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Updated: Republican govs group seeks to link Mary Burke, Occupy Wall Street



Madison — A new attack ad seeks to link Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke with the liberal Occupy Wall Street protesters.

The ad by the Republican Governors Association points to votes Burke took on the Madison School Board to raise property taxes.

“Liberal Mary Burke said she supports the values of Occupy Wall Street protesters, like higher taxes,” a woman says in the ad. “Maybe that’s why Mary Burke voted to raise property taxes on Madison families.

In support of the ad, the RGA points to a February 2012 article in the Wisconsin State Journal in which Burke says she supports Occupy Wall Street values such as having lower income tax rates for the poor than for the rich and reducing the influence of corporations on government.

Burke’s campaign said the RGA just wanted to distract voters from Walker’s record.

“Under Governor Walker, Wisconsin is dead last in the Midwest in private sector job creation, has a ballooning $1.8 billion budget shortfall, and has an economy that is lagging. Out of state special interests will try to distract Wisconsin voters from Governor Walker’s record but the polls show they aren’t buying it,” Burke spokeswoman Stephanie Wilson said. 

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Women seen leading governor’s races in Massachusetts, Rhode Island

By Scott Malone

BOSTON (Reuters) – Voters in five Eastern U.S. states faced primary election choices on Tuesday, with Democrats in Massachusetts and Rhode Island picking among candidates who could include each state’s first elected woman governor while New Hampshire and Delaware decided on Republicans to challenge Democratic incumbents in the U.S. Senate.

Polls prior to the start of voting showed Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley and Rhode Island state Treasurer Gina Raimondo leading competitive fields to win the Democratic nomination to run as governor.

In Cambridge, Massachusetts, Amy Perlack, 28, who works in the healthcare field, said she had just voted for Coakley.

“I like that she is a female candidate so there is some allegiance there,” Perlack said.

Coakley’s top primary rival is state Treasurer Steve Grossman, with Republican businessman Charlie Baker seen leading his party’s field.

In Rhode Island, Raimondo has a narrower lead in polls over Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, with the top Republican candidates being Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and software executive Ken Block.

Some Massachusetts Democrats are wary about Coakley’s chances in the general election, following her stunning 2010 loss to Scott Brown in an off-cycle race to fill the U.S. Senate seat made available by the death of Edward M. Kennedy, but Perlack said she was confidence Coakley had learned from that experience.

“She may have taken it for granted that in a heavily Democratic state, people would just come out,” Perlack said. “This time she is campaigning full force.”

Coakley would be the first woman elected governor of Massachusetts but the second to hold the office. Republican Jane Swift became acting governor in 2001 when Paul Cellucci resigned to take a post as U.S. ambassador to Canada.

Brown also is on the ballot on Tuesday but in neighboring New Hampshire, where he is in a three-way primary to win the Republican nomination to run for U.S. Senate, seeking to unseat Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen.

New Hampshire voters also face a choice between Republican businessman Walt Havenstein and Tea Party activist Andrew Hemingway to take on Governor Maggie Hassan.

In Delaware, businessmen Carl Smink and Kevin Wade are competing for the Republican nomination to take on Democratic U.S. Senator Chris Coons in November.

In New York, Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo faces a long-shot primary challenge in left-leaning political neophyte Zephyr Teachout, a Fordham University law professor and former Occupy Wall Street activist.

Cuomo has done his best to ignore his primary rival.

“Experience matters,” he said in a campaign appearance on Monday.

Polls are due to close at 7 p.m. ET (2300 GMT) in New Hampshire, at 7:30 p.m. ET (2330 GMT) in Delaware, at 8 p.m. (2400 GMT) in Massachusetts and Rhode Island and at 9 p.m. (0100 GMT) in New York.

(Reporting by Scott Malone; Additional reporting by Barbara Goldberg in New York; Editing by Grant McCool and Bill Trott)

Hong Kong’s Occupy Central Plans Protest in October

Pro-democracy protesters held up their mobile phones to kick off the Occupy Central civil disobedience movement on Aug. 31.
Reuters

HONG KONG—The Hong Kong protest movement Occupy Central plans to launch a civil-disobedience campaign in early October to protest Beijing’s decision to effectively control who can run for the city’s top post, said a person close to the group.

The group last week had indicated a loss of momentum following the announcement of the Chinese decision on Aug. 31.

The person close to Occupy Central said holding the protest a full month after Beijing’s decision was aimed at giving supporters ample time to “decide for themselves” whether to join the cause in a “coolheaded” fashion. The person said detailed protest plans were still being made.

The person denied that the timing was chosen to coincide with the weeklong holiday around China’s National Day on Oct. 1. That is traditionally one of the biggest shopping weeks of the year in Hong Kong, when a lot of mainlanders visit the city.

The person said the group has purchased 40 mobile toilets and some tents in preparation for the protests.

Student activists said they would also begin boycotting classes starting Sept. 22.

The group said over the weekend that some pro-democracy activists, including Occupy Central organizers, would shave their heads on Tuesday, a move billed as a pledge to nonviolent resistance.

Related Video

Hong Kong residents braved the rain to protest Beijing’s decision to prescreen all future chief executive candidates. “Today may be the darkest day of Hong Kong’s democratic movement,” says Occupy Central’s Benny Tai. WSJ’s Ramy Inocencio reports.

Pro-democracy leaders in Hong Kong suffered a setback in their battle for universal suffrage. The WSJ’s Deborah Kan explains Beijing’s reluctance to give Hong Kong full democracy.

China said in its decision that candidates vying for Hong Kong’s top leadership post in the 2017 elections must be vetted by a nominating committee, whose members have been loyal to Beijing.

Last week,

Chan Kin-man,

a co-founder of Occupy Central, said some of the group’s support was waning and that its goal of securing a representative voting system in the city was “close to failure.”

The comments signaled Beijing’s decision had been a reality check for a movement that has tried to rally a city focused on stability and the bottom line for its businesses.

They followed a heady few months, with marches that on two occasions drew crowds in the hundreds of thousands. But in mid-August, a pro-Beijing countermovement filled the streets with its own march to denounce Occupy Central’s campaign.

However, Mr. Chan said on Monday that support for Occupy Central has grown among some groups, such as those who used to favor a more moderate approach.

“Many people, including professors who were previously against Occupy Central, are now in support of the movement, whether through direct participation or donations,” said Mr. Chan.

Write to Jenny W. Hsu at jenny.hsu@wsj.com and Chester Yung at chester.yung@wsj.com

Republican govs group seeks to link Mary Burke, Occupy Wall Street



Madison — A new attack ad seeks to link Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke with the liberal Occupy Wall Street protesters.

The ad by the Republican Governors Association doesn’t reference any statements of Burke about the Occupy movement, only votes she took on the Madison School Board to raise property taxes.

“Liberal Mary Burke said she supports the values of Occupy Wall Street protesters, like higher taxes,” a woman says in the ad. “Maybe that’s why Mary Burke voted to raise property taxes on Madison families.

Burke’s campaign didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment. 

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Big Labor Spending Big Bucks On Coordinated Fast Food Protests

By Eric Boehm, Watchdog.org

MINNEAPOLIS – They’re back, and they’re expensive.

Protests outside fast food restaurants flared up in cities around the country Thursday, organized by groups with plenty of ties to prominent labor unions. The front groups organizing the protests — with names like Citizens Action of New York and Fast Food Workers United — use a mix of Occupy Wall Street populism and Big Labor tactics to draw attention to their cause.

But the real goal seems to be drawing more members into the union, rather than generating better working conditions for America’s legions of burger-flippers.

The Service Employees International Union, or SEIU, is one of the biggest backers of the effort to raise the minimum wage to $15 per hour and to unionize fast food workers. The union is heavily invested in the effort, having spent more than $38 million, directly and indirectly, in 2013 alone.

Obama to Spell Out Strategy to Defeat Islamic State

President Barack Obama plans Wednesday to spell out specific steps that the U.S. will take with its allies to beat back Islamic militants expanding their grip on large sections of Iraq and Syria.

The speech marks the next chapter in Mr. Obama’s campaign to build broader support at home and abroad for the U.S. to assume a greater role in the fight against the Islamic State.

The president made it clear Saturday that he is seeking…

Study: Millennials More Skeptical Of Government, Wall Street Than Gen X Was

CHICAGO (AP) — They’re often pegged as the civic-minded, do-gooding generation. But while they’re still optimistic about their own personal prospects, a new study finds that today’s youth are often more skeptical of the country’s institutions than the young generations that preceded them.

The Millennials also are as mistrusting of other people as the gloomy “slackers” of Generation X were 20 years ago — or even more so.

Jean Twenge, lead author of the study that will be published early this month in the online edition of the journal Psychological Science, says the current atmosphere — fed by the Great Recession, mass shootings, and everything from church sex abuse scandals and racial strife to the endless parade of publicly shamed politicians, athletes and celebrities — may help explain why this young generation’s trust levels hit an all-time low in 2012, the most recent data available.

In the mid-1970s, when baby boomers were coming of age, about a third of high school seniors agreed that “most people can be trusted.”

That dropped to 18 percent in the early 1990s for Gen Xers — and then, in 2012, to just 16 percent of Millennials.

The researchers also found that Millennials’ approval of major institutions — from Congress and corporations to the news media and educational and religious institutions — dropped more sharply than other generations in the decade that followed the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

“Young people today feel disconnected and alienated,” says Twenge, who wrote the book “Generation Me,” which examines the attitudes of today’s youth. She finds these outcomes “especially distressing” for a generation that had been expected to be more trusting of government.

Young people, even those from differing backgrounds, say the findings ring true.

“I do not trust the government as far I can throw a car, which is not very far at all,” says Steve McGlinchey, a 21-year-old who lives in Burton, Michigan, outside Flint, and works for a company that installs industrial furnaces for auto companies and other businesses.

Like a lot of young people, he says he’s been disappointed by people in positions of power who’ve abused that power or seem to have forgotten about the little guy.

That includes Wall Street. “All they think about is making their own wallets bigger,” he says, noting that he doesn’t trust other people to handle his money, “especially people who don’t know my name.”

Erin Nwachukwu, a 16-year-old high school student who lives on Chicago’s South Side, says she’s felt mistrustful of authority figures, too, including the police. She also has doubts about her city’s leaders, having watched them close dozens of public schools in low-income neighborhoods, even as they pour millions of dollars into flashy downtown parks and other projects.

“They don’t seem like they have our best interest at heart,” Nwachukwu says. “It seems like it’s about the money.”

Twenge and her co-authors at the University of Georgia based their study’s findings on data from two major long-standing surveys of Americans — the General Social Survey and the University of Michigan’s annual “Monitoring the Future” survey of 12th graders, with nearly 140,000 participants in total.

While Americans of all ages had growing trust issues in recent years, the researchers found that young people’s trust dropped more steeply in several categories.

For instance, in 2000-2002, 49 percent of 12th graders who were surveyed said Congress was doing a “good” or “very good” job, compared with just 22 percent who said the same in 2010-12. Thirty percent of young boomers were approving in the mid-1970s, and 33 percent of Gen Xers in early 1990s.

The researchers used these figures in three-year blocks to assure they were comparing consistent trends. The margin of error is plus or minus 1 percentage point.

In 2000-2002, 54 percent of 12th graders approved of the job large corporations were doing. That fell to 33 percent by 2010-12. Forty percent of boomers approved in the mid-1970s, and 48 percent of Gen Xers in the early 1990s.

During that decade, Millennials also had notable drops in approval of colleges and universities, the news media, public schools and religious institutions.

Because the study found that people of all age groups have trust and confidence issues, Twenge notes that the results are more likely tied to current events than the generation itself.

Last year, an AP-GfK poll also found that only a third of all Americans said they trusted most people, compared with about half who said the same the early 1970s, according to the General Social Survey.

But the survey also showed that each generation has started off adulthood less trusting than the previous one, a trend that would likely have to be reversed for the nation’s overall mistrust to change.

Katherine Vining, a 25-year-old graduate student in San Francisco, says that may be difficult to do in an age when news and information are readily accessible at any hour.

“The more information you have, the more opportunity there is to be disappointed and disillusioned by the people and institutions in the world that are repeatedly acting unethically and taking advantage of individuals and communities,” says Vining, who’s studying sustainable management at the Presidio Graduate School.

But, she adds, being more connected also makes it easier to find others “who are equally disheartened with the status quo.” And with that, she and others say, comes empowerment to do something about it.

That’s what some experts find so interesting about this generation. They may be disillusioned by the powers that be. Yet so far, they’ve continued to vote in larger percentages than previous young generations, even after some concede that they’ve failed to see the “change” that President Barack Obama first promised in 2008.

And despite their skepticism, they also continue to be a largely optimistic lot.

A Pew Research Center survey done in 2012 found that 73 percent of 18- to 34-year-olds were optimistic that they would eventually achieve their life goals, or had already achieved them.

Jon Rogowski, a political scientist at Washington University in St. Louis, has worried that, given these findings about trust, some young people will tire and “turn inwards” and away from civic engagement. He’s particularly concerned about black youth.

A recent survey by the University of Chicago’s Black Youth Project, to which Rogowski contributes, found that nearly 46 percent of black youth believe everyone has an equal chance to succeed in the United States, compared with 51 percent of white youth and about 58 percent of Hispanic youth.

Nwachukwu, the 16-year-old Chicagoan, who is African-American, understands that concern, yet still feels hopeful.

“Maybe it’s my faith in other kids my age to step up to the challenge and change our system,” says Nwachukwu, who traveled this summer to the Middle East to meet young people there with the nonprofit Qatar Foundation International. She says it was the type of experience that helps bolster her faith in people and her future.

Gary Rudman, a California consultant who tracks youth trends, also suspects that this generation’s personal optimism comes from their upbringing — and the “you do anything” mantra.

“Perhaps we have set them up for ultimate failure, or maybe they will make the situation work for them,” Rudman says. “Only time will tell.”

(© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)