President Trump fills world leaders with fear: ‘It’s gone from funny to really scary’

Most of the world seems to agree a Donald Trump presidency is a disturbing possibility that would inflict unthinkable damage, Guardian reporters found

Dangerous, foolish, irrational, scary, terrifying, irresponsible, a clown, a disaster. These are just some of the words used to describe the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency by politicians, diplomats and analysts around the world.

As the businessman gave his first major policy address since becoming frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, Guardian correspondents in Washington and around the globe asked the international community whether it was prepared for the swaggering billionaire to occupy the White House.

Many said they still cannot believe the nation that elected its first black president just eight years ago will now rush to embrace a man who has offended Mexicans, Muslims and others. The possibility that Trump might actually win fills great swaths of the planet with dread with the apparent and notable exception of Vladimir Putins Russia with concerns over everything from trade to the nuclear trigger.

While Trump was delivering his speech in Washington, outlining a doctrine of naked self-interest that would shake the rust off Americas foreign policy, the heads of all the major UN agencies gathered in Vienna, Austria, for a strategy session with secretary general Ban Ki-moon, now in his last eight months in office.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/28/donald-trump-president-world-leaders-foreign-relations

Protesters target Connecticut’s uber wealthy with ‘tax bills’ in bid to end loophole

Even Trump has said Greenwichs hedge fund guys get away with murder but can this debt-ridden state afford to close the loophole known as carried interest?

Just emerging from their blanket of winter snow, the lush and leafy lanes of Greenwich, Connecticut, are usually quiet on a Saturday morning. Behind high walls and long drives sit the manicured mansions of some of the worlds richest people. After a long week making more millions, the last thing the residents want is the help disturbing their beauty sleep. This weekend, though, was different.

On Saturday morning, a coachload of local workers, bullhorns in hand, took to Greenwichs windy lanes for a protest organized by union-backed local community groups and billed as the Lifestyles of the Rich & Shameless bus tour.

Chanting El pueblo unido / Jams ser vencido (The people united / Will never be defeated) and Hey hey, ho ho, tax loopholes have got to to, a couple of dozen protesters, gently shepherded by local police, left giant tax bills totaling close to $3bn for some of the worlds richest hedge fund managers.

The protesters, and many others in Connecticut, are hoping they can force the state to reclaim such tax from its richest residents as it wrestles with massive debts and prepares to sack thousands of local workers.

The
The estate belonging to billionaire hedge fund owner Stephen Cohen, located in Greenwich. Photograph: Vincent T Vuoto/AP

The atmosphere was light. What do you think they are eating for breakfast? Cantaloupe and cottage cheese? joked Luis Luna, an organizer from Make the Road, a community group that helps low-income Latinos in Greenwichs down-at-heel neighbor Bridgeport. No. They are definitely on a cleanse, came the reply. Luna joked about serving lobster and caviar pizza for lunch. The kids squirmed. Its just going to be cheese, someone reassured them.

But while spirits are high, the situation is dire.

Connecticut has a $1.8bn budget deficit. It is in the middle of cutting the 2,500 state jobs that were earmarked as cost savings last year. Governor Dannel Malloy recently unveiled a new budget that seeks $1.5bn in concessions from local workers, including pension cuts. Lindsay Farrell, state director of Working Families in Connecticut, a nonprofit that organized the weekend protest, said the new deal could cost another 4,200 jobs.

The only change is a tax credit on estate taxes, said Farrell.

The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder

Connecticut presents one of the starkest examples of the growth of US income inequality. In their guarded homes, Greenwichs rich have been doing very nicely: from 2009 to 2013, the income of the states top 1% grew 17.2%. The incomes of everyone else dropped by 1.6%.

Bridgeport, with its boarded-up shops and opioid addiction problems, could not stand in starker contrast to ritzy Greenwich, with its antique-car showrooms and Michelin-starred restaurants. Average per capita income is $19,854 in Bridgeport, where 20% live at or below the poverty level.

Charles
Charles Khan, an organizer with Strong Economy for All, at the Lifestyles of the Rich & Shameless bus tour protest in Greenwich. Photograph: Dominic Rushe for the Guardian

But thanks to its super-wealthy neighbors, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk corridor is among the wealthiest regions in the US, according to an American Community Survey (ACS), with nearly one in five households having an income of at least $191,469.

In part, this is due to the states proximity to New York City, global center of finance and a great place to shop and go to the theatre. Connecticut offers the rich a country base, only a short helicopter ride from Manhattan. It also helps that the state is fighting to keep a significant tax break for its richest residents.

Hedge fund managers and other investors pay 19% on the money they earn from their investments less than the 25% US taxpayers owe if they earn between $37,950 and $91,900. Closing that loophole, known as carried interest, would save Connecticut an estimated $535m a year.

The tax break is one that even Donald Trump thinks is unfair. During the presidential campaign, he railed against it. The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder, he told CBS. Dumping carried interest had therefore been expected to be part of his plan to reform the USs byzantine tax regime, a plan he has promised to pursue now his healthcare plans have fallen so flat.

Trump: hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.

Since arriving in the Oval Office, however, Trump has been quiet about carried interest. He appointed a cabinet full of Goldman Sachs executives, said Farrell. I dont think there is much chance of action at the federal level or that he was ever all that sincere.

In the meantime, Farrell and co have taken to the (least) mean streets of Connecticut, to take action at the local level. Greenwich police, who are facing cuts too, let them leave a $446m bill outside the 35,000 sq ft mansion of Steve Cohen, founder of Point72 Asset Management and SAC Capital Advisors. Cohens net worth is an estimated $13bn; his $1bn art collection could almost plug Connecticuts budget hole on its own.

At Hill Road, close to Alpha Drive (a dead end, the sign informs us), protesters left a $1bn bill for William Macaulay, boss of energy investor First Reserve Corporation, and another $837m-plus bill at the guardhouse of Ray Dalios mansion. Dalio, boss of Bridgewater Associates which owns bits of many of the USs low-wage employers, including Walmart and Yum Brands, which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell lives in a gated community. His guard seemed less amused with the protest than the local police.

Im angry

Next month the fight goes to Hartford, Connecticuts capital. State lawmakers dont have the power to rewrite the federal tax code, but advocates are pushing for a bill that would end carried interest in Connecticut.

The bill, HB 6973, would add a local surcharge to the investors tax bill, taking them up to the top tax rate of 39.6%. To stop billionaires swapping one Manhattan commute for another, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York will consider similar bills.

The hedge fund industry is expected to put up quite a fight but the protesters are confident too. On the last stop of the tour, they inflated a giant pig outside the offices of AQR Capital Management, an investment firm that received a $35m state handout after it threatened to leave Connecticut. AQRs founder is Cliff Asness, a hardcore libertarian with a $3bn fortune who believes blame for the financial crisis rests squarely on all-intrusive government intervention.

Im angry, said Mark Krauchick, a school janitor and president of the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who earns $48,000 a year and whose pension is under threat from the new cuts.

We have to have the courage to act, he said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/27/connecticut-debt-tax-loophole-greenwich-rich-residents

Battle for Florida: Trump and Clinton home in on crucial state as voting begins

The two candidates have differing strategies in a state where turnout among Hispanic voters could sway the entire election and its a must-win for Trump

In Little Havana, a vibrant Latino neighborhood just west of downtown Miami, a queue of a couple of dozen prospective voters had formed outside one of Hillary Clintons field offices.

Sandwiched between an insurance company and immigration counsel office, the group had arrived for tickets to a free Jennifer Lopez concert. But there was one caveat: to attend the Saturday evening show, at Bayfront Park on Miamis Biscayne Bay, fans were first required to visit a Clinton campaign field office.

theIt was one of the many creative ways in which the Democratic nominees campaign was seeking to engage likely voters in the critical battleground of Florida, a state with a key role in determining whether Clinton or her Republican opponent Donald Trump is elected on 8 November as the next president of the United States.

Florida

Inside this modest campaign space, one of 82 Clinton field offices in the Sunshine State, yellow-painted walls bore signs that read phrases such as Juntos Se Puede (Together We Can) and Why build a wall against Hispanics when they built this country?

English or Spanish? a volunteer asked as two sisters stepped into the office hoping to secure a pair of concert tickets. Spanish, they responded.

Azalia and Lucia Rodriguez, both US citizens originally from Nicaragua, had already made up their mind. Trump had hit a nerve, they said, within Floridas sprawling Hispanic community.

If you dont vote, thats an extra vote for Trump, said Lucia, a 19-year-old college student. I have family members that might be deported, and just to be safe I wouldnt vote for him.

Azalia, a 27-year-old in real estate, put it even more bluntly when asked why she was voting for Clinton: Well, Im Hispanic and I dont like what Trump says.

Turnout among Hispanic voters might sway the outcome of the election in a state where one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country holds substantial influence. A half-dozen volunteers worked the phones in both English and Spanish, targeting a list of likely Clinton supporters while making a strong push for the early voting process that began on 24 October.

The Obama campaign worked out of the same office in 2012, recognizing a shift in demographics. While the Cubans who dominated the area typically voted Republican, a younger generation has in recent years leaned Democratic; and non-Cuban Hispanics, a reliably Democratic voting bloc, also increasingly live in the area.

In 2000, a controversial recount in Florida determined whether Al Gore or George W Bush would become president. Sixteen years later, the state is still vital terrain in the presidential race Trump, trailing Clinton in other must-win swing states, needs to secure the states 29 electoral votes to have a path to victory.

How will the US election be decided?

But roughly 15 miles away, a Trump field office in West Miami one of 29 paid for by Republican Party of Florida, was bustling not with likely voters but with volunteers making do with limited resources.

A handful unloaded boxes containing just under 110,000 door hangers, while others were constructing Trump-Pence yard signs. But of over a dozen phones, only two were occupied.

Many of the volunteers, comprising mainly older Cubans, complained of an election that was rigged.

The media was in Clintons pocket, the volunteers argued, and even the Republican establishment was colluding to defeat the real estate mogul who earlier this year defied all odds to become the GOPs nominee for president.

Im here for Donald Trump, not for the Republican party, said Abraham Alvarez, a 47-year-old ramp supervisor at Miami international airport who for the last month has been volunteering for the campaign unpaid.

Have you heard of the New World Order? he added, invoking the conspiracy about a globalist elite that plans to take control of the world through authoritarian rule. The whole establishment, theyve been working on this for a long time.

To Floridians like Alvarez, the election had already been rigged in Clintons favor.

It is highly unlikely that the outcome on 8 November will be anything like that of 2000, when the result of the month-long recount over Floridas electoral votes was ultimately decided by the US supreme court after vicious partisan squabbling over hanging chads and butterfly ballots. Trumps campaign trails Clinton in the majority of public polling.

But the campaign is nonetheless likely to be just as hard-fought in a state such as Florida, which in many ways resembles a confederation of fiefdoms.

Florida
Photograph: Mapbox, OpenStreetMap

Floridas northern panhandle is the heart of the old south. Live oak trees are draped with Spanish moss and residents speak in slow southern drawls. South Florida is as much a part of the Caribbean as the United States, and Spanish is as widely spoken as English.

In between is an ethnic hodgepodge: north of Miami, in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, there are heavily Jewish enclaves descended from transplanted New Yorkers; in Orlando, there is a rapidly growing Puerto Rican community fleeing the islands economic crisis, while in the Villages, there is an entire city of over 150,000 residents who are all transplanted retirees.

Recognizing the state is beholden to neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, both Clinton and Trump graced Florida this week as the clock ticked closer to election day.

Trump held a rally on Tuesday in Tallahassee, an island of Democratic blue in deep-red north Florida where the presence of the state capitol and Florida State University makes the sleepy city comparatively liberal.

Tallahassee
Supporters cheer Donald Trump during a rally at the Antique Car Museum property on Tuesday in Tallahassee. Photograph: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

There, speaking in front of a farm wagon laden with pumpkins to mark the fall season, Trump made a non-specific pitch for early voting: Early voting in Florida is under way so make sure you get out and vote. We have a thing going on that theyve never seen before.

A more effective pitch was made by volunteers standing at the entrance to the rally who stood holding clipboards with forms for attendees to sign up for absentee ballots.

Clinton made a two-day swing through the state, with stops that included Broward County, a formerly Republican stronghold now solidly Democratic, and Palm Beach, home to Trumps opulent Mar-a-Lago resort.

Her venues were also strategically chosen: across the street from Clintons event in Broward on Tuesday was a polling center which hundreds who attended her rally immediately visited to vote early.

Nate Williams, 37, was accompanied by his six-year-old daughter.

She dont like Donald Trump, what he said about women, he said of his daughter, who clutched a Barbie doll while standing by his side. He was referring to the controversial tape of the Republican nominee bragging about groping women without their consent.

She dont really know the comments, Williams said. She just knows he said some real negative things about women.

Betty Joseph, a native of Haiti residing in nearby Tamarac, said she was concerned about the implications of a Trump presidency.

I believe that would be civil war, she said, emerging from the polling site after voting for Clinton. With his mouth, it could cause a lot of trouble for the country.

Early voting has long been a key indicator in Florida. In 2012, 4.8 million Floridians cast their ballots before election day, a total higher than the turnout in 44 other states.

But while Republicans have typically held the advantage in early voting, data available thus far finds Democrats encroaching on their lead. Republicans were ahead in early voting by just over 18,000 votes on Tuesday, whereas in 2008 their edge exceeded 113,000 at the same time. Hispanic participation in early voting was also up from previous cycles, likely favoring Clinton based on most public polling of the group.

Democrats also held a seven-point lead over Republicans in new registered voters, according to a memo distributed this week by Clintons Florida operation. The campaign also touted closing the longtime Republican advantage in vote-by-mail ballot requests and returns, with roughly 406,000 Democrats having returned their ballots versus 421,000 Republicans.

Clinton
Supporters of Hillary Clinton try to shake hands with the candidate at a rally at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida, on Wednesday. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Even so, polling points to a competitive race with Clinton ahead of Trump by 3.5 points according to an average of public surveys compiled by various trackers.

Speaking in Coconut Creek on Tuesday, Clinton warned her supporters not to take matters for granted.

Its going to be a close election, she said at Broward Colleges North Campus, across from the early voting site. Pay no attention to the polls. Dont get complacent.

Underscoring her commitment to Florida, Clintons campaign confirmed she would return to the state as early as Saturday.

Trump, for his part, followed his Florida tour with a jaunt to Washington DC in order to cut the ribbon at his new hotel.

But the Republican nominee has not entirely ignored the need to organize voters at his rallies in the Sunshine State.

Before an event in September, inside an aircraft hangar in Melbourne, Florida, over two dozen Trump volunteers were making phone calls in an adjacent office while a crowd of thousands gathered outside listened to the Rolling Stones on loop as they awaited the former Apprentice host.

Trump supporters have long viewed crowd sizes as an indicator of their candidates prospects, despite little correlation between the number of attendees who show up at a rally and those who turn out to vote.

But as Stella Bueller of Sopchoppy, Florida, told the Guardian at Trumps rally this week: If you go back to high school, youre at a pep rally and whos the most popular guy? Everyone knows and he ends up being homecoming king. Its the same.

Brian Ballard, Trumps Florida finance chairman, said he felt confident about Trumps chances.

Theres certainly momentum, he said, citing not just internal polling but also enthusiasm for the Republican nominee as evidenced by the fact that roads were shut down around Trumps Tallahassee rally on Tuesday.

The veteran Republican lobbyist seemed less concerned about the campaigns rudimentary footprint on the ground, noting that the Republican National Committee, state party and local parties have always been the backbone of our get-out-the-vote effort.

Ballard cited conversations with Cuban American legislators to express confidence about Trumps ability to court at least a faction of Hispanic voters, noting the bloc is not monolithic. In fact, he thought, Trump would do as well as [Mitt] Romney, if not a little bit better.

But the volunteers who packed Trumps West Miami field office were somewhat less bullish.

Trump
Donald Trump rallies with supporters at the Million Air Orlando airplane hangar in Sanford, Florida, on Tuesday. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Jorge Garces, who emigrated from Cuba in 1962, acknowledged that the Republican nominees ground game lacks a little bit.

I dont know why, said the 64-year-old retiree. Sometimes we get as many as 12 volunteers a day, sometimes as little as three.

Garces was, however, energized by what he claimed was a bias within the media about Trumps roadmap to the White House as well as a desire among grassroots conservative voters to send a signal to the establishment in their own party.

I think the Republican party has lost its message, he said, and I think Donald Trump is throwing a molotov cocktail at Washington.

As for whether Trump would emerge victorious in Florida, Garces confessed he was concerned.

Kellyanne Conway, Trumps campaign manager, acknowledged in an interview with CBS this week that the path will be much harder without Florida. But that is an understatement, given if Clinton wins the state then Trump would have to virtually sweep the remaining battleground states, including seemingly safe Democratic areas like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Colorado.

Complicating matters is polling showing Clinton giving Trump a run for his money in deeply red states such as Arizona, Utah and even Texas, diverting the Republican nominees attention with precious little time remaining before election day.

A Republican activist at the Broward College polling site, who declined to be named due to his involvement in local races, said he reluctantly cast his ballot for Trump this week. But after watching hundreds of Democrats queue up to vote early after Clintons rally across the street from where he stood, the activist feared the writing was already on the wall.

Florida will be his death knell, he said of Trump. When youre competing in Texas and Utah two weeks before the election, its over.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/27/florida-voting-clinton-trump-election

President Trump fills world leaders with fear: ‘It’s gone from funny to really scary’

Most of the world seems to agree a Donald Trump presidency is a disturbing possibility that would inflict unthinkable damage, Guardian reporters found

Dangerous, foolish, irrational, scary, terrifying, irresponsible, a clown, a disaster. These are just some of the words used to describe the prospect of a Donald Trump presidency by politicians, diplomats and analysts around the world.

As the businessman gave his first major policy address since becoming frontrunner for the Republican presidential nomination on Wednesday, Guardian correspondents in Washington and around the globe asked the international community whether it was prepared for the swaggering billionaire to occupy the White House.

Many said they still cannot believe the nation that elected its first black president just eight years ago will now rush to embrace a man who has offended Mexicans, Muslims and others. The possibility that Trump might actually win fills great swaths of the planet with dread with the apparent and notable exception of Vladimir Putins Russia with concerns over everything from trade to the nuclear trigger.

While Trump was delivering his speech in Washington, outlining a doctrine of naked self-interest that would shake the rust off Americas foreign policy, the heads of all the major UN agencies gathered in Vienna, Austria, for a strategy session with secretary general Ban Ki-moon, now in his last eight months in office.

Read more: http://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/apr/28/donald-trump-president-world-leaders-foreign-relations

Protesters target Connecticut’s uber wealthy with ‘tax bills’ in bid to end loophole

Even Trump has said Greenwichs hedge fund guys get away with murder but can this debt-ridden state afford to close the loophole known as carried interest?

Just emerging from their blanket of winter snow, the lush and leafy lanes of Greenwich, Connecticut, are usually quiet on a Saturday morning. Behind high walls and long drives sit the manicured mansions of some of the worlds richest people. After a long week making more millions, the last thing the residents want is the help disturbing their beauty sleep. This weekend, though, was different.

On Saturday morning, a coachload of local workers, bullhorns in hand, took to Greenwichs windy lanes for a protest organized by union-backed local community groups and billed as the Lifestyles of the Rich & Shameless bus tour.

Chanting El pueblo unido / Jams ser vencido (The people united / Will never be defeated) and Hey hey, ho ho, tax loopholes have got to to, a couple of dozen protesters, gently shepherded by local police, left giant tax bills totaling close to $3bn for some of the worlds richest hedge fund managers.

The protesters, and many others in Connecticut, are hoping they can force the state to reclaim such tax from its richest residents as it wrestles with massive debts and prepares to sack thousands of local workers.

The
The estate belonging to billionaire hedge fund owner Stephen Cohen, located in Greenwich. Photograph: Vincent T Vuoto/AP

The atmosphere was light. What do you think they are eating for breakfast? Cantaloupe and cottage cheese? joked Luis Luna, an organizer from Make the Road, a community group that helps low-income Latinos in Greenwichs down-at-heel neighbor Bridgeport. No. They are definitely on a cleanse, came the reply. Luna joked about serving lobster and caviar pizza for lunch. The kids squirmed. Its just going to be cheese, someone reassured them.

But while spirits are high, the situation is dire.

Connecticut has a $1.8bn budget deficit. It is in the middle of cutting the 2,500 state jobs that were earmarked as cost savings last year. Governor Dannel Malloy recently unveiled a new budget that seeks $1.5bn in concessions from local workers, including pension cuts. Lindsay Farrell, state director of Working Families in Connecticut, a nonprofit that organized the weekend protest, said the new deal could cost another 4,200 jobs.

The only change is a tax credit on estate taxes, said Farrell.

The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder

Connecticut presents one of the starkest examples of the growth of US income inequality. In their guarded homes, Greenwichs rich have been doing very nicely: from 2009 to 2013, the income of the states top 1% grew 17.2%. The incomes of everyone else dropped by 1.6%.

Bridgeport, with its boarded-up shops and opioid addiction problems, could not stand in starker contrast to ritzy Greenwich, with its antique-car showrooms and Michelin-starred restaurants. Average per capita income is $19,854 in Bridgeport, where 20% live at or below the poverty level.

Charles
Charles Khan, an organizer with Strong Economy for All, at the Lifestyles of the Rich & Shameless bus tour protest in Greenwich. Photograph: Dominic Rushe for the Guardian

But thanks to its super-wealthy neighbors, the Bridgeport-Stamford-Norwalk corridor is among the wealthiest regions in the US, according to an American Community Survey (ACS), with nearly one in five households having an income of at least $191,469.

In part, this is due to the states proximity to New York City, global center of finance and a great place to shop and go to the theatre. Connecticut offers the rich a country base, only a short helicopter ride from Manhattan. It also helps that the state is fighting to keep a significant tax break for its richest residents.

Hedge fund managers and other investors pay 19% on the money they earn from their investments less than the 25% US taxpayers owe if they earn between $37,950 and $91,900. Closing that loophole, known as carried interest, would save Connecticut an estimated $535m a year.

The tax break is one that even Donald Trump thinks is unfair. During the presidential campaign, he railed against it. The hedge fund guys are getting away with murder, he told CBS. Dumping carried interest had therefore been expected to be part of his plan to reform the USs byzantine tax regime, a plan he has promised to pursue now his healthcare plans have fallen so flat.

Trump: hedge fund guys are getting away with murder.

Since arriving in the Oval Office, however, Trump has been quiet about carried interest. He appointed a cabinet full of Goldman Sachs executives, said Farrell. I dont think there is much chance of action at the federal level or that he was ever all that sincere.

In the meantime, Farrell and co have taken to the (least) mean streets of Connecticut, to take action at the local level. Greenwich police, who are facing cuts too, let them leave a $446m bill outside the 35,000 sq ft mansion of Steve Cohen, founder of Point72 Asset Management and SAC Capital Advisors. Cohens net worth is an estimated $13bn; his $1bn art collection could almost plug Connecticuts budget hole on its own.

At Hill Road, close to Alpha Drive (a dead end, the sign informs us), protesters left a $1bn bill for William Macaulay, boss of energy investor First Reserve Corporation, and another $837m-plus bill at the guardhouse of Ray Dalios mansion. Dalio, boss of Bridgewater Associates which owns bits of many of the USs low-wage employers, including Walmart and Yum Brands, which owns Kentucky Fried Chicken and Taco Bell lives in a gated community. His guard seemed less amused with the protest than the local police.

Im angry

Next month the fight goes to Hartford, Connecticuts capital. State lawmakers dont have the power to rewrite the federal tax code, but advocates are pushing for a bill that would end carried interest in Connecticut.

The bill, HB 6973, would add a local surcharge to the investors tax bill, taking them up to the top tax rate of 39.6%. To stop billionaires swapping one Manhattan commute for another, New Jersey, Massachusetts and New York will consider similar bills.

The hedge fund industry is expected to put up quite a fight but the protesters are confident too. On the last stop of the tour, they inflated a giant pig outside the offices of AQR Capital Management, an investment firm that received a $35m state handout after it threatened to leave Connecticut. AQRs founder is Cliff Asness, a hardcore libertarian with a $3bn fortune who believes blame for the financial crisis rests squarely on all-intrusive government intervention.

Im angry, said Mark Krauchick, a school janitor and president of the local American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees who earns $48,000 a year and whose pension is under threat from the new cuts.

We have to have the courage to act, he said.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/mar/27/connecticut-debt-tax-loophole-greenwich-rich-residents

Battle for Florida: Trump and Clinton home in on crucial state as voting begins

The two candidates have differing strategies in a state where turnout among Hispanic voters could sway the entire election and its a must-win for Trump

In Little Havana, a vibrant Latino neighborhood just west of downtown Miami, a queue of a couple of dozen prospective voters had formed outside one of Hillary Clintons field offices.

Sandwiched between an insurance company and immigration counsel office, the group had arrived for tickets to a free Jennifer Lopez concert. But there was one caveat: to attend the Saturday evening show, at Bayfront Park on Miamis Biscayne Bay, fans were first required to visit a Clinton campaign field office.

theIt was one of the many creative ways in which the Democratic nominees campaign was seeking to engage likely voters in the critical battleground of Florida, a state with a key role in determining whether Clinton or her Republican opponent Donald Trump is elected on 8 November as the next president of the United States.

Florida

Inside this modest campaign space, one of 82 Clinton field offices in the Sunshine State, yellow-painted walls bore signs that read phrases such as Juntos Se Puede (Together We Can) and Why build a wall against Hispanics when they built this country?

English or Spanish? a volunteer asked as two sisters stepped into the office hoping to secure a pair of concert tickets. Spanish, they responded.

Azalia and Lucia Rodriguez, both US citizens originally from Nicaragua, had already made up their mind. Trump had hit a nerve, they said, within Floridas sprawling Hispanic community.

If you dont vote, thats an extra vote for Trump, said Lucia, a 19-year-old college student. I have family members that might be deported, and just to be safe I wouldnt vote for him.

Azalia, a 27-year-old in real estate, put it even more bluntly when asked why she was voting for Clinton: Well, Im Hispanic and I dont like what Trump says.

Turnout among Hispanic voters might sway the outcome of the election in a state where one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country holds substantial influence. A half-dozen volunteers worked the phones in both English and Spanish, targeting a list of likely Clinton supporters while making a strong push for the early voting process that began on 24 October.

The Obama campaign worked out of the same office in 2012, recognizing a shift in demographics. While the Cubans who dominated the area typically voted Republican, a younger generation has in recent years leaned Democratic; and non-Cuban Hispanics, a reliably Democratic voting bloc, also increasingly live in the area.

In 2000, a controversial recount in Florida determined whether Al Gore or George W Bush would become president. Sixteen years later, the state is still vital terrain in the presidential race Trump, trailing Clinton in other must-win swing states, needs to secure the states 29 electoral votes to have a path to victory.

How will the US election be decided?

But roughly 15 miles away, a Trump field office in West Miami one of 29 paid for by Republican Party of Florida, was bustling not with likely voters but with volunteers making do with limited resources.

A handful unloaded boxes containing just under 110,000 door hangers, while others were constructing Trump-Pence yard signs. But of over a dozen phones, only two were occupied.

Many of the volunteers, comprising mainly older Cubans, complained of an election that was rigged.

The media was in Clintons pocket, the volunteers argued, and even the Republican establishment was colluding to defeat the real estate mogul who earlier this year defied all odds to become the GOPs nominee for president.

Im here for Donald Trump, not for the Republican party, said Abraham Alvarez, a 47-year-old ramp supervisor at Miami international airport who for the last month has been volunteering for the campaign unpaid.

Have you heard of the New World Order? he added, invoking the conspiracy about a globalist elite that plans to take control of the world through authoritarian rule. The whole establishment, theyve been working on this for a long time.

To Floridians like Alvarez, the election had already been rigged in Clintons favor.

It is highly unlikely that the outcome on 8 November will be anything like that of 2000, when the result of the month-long recount over Floridas electoral votes was ultimately decided by the US supreme court after vicious partisan squabbling over hanging chads and butterfly ballots. Trumps campaign trails Clinton in the majority of public polling.

But the campaign is nonetheless likely to be just as hard-fought in a state such as Florida, which in many ways resembles a confederation of fiefdoms.

Florida
Photograph: Mapbox, OpenStreetMap

Floridas northern panhandle is the heart of the old south. Live oak trees are draped with Spanish moss and residents speak in slow southern drawls. South Florida is as much a part of the Caribbean as the United States, and Spanish is as widely spoken as English.

In between is an ethnic hodgepodge: north of Miami, in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, there are heavily Jewish enclaves descended from transplanted New Yorkers; in Orlando, there is a rapidly growing Puerto Rican community fleeing the islands economic crisis, while in the Villages, there is an entire city of over 150,000 residents who are all transplanted retirees.

Recognizing the state is beholden to neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, both Clinton and Trump graced Florida this week as the clock ticked closer to election day.

Trump held a rally on Tuesday in Tallahassee, an island of Democratic blue in deep-red north Florida where the presence of the state capitol and Florida State University makes the sleepy city comparatively liberal.

Tallahassee
Supporters cheer Donald Trump during a rally at the Antique Car Museum property on Tuesday in Tallahassee. Photograph: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

There, speaking in front of a farm wagon laden with pumpkins to mark the fall season, Trump made a non-specific pitch for early voting: Early voting in Florida is under way so make sure you get out and vote. We have a thing going on that theyve never seen before.

A more effective pitch was made by volunteers standing at the entrance to the rally who stood holding clipboards with forms for attendees to sign up for absentee ballots.

Clinton made a two-day swing through the state, with stops that included Broward County, a formerly Republican stronghold now solidly Democratic, and Palm Beach, home to Trumps opulent Mar-a-Lago resort.

Her venues were also strategically chosen: across the street from Clintons event in Broward on Tuesday was a polling center which hundreds who attended her rally immediately visited to vote early.

Nate Williams, 37, was accompanied by his six-year-old daughter.

She dont like Donald Trump, what he said about women, he said of his daughter, who clutched a Barbie doll while standing by his side. He was referring to the controversial tape of the Republican nominee bragging about groping women without their consent.

She dont really know the comments, Williams said. She just knows he said some real negative things about women.

Betty Joseph, a native of Haiti residing in nearby Tamarac, said she was concerned about the implications of a Trump presidency.

I believe that would be civil war, she said, emerging from the polling site after voting for Clinton. With his mouth, it could cause a lot of trouble for the country.

Early voting has long been a key indicator in Florida. In 2012, 4.8 million Floridians cast their ballots before election day, a total higher than the turnout in 44 other states.

But while Republicans have typically held the advantage in early voting, data available thus far finds Democrats encroaching on their lead. Republicans were ahead in early voting by just over 18,000 votes on Tuesday, whereas in 2008 their edge exceeded 113,000 at the same time. Hispanic participation in early voting was also up from previous cycles, likely favoring Clinton based on most public polling of the group.

Democrats also held a seven-point lead over Republicans in new registered voters, according to a memo distributed this week by Clintons Florida operation. The campaign also touted closing the longtime Republican advantage in vote-by-mail ballot requests and returns, with roughly 406,000 Democrats having returned their ballots versus 421,000 Republicans.

Clinton
Supporters of Hillary Clinton try to shake hands with the candidate at a rally at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida, on Wednesday. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Even so, polling points to a competitive race with Clinton ahead of Trump by 3.5 points according to an average of public surveys compiled by various trackers.

Speaking in Coconut Creek on Tuesday, Clinton warned her supporters not to take matters for granted.

Its going to be a close election, she said at Broward Colleges North Campus, across from the early voting site. Pay no attention to the polls. Dont get complacent.

Underscoring her commitment to Florida, Clintons campaign confirmed she would return to the state as early as Saturday.

Trump, for his part, followed his Florida tour with a jaunt to Washington DC in order to cut the ribbon at his new hotel.

But the Republican nominee has not entirely ignored the need to organize voters at his rallies in the Sunshine State.

Before an event in September, inside an aircraft hangar in Melbourne, Florida, over two dozen Trump volunteers were making phone calls in an adjacent office while a crowd of thousands gathered outside listened to the Rolling Stones on loop as they awaited the former Apprentice host.

Trump supporters have long viewed crowd sizes as an indicator of their candidates prospects, despite little correlation between the number of attendees who show up at a rally and those who turn out to vote.

But as Stella Bueller of Sopchoppy, Florida, told the Guardian at Trumps rally this week: If you go back to high school, youre at a pep rally and whos the most popular guy? Everyone knows and he ends up being homecoming king. Its the same.

Brian Ballard, Trumps Florida finance chairman, said he felt confident about Trumps chances.

Theres certainly momentum, he said, citing not just internal polling but also enthusiasm for the Republican nominee as evidenced by the fact that roads were shut down around Trumps Tallahassee rally on Tuesday.

The veteran Republican lobbyist seemed less concerned about the campaigns rudimentary footprint on the ground, noting that the Republican National Committee, state party and local parties have always been the backbone of our get-out-the-vote effort.

Ballard cited conversations with Cuban American legislators to express confidence about Trumps ability to court at least a faction of Hispanic voters, noting the bloc is not monolithic. In fact, he thought, Trump would do as well as [Mitt] Romney, if not a little bit better.

But the volunteers who packed Trumps West Miami field office were somewhat less bullish.

Trump
Donald Trump rallies with supporters at the Million Air Orlando airplane hangar in Sanford, Florida, on Tuesday. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Jorge Garces, who emigrated from Cuba in 1962, acknowledged that the Republican nominees ground game lacks a little bit.

I dont know why, said the 64-year-old retiree. Sometimes we get as many as 12 volunteers a day, sometimes as little as three.

Garces was, however, energized by what he claimed was a bias within the media about Trumps roadmap to the White House as well as a desire among grassroots conservative voters to send a signal to the establishment in their own party.

I think the Republican party has lost its message, he said, and I think Donald Trump is throwing a molotov cocktail at Washington.

As for whether Trump would emerge victorious in Florida, Garces confessed he was concerned.

Kellyanne Conway, Trumps campaign manager, acknowledged in an interview with CBS this week that the path will be much harder without Florida. But that is an understatement, given if Clinton wins the state then Trump would have to virtually sweep the remaining battleground states, including seemingly safe Democratic areas like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Colorado.

Complicating matters is polling showing Clinton giving Trump a run for his money in deeply red states such as Arizona, Utah and even Texas, diverting the Republican nominees attention with precious little time remaining before election day.

A Republican activist at the Broward College polling site, who declined to be named due to his involvement in local races, said he reluctantly cast his ballot for Trump this week. But after watching hundreds of Democrats queue up to vote early after Clintons rally across the street from where he stood, the activist feared the writing was already on the wall.

Florida will be his death knell, he said of Trump. When youre competing in Texas and Utah two weeks before the election, its over.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/27/florida-voting-clinton-trump-election

Battle for Florida: Trump and Clinton home in on crucial state as voting begins

The two candidates have differing strategies in a state where turnout among Hispanic voters could sway the entire election and its a must-win for Trump

In Little Havana, a vibrant Latino neighborhood just west of downtown Miami, a queue of a couple of dozen prospective voters had formed outside one of Hillary Clintons field offices.

Sandwiched between an insurance company and immigration counsel office, the group had arrived for tickets to a free Jennifer Lopez concert. But there was one caveat: to attend the Saturday evening show, at Bayfront Park on Miamis Biscayne Bay, fans were first required to visit a Clinton campaign field office.

theIt was one of the many creative ways in which the Democratic nominees campaign was seeking to engage likely voters in the critical battleground of Florida, a state with a key role in determining whether Clinton or her Republican opponent Donald Trump is elected on 8 November as the next president of the United States.

Florida

Inside this modest campaign space, one of 82 Clinton field offices in the Sunshine State, yellow-painted walls bore signs that read phrases such as Juntos Se Puede (Together We Can) and Why build a wall against Hispanics when they built this country?

English or Spanish? a volunteer asked as two sisters stepped into the office hoping to secure a pair of concert tickets. Spanish, they responded.

Azalia and Lucia Rodriguez, both US citizens originally from Nicaragua, had already made up their mind. Trump had hit a nerve, they said, within Floridas sprawling Hispanic community.

If you dont vote, thats an extra vote for Trump, said Lucia, a 19-year-old college student. I have family members that might be deported, and just to be safe I wouldnt vote for him.

Azalia, a 27-year-old in real estate, put it even more bluntly when asked why she was voting for Clinton: Well, Im Hispanic and I dont like what Trump says.

Turnout among Hispanic voters might sway the outcome of the election in a state where one of the fastest-growing demographics in the country holds substantial influence. A half-dozen volunteers worked the phones in both English and Spanish, targeting a list of likely Clinton supporters while making a strong push for the early voting process that began on 24 October.

The Obama campaign worked out of the same office in 2012, recognizing a shift in demographics. While the Cubans who dominated the area typically voted Republican, a younger generation has in recent years leaned Democratic; and non-Cuban Hispanics, a reliably Democratic voting bloc, also increasingly live in the area.

In 2000, a controversial recount in Florida determined whether Al Gore or George W Bush would become president. Sixteen years later, the state is still vital terrain in the presidential race Trump, trailing Clinton in other must-win swing states, needs to secure the states 29 electoral votes to have a path to victory.

How will the US election be decided?

But roughly 15 miles away, a Trump field office in West Miami one of 29 paid for by Republican Party of Florida, was bustling not with likely voters but with volunteers making do with limited resources.

A handful unloaded boxes containing just under 110,000 door hangers, while others were constructing Trump-Pence yard signs. But of over a dozen phones, only two were occupied.

Many of the volunteers, comprising mainly older Cubans, complained of an election that was rigged.

The media was in Clintons pocket, the volunteers argued, and even the Republican establishment was colluding to defeat the real estate mogul who earlier this year defied all odds to become the GOPs nominee for president.

Im here for Donald Trump, not for the Republican party, said Abraham Alvarez, a 47-year-old ramp supervisor at Miami international airport who for the last month has been volunteering for the campaign unpaid.

Have you heard of the New World Order? he added, invoking the conspiracy about a globalist elite that plans to take control of the world through authoritarian rule. The whole establishment, theyve been working on this for a long time.

To Floridians like Alvarez, the election had already been rigged in Clintons favor.

It is highly unlikely that the outcome on 8 November will be anything like that of 2000, when the result of the month-long recount over Floridas electoral votes was ultimately decided by the US supreme court after vicious partisan squabbling over hanging chads and butterfly ballots. Trumps campaign trails Clinton in the majority of public polling.

But the campaign is nonetheless likely to be just as hard-fought in a state such as Florida, which in many ways resembles a confederation of fiefdoms.

Florida
Photograph: Mapbox, OpenStreetMap

Floridas northern panhandle is the heart of the old south. Live oak trees are draped with Spanish moss and residents speak in slow southern drawls. South Florida is as much a part of the Caribbean as the United States, and Spanish is as widely spoken as English.

In between is an ethnic hodgepodge: north of Miami, in Palm Beach and Broward Counties, there are heavily Jewish enclaves descended from transplanted New Yorkers; in Orlando, there is a rapidly growing Puerto Rican community fleeing the islands economic crisis, while in the Villages, there is an entire city of over 150,000 residents who are all transplanted retirees.

Recognizing the state is beholden to neither the Democrats nor the Republicans, both Clinton and Trump graced Florida this week as the clock ticked closer to election day.

Trump held a rally on Tuesday in Tallahassee, an island of Democratic blue in deep-red north Florida where the presence of the state capitol and Florida State University makes the sleepy city comparatively liberal.

Tallahassee
Supporters cheer Donald Trump during a rally at the Antique Car Museum property on Tuesday in Tallahassee. Photograph: Mark Wallheiser/Getty Images

There, speaking in front of a farm wagon laden with pumpkins to mark the fall season, Trump made a non-specific pitch for early voting: Early voting in Florida is under way so make sure you get out and vote. We have a thing going on that theyve never seen before.

A more effective pitch was made by volunteers standing at the entrance to the rally who stood holding clipboards with forms for attendees to sign up for absentee ballots.

Clinton made a two-day swing through the state, with stops that included Broward County, a formerly Republican stronghold now solidly Democratic, and Palm Beach, home to Trumps opulent Mar-a-Lago resort.

Her venues were also strategically chosen: across the street from Clintons event in Broward on Tuesday was a polling center which hundreds who attended her rally immediately visited to vote early.

Nate Williams, 37, was accompanied by his six-year-old daughter.

She dont like Donald Trump, what he said about women, he said of his daughter, who clutched a Barbie doll while standing by his side. He was referring to the controversial tape of the Republican nominee bragging about groping women without their consent.

She dont really know the comments, Williams said. She just knows he said some real negative things about women.

Betty Joseph, a native of Haiti residing in nearby Tamarac, said she was concerned about the implications of a Trump presidency.

I believe that would be civil war, she said, emerging from the polling site after voting for Clinton. With his mouth, it could cause a lot of trouble for the country.

Early voting has long been a key indicator in Florida. In 2012, 4.8 million Floridians cast their ballots before election day, a total higher than the turnout in 44 other states.

But while Republicans have typically held the advantage in early voting, data available thus far finds Democrats encroaching on their lead. Republicans were ahead in early voting by just over 18,000 votes on Tuesday, whereas in 2008 their edge exceeded 113,000 at the same time. Hispanic participation in early voting was also up from previous cycles, likely favoring Clinton based on most public polling of the group.

Democrats also held a seven-point lead over Republicans in new registered voters, according to a memo distributed this week by Clintons Florida operation. The campaign also touted closing the longtime Republican advantage in vote-by-mail ballot requests and returns, with roughly 406,000 Democrats having returned their ballots versus 421,000 Republicans.

Clinton
Supporters of Hillary Clinton try to shake hands with the candidate at a rally at Palm Beach State College in Lake Worth, Florida, on Wednesday. Photograph: Robyn Beck/AFP/Getty Images

Even so, polling points to a competitive race with Clinton ahead of Trump by 3.5 points according to an average of public surveys compiled by various trackers.

Speaking in Coconut Creek on Tuesday, Clinton warned her supporters not to take matters for granted.

Its going to be a close election, she said at Broward Colleges North Campus, across from the early voting site. Pay no attention to the polls. Dont get complacent.

Underscoring her commitment to Florida, Clintons campaign confirmed she would return to the state as early as Saturday.

Trump, for his part, followed his Florida tour with a jaunt to Washington DC in order to cut the ribbon at his new hotel.

But the Republican nominee has not entirely ignored the need to organize voters at his rallies in the Sunshine State.

Before an event in September, inside an aircraft hangar in Melbourne, Florida, over two dozen Trump volunteers were making phone calls in an adjacent office while a crowd of thousands gathered outside listened to the Rolling Stones on loop as they awaited the former Apprentice host.

Trump supporters have long viewed crowd sizes as an indicator of their candidates prospects, despite little correlation between the number of attendees who show up at a rally and those who turn out to vote.

But as Stella Bueller of Sopchoppy, Florida, told the Guardian at Trumps rally this week: If you go back to high school, youre at a pep rally and whos the most popular guy? Everyone knows and he ends up being homecoming king. Its the same.

Brian Ballard, Trumps Florida finance chairman, said he felt confident about Trumps chances.

Theres certainly momentum, he said, citing not just internal polling but also enthusiasm for the Republican nominee as evidenced by the fact that roads were shut down around Trumps Tallahassee rally on Tuesday.

The veteran Republican lobbyist seemed less concerned about the campaigns rudimentary footprint on the ground, noting that the Republican National Committee, state party and local parties have always been the backbone of our get-out-the-vote effort.

Ballard cited conversations with Cuban American legislators to express confidence about Trumps ability to court at least a faction of Hispanic voters, noting the bloc is not monolithic. In fact, he thought, Trump would do as well as [Mitt] Romney, if not a little bit better.

But the volunteers who packed Trumps West Miami field office were somewhat less bullish.

Trump
Donald Trump rallies with supporters at the Million Air Orlando airplane hangar in Sanford, Florida, on Tuesday. Photograph: Jonathan Ernst/Reuters

Jorge Garces, who emigrated from Cuba in 1962, acknowledged that the Republican nominees ground game lacks a little bit.

I dont know why, said the 64-year-old retiree. Sometimes we get as many as 12 volunteers a day, sometimes as little as three.

Garces was, however, energized by what he claimed was a bias within the media about Trumps roadmap to the White House as well as a desire among grassroots conservative voters to send a signal to the establishment in their own party.

I think the Republican party has lost its message, he said, and I think Donald Trump is throwing a molotov cocktail at Washington.

As for whether Trump would emerge victorious in Florida, Garces confessed he was concerned.

Kellyanne Conway, Trumps campaign manager, acknowledged in an interview with CBS this week that the path will be much harder without Florida. But that is an understatement, given if Clinton wins the state then Trump would have to virtually sweep the remaining battleground states, including seemingly safe Democratic areas like Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Colorado.

Complicating matters is polling showing Clinton giving Trump a run for his money in deeply red states such as Arizona, Utah and even Texas, diverting the Republican nominees attention with precious little time remaining before election day.

A Republican activist at the Broward College polling site, who declined to be named due to his involvement in local races, said he reluctantly cast his ballot for Trump this week. But after watching hundreds of Democrats queue up to vote early after Clintons rally across the street from where he stood, the activist feared the writing was already on the wall.

Florida will be his death knell, he said of Trump. When youre competing in Texas and Utah two weeks before the election, its over.

Read more: https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/oct/27/florida-voting-clinton-trump-election