, which reached peak bloom in Washington earlier this week.

March 18, 2022

This issue marks The Washington Connection’s one-year anniversary. For just over the past 52-weeks, the Washington office has offered a ‘Thought of the Week’ to open the blog. Reflecting back over the past year, we’ve touched on everything from politics to the economy to mental health….

March 11, 2022

Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to present to the latest group of Sumitomo-sponsored Tomodachi scholars. Although this year’s presentation had to be virtual, in year’s past this group of students has visited Washington, touring such iconic landmarks as the White House, the Capitol complex, and the Pentagon, where each was presented with a Challenge Coin by Defense Secretary Ashton Carter himself. It was refreshing to be in front of such a curious, idealistic group again being challenged and questioned on a range of public policy issues. In brief, their questions revolved around the difficulty in passing legislation, the purpose of lobbying, and the role of consultants; with the brief answers being legislation is difficult to pass by design; lobbying is largely education; and even lobbyists need to build their networks continually…

March 4, 2022

I’ve never been to war, but that doesn’t mean that parts of my life haven’t been shaped by it. My mother’s side of the family, the Italian side, immigrated to the U.S. as a matter of life and death at the outset of World War II. A first cousin, suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) related to his tours of duty in Vietnam, eventually took his own life. And my own connection to veterans stationed at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center led me to co-found a non-profit to support those American service men and women wounded or injured in support of the global war on terrorism. While the remainder of this blog concentrates on some of the economic and policy issues associated with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, we, as a company, should not lose focus that there is a very real human component to war that should not be forgotten.

February 18, 2022

uper Bowl LVI between the Los Angeles Rams and Cincinnati Bengals wasn’t decided until there were less than two minutes left in the contest, with Rams wide receiver Cooper Kupp winning the game’s most valuable player (MVP) award. While it’s hard to argue that he didn’t deserve it, cases for the award could have also been made for Rams defensive tackle Aaron Donald or even quarterback Matthew Stafford. Regardless of the winner, the voting process used by the NFL was more than odd in that ballots were cast before the game was even over.

February 11, 2022

recently came across the movie The Breakfast Club. Simple Minds’ lyrics from the film—“Don’t you, forget about me…Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t…Don’t you, forget about me”—immediately take me back.  We’ve all felt it. That pining for bygone days. A desire to return to the way things were. Nostalgia typically ascends with warm feelings, from a cherished memory, an aroma, or even favorite song. But that deep feeling of familiarity and belonging can also shape-shift into longing, loss, or frustrated desire. Nostalgia often melds both the positive and negative, and that’s what I heard in Rep. Stephanie Murphy’s (D-FL) voice as she addressed an intimate group of lobbyists and analysts, organized by the global strategy firm Capstone DC, to give a moderate’s take on the 2022 legislative agenda.