Michigan Republican fundraised at DeVos family home while trying to downplay financial ties

Michigan Republican fundraised at DeVos family home while trying to downplay financial ties

John James bought ads to distance himself from Betsy DeVos as super PAC funded by family poured millions into race Unifor leaders urged Fiat Chrysler workers to ratify a tentative contract that includes pay raises, changes to the new-hire pay grid and plans from the automaker to invest between $1 billion and $1.1 billion in its Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant. Nazareth’s Vigilance Hose Co. 1 reports fundraising down 80 percent The index has been trading with heavy gains and is struggling to hold 11900 levels. Hence, 11850/11900 is likely to remain an important resistance zone in the short term. “I believe there are very few people in the journalism business today who can actually define the word journalism,” Richard Frank says. “I believe it is a morphing definition, and

Betsy DeVos; John James

Betsy DeVos and John James Getty Images/Salon

Michigan Republican Senate candidate John James attended a fundraiser at the home of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ brother-in-law while trying to downplay the financial help his campaign has received from the family.

James attended a fundraiser at the home of DeVos’ brother-in-law, Dan, and his wife, Pamella, last month. Though James was well-distanced from the crowd, none of the attendees appeared to be wearing masks, according to a photo published by former Allegan County Republican Party Chairman Kevin Whiteford to Facebook.

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James has extensive ties to the DeVos family, which has poured money into his race against Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich. His campaign recently hired Betsy DeVos’ niece, and his wife has worked at the DeVos family’s Amway empire for years. Members of the DeVos family have directly donated tens of thousands to his campaign.

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The DeVos family has also funded the Better Future Michigan Fund, a super PAC which has now spent at least $7.1 million to help James defeat Peters. Dan and Pam DeVos have contributed hundreds of thousands of dollars to the super PAC.

Despite other Republican Senate candidates being outraised by massive sums across the country, James has managed to outraise Peters throughout most of the campaign despite losing his 2018 Senate race to Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., by seven points.

Two recent polls, one of which showed the race virtually tied, suggest that Michigan is one of the few competitive seats where Republicans could pull off an upset next month.

James has spent some of the money he’s raised to buy ads downplaying his ties to the DeVos family.

James recently released an ad trying to distance himself from Betsy DeVos’ assault on public education, insisting that he believes a “quality education is a basic civil right.”

“You’re not running against President Trump, or Betsy DeVos or any other boogeyman,” James told Peters in the ad. “You’re running against me. This may surprise you senator, but no one owns me.”

James previously declared that he supports Trump “2,000%.”

A Democratic super PAC accused James of backing “DeVos’ agenda to cut public school funding and put it into wealthy private schools instead.” Politifact Michigan rated the claim “mostly false,” though only because James has repeatedly avoided saying anything specific about his education policy. James has frequently declined to state his views on education, and he turned down a request to push back on the claim. His campaign declined PolitiFact Michigan’s “request for any details about his education policies that would rebut” the allegation. The campaign did not respond to questions from Salon, as well.

James has generally been supportive of DeVos’ agenda, which has steered money away from public schools to private and religious schools.

“She’s headed in the right direction,” James reportedly said in 2018. “She’s got a lot of inertia, I think. By doing things to get more power back to the states and to parents, I truly believe that if we give parents the resources and the opportunity to decide what’s best for their children, they will make the best decision 100% of the time.”

“The job Betsy DeVos is doing in pubic education, I think, is very, very good,” he reiterated a few months later in audio published by the Democratic Senate Majority PAC.

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Those comments came after DeVos sought to cut Department of Education funding while increasing federal grants to private schools.

“James is very on the record about supporting her,” Senate Majority PAC spokesman Matt Corridoni told Politifact Michigan, “and she’s very on the record about her positions.”

Source: news.yahoo.com

Author: Igor Derysh

FCA's $1 billion investment in Canada tied to gov't help

FCA’s $1 billion investment in Canada tied to gov’t help

Editor’s note: All dollar figures in this story have been translated from Canadian currency into U.S. dollars at current exchange rates.

Unifor leaders on Sunday urged Fiat Chrysler Automobiles workers to ratify a tentative contract that includes pay raises, changes to the new-hire pay grid and plans from the automaker to invest between $1 billion and $1.1 billion in its Windsor, Ontario, assembly plant.

The Windsor investment, which would lead to the production of a plug-in hybrid or battery-electric vehicle there by 2024, is contingent upon the ratification of the contract and government support, according to a letter from FCA Canada to Unifor detailing the investment plans that was included in a contract highlights brochure Sunday. Unifor President Jerry Dias indicated on Thursday that FCA was in conversations with the government on support.

“With that joint commitment, the company’s intention is to add the necessary assembly tooling and equipment to manufacture electrified vehicles for future models, currently planned for the 2025 model year,” the FCA letter reads.

Both the federal and Ontario governments have pledged money toward Ford Motor’s $1.4 billion investment in Oakville, Ontario. And the federal government sounds open to doing something similar for FCA.

“We are at the table and prepared to support the future of our auto sector, particularly with regards to the development of electric vehicle and battery production here in Canada,” the federal government told Automotive News Canada in an email on Oct. 15

More than 8,000 FCA workers represented by Unifor were set to vote virtually on whether to ratify the contract beginning at 10 a.m. ET Sunday through 9:59 a.m. Monday. Ratification meetings, held online this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, were scheduled for Sunday morning.

‘Transformational talks’

Union leaders pitched the agreement as a historic one that helps to make Canada a “forerunner in green cars and green jobs” and contains economic provisions “as good as we have seen in decades.”

“This year’s auto talks will go down in history as a transformational moment for the Canadian auto sector,” reads a statement from Unifor’s Dias, FCA Master Bargaining Committee Chair James Stewart and National Secretary Treasurer Lana Payne.

“Years of government neglect, job loss and worker despair is quickly turning into optimism, hope and a very bright future. Canada is back in the game, in a very big way and Unifor members at FCA are a part of that.”

The plans for Windsor, which will continue to assemble FCA’s minivans, make up the vast majority of investment dollars FCA committed to under the tentative agreement. FCA’s Brampton, Ontario, assembly plant will receive about $38 million in investment over the life of the agreement, including “sustainment capital for the manufacturing operations” there and a commitment to install a tempered air system.

FCA plans to continue building the Chrysler 300, Dodge Charger and Dodge Challenger through the life of the agreement and said it plans to introduce three variants of the latter two models. In their statement, union leaders contrasted the situations at Windsor and Brampton.

“This is an important vote of confidence in Windsor — an important facility facing an uncertain future due to falling minivan sales,” the statement reads. “Alternatively, declining sales are not what is facing Brampton Assembly, where vehicle sales continue at near-record highs.”

‘Good news for Brampton’

The union pitched the capital upgrades in Brampton as “good news” as it continues to “chart a path forward on next-generation products.”

The Brampton plant’s future has long been the subject of speculation. While its Charger and Challenger models remain in demand and highly profitable for the automaker, they are built on one of the oldest platforms in the industry, and it is not clear what FCA’s plans for next-generation versions of those vehicles are.

Upon ratification, FCA also plans to invest $14.4 million in its Etobicoke Casting plant in Toronto. The plant would begin casting on parts for the Jeep Wrangler and a nine-speed transmission.

The three-year FCA contract follows the pattern set by the recently ratified contract between Unifor and Ford. That contract was ratified in late September with 81-percent support among voting union members.

The FCA contract includes $8,500 in bonuses, including a $5,500 lump sum payment due on Nov. 20 and two $1,500 bonuses to be paid out in December 2021 and December 2022. 

Full-time production workers at the full pay rate would also receive a 4 percent lump sum bonus in 2021, as well as a 2.5 percent raises in 2020 and 2022. Workers would also receive a 13-cent per-hour wage increase that “reestablishes parity” between FCA and Ford assembly workers, according to the union. Additionally, the plan calls for the 20 percent wage differential between skilled-trades workers and production workers to be reinstated by 2023.

Like the Ford contract, the tentative FCA deal would shorten the wage grow-in period for new hires to eight years. Base pay percentages were also increased for each year under the contract. For instance, a new hire would earn 65 percent of the full base rate, up from 61.25 percent under the current agreement.

Retirement help

According to Unifor, FCA plans to offer a $30,300  lump-sum retirement package for up to 350 workers in early 2021, 275 of which are set aside for the Brampton plant. Allocation of the remaining packages will be discussed between the company and union at a later date, Unifor said.

FCA plans to hire up to 75 apprentices split between its two assembly plants and Etobicoke Casting. The company also confirmed plans to reverse a decision to outsource its transportation division in Windsor, according to the union.

The FCA contract also includes various changes to health-care benefits, including increased coverage reimbursement levels for vision care, higher maximums for dental care and a new annual limit of $380 for medical cannabis prescribed by a physician.

Under the agreement, Unifor and FCA’s annual business review meetings would become quarterly. The meetings would focus on “company product plans and business forecasts, including on electric, autonomous, connected vehicle and component parts development,” according to the highlights sheet. 

Should workers ratify the agreement, Unifor would begin negotiations with General Motors later this week. GM-Unifor talks will cover the automaker’s St. Catharines, Ontario, engine and transmission plant and the new aftermarket parts operation at its former Oshawa, Ontario, assembly plant.

FCA ratification results were expected to be known on Monday.

Source: europe.autonews.com

Author: John Irwin

Volunteer fire companies feeling financial impact from COVID-19 pandemic

Volunteer fire companies feeling financial impact from COVID-19 pandemic

NAZARETH, Pa. | Volunteer fire companies are struggling to raise money during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nazareth’s Vigilance Hose Co. 1 responds to nearly 300 emergency calls per year and every piece of equipment, like jacks and struts, plays a role. They may not have the same “wow factor” as a firetruck, but they’re no less important.

“This is probably more important because it keeps the victims and firefighters safe,” Chief Jerry Johnson said, looking at a table lined with the tools.

For volunteer fire companies like his, Johnson says fundraisers are the fuel to buy equipment, hold training seminars, and do recruitment. But the coronavirus canceled major fundraisers this year like carnivals and bake offs.

Johnson says fundraising is down nearly 80 percent and makes up about 15 percent of the fire company’s nearly $100,000 budget, meaning less money to buy necessary equipment.

He’s also concerned about people not being able to give as much for their mailers that are set to be sent out.

“Over the long haul what I think it’s going to do, I’m afraid, is affect fire safety,” Johnson said.

Steve Hirsch, chairman of the National Volunteer Fire Council, says volunteer companies, especially along the East Coast, are being hit hard compared to many of those out west that are taxpayer funded.

Aside from physical safety, he’s concerned money meant for mental health programs will instead go to paying bills. He’s lobbying Congress for financial help.

“Obviously, there are a lot of stimulus bills floating around and often times volunteer fire companies get left by the wayside,” he said.

As for Johnson, his crew is getting creative, as car washes and online raffles are helping to supplement the coffers. But so too are other departments in the same financial bind. With only so many dollars available, Johnson is holding out hope public safety isn’t put at risk.

“Not to that point yet, but it could be if this is really prolonged,” he worries.

Source: www.wfmz.com

Author: Bo Koltnow

Experts suggest stock-specific approach: Top 10 trading ideas for the next 3-4 weeks

Experts suggest stock-specific approach: Top 10 trading ideas for the next 3-4 weeks

Indian market witnessed profit-taking at higher levels last week triggered by fears of a second wave of lockdown across Europe.

Nifty50, which reclaimed 12,000, failed to hold onto the crucial support and closed with losses of over 1 percent for the week ended October 16. Back home, the stimulus packages unveiled by the government also failed to cheer investor sentiment.

Experts are of the view that as long as Nifty50 stays below 11,900-12,030, consolidation is likely to continue. On the downside, supports exist at 11200.

“The Nifty 50 recorded a big bearish candle this week, which is a sign of market trading at overbought levels in the short-term and loss of control by the bulls,” Umesh Mehta, Head of Research, Samco Group told Moneycontrol.

“The index has been trading with heavy gains and is struggling to hold 11,900 levels. Hence, 11850/11900 is likely to remain an important resistance zone in the short term,” he said.

Mehta further added that on the downside 11200 is an important support as it coincides with the channel support on the weekly chart. Investors should adopt a buy-on-dips strategy only in quality names.

Here is a list of top 10 trading ideas by experts which could give a 7-18% return in the next 3-4 weeks:

Expert: Rajeev Srivastava, Chief Business Officer at Reliance Securities

Godrej Properties: LTP: Rs 865 | Buy| Target: Rs 1025| Stop Loss: Rs 782| Upside: 18%

The stock has completed its price and time-wise consolidation after a sharp up move, and now we expect a fresh move as we expect to cross the 200-Day average

The stock is trading above all its long-term monthly averages and an inside range on monthly charts suggests an upper break out from current levels. Oscillators and momentum indicators like RSI and MACD are showing strength in the stock.

NMDC: Buy| LTP: Rs 83| Target: Rs 99| Stop Loss: Rs 81| Upside: 19%

The stock witnessed a breakout above its short and medium-term averages with strong volumes. The sector is in positive momentum and RSI crossing upwards from its average line gives a confirmation of a strong move.

On the higher side, we expect a move near to 92 levels and crossover of the same would extend to 99 levels over the next few weeks.

Tata Consumer: Buy| LTP: Rs 477| Target: Rs 535| Stop Loss: Rs 445| Upside: 12%

The stock has declined by 20 percent from its recent high and witnessed support near to its 100-Day average.

We believe that the stock has completed his 8-week fall and closed in a positive Doji on weekly charts confirming a reversal trend.

We expect the stock to bounce back over the next few weeks as RSI has also turned positive on the daily charts.

Expert: Sacchitanand Uttekar, DVP – Technical (Equity), Tradebulls Securities

HDFC Bank: Buy| LTP: Rs 1199| Target: Rs 1300| Stop Loss: Rs 1138| Upside 8%

HDFC Bank was the first to uplift the spirits within the banking names as the index was at a crux of a rebound. The ‘V’ Shaped recovery in the past 2 weeks has been significantly fuelled up with volumes as it managed to surpass and sustain above its previous resistance zone of 1150.

Though the stock did witness a pullback along with the indices the result announcement could re-establish its bullish momentum once above 1225.

The pattern indicates a price target up to 1300 which could be participated with fresh longs with a trading stop below 1138.

Tata Steel: Buy| LTP: Rs 393| Target: Rs 422| Stop Loss: Rs 379| Upside 7%

Since the last 9 trading sessions, the stock has been oscillating near its 200-DEMA zone. Its options data indicated strong bounds been placed at 370-400.

The recent rebound from the lower bound of this range remained significant as it managed to close the current week above its 8-Days swing high along with a significant jump in its daily RSI to 57 from 46 in just a single day.

Even on the weekly scale, the stock has already established a ‘Bullish Harami’ pattern couple of weeks back which was awaiting confirmation.

With the pattern now confirmed the corrective wave seems to have terminated as bullish momentum seems re-established on the final day of the week.

Traders could accumulate up to 387 for an initial up move towards 422 (78.6% retracement of its prior down wave) with a stop below 379.

MGL: Buy| LTP: Rs 821| Target: Rs 910| Stop Loss: Rs 805| Upside 10%

The stock is now in close proximity to its support range, the occurrence of a ‘Spike’ on its weekly scale is an early indication of the same. On its daily scale it had been oscillating lower but within a ‘Falling Wedge’ formation.

Usually, this pattern marks the termination of the declining move & arising signs of a fresh bullish trend.

The short-term, as well as long term investors, should accumulate the stock from hereon as a folio buy. Momentum traders should add aggressive longs once above 835 with a stop below 805 for a pattern target up to 910.

Bharti Airtel: Buy| LTP: Rs 401| Buy above Rs 415| Target: Rs 450| Stop Loss: Rs 398| Upside 8%

After 8-weeks of a sharp decline, the momentum seems to be getting attested as the stock holds above its long-term support average placed around 400.

Even on its daily scale, there is clear evidence of positive divergence on the daily RSI, which is an early sign of a trend reversal.

The latest ‘Homing Pigeon’ formation on its daily scale needs affirmation which could set the bullish tone once above 415. Trading longs could be considered once above 415 with a stop below 398 for a strong short-covering based move beyond 450.

Muthoot Finance: Buy| LTP: Rs 1184| Target: Rs 1250| Stop Loss: Rs 1148| Upside 5%

On the daily scale, the ongoing bullish ‘Flag’ formation looks mature for a breakout. The recent ‘Engulfing bullish’ formation reconfirmed the 20-Days EMA support while it also holds steady above its 20 WEMA level.

Positional longs should be still considered with a trailing stop below 1,148 even for an immediate target up to 1250.

Blue Star: Buy| LTP: Rs 637| Target: Rs 685| Stop Loss: Rs 605| Upside 7%

Blue Star has been oscillating well within its ongoing symmetrical triangular formation. The recent rebound from the 605 zone not only confirmed the pattern support but also reaffirmed the strength of its 200-Days EMA.

Volume action during the week gone by has been significant as compared to its last 3 weeks. Proximity towards the base of the pattern provides a good reward to risk opportunity for fresh positional longs as the pattern resistance is placed around 685. Long positions should be maintained with a stop below 605.

Expert: Sameet Chavan, Chief Technical & Derivatives Analyst at Angel Broking

JSW Steel | LTP: Rs 311.35 | Target price: Rs 335 – 342 | Stop loss: Rs 288 | Upside: 10%

The metal pack recently went through some consolidation and did not correct in Thursday’s selloff.

On Friday, stocks within this space just took off, especially the steel counters.

In this course of action, JSW Steel gave a stellar move to confirm a huge breakout to hit a new 52-week high.

On a small timeframe, we can see the ‘Inverse Head and Shoulder’ pattern, whereas on a larger scale, the bullish ‘Cup and Handle’ pattern has been developed.

Since the up move is backed by sizable volumes, we can consider this as a genuine breakout, and hence, it unfolds bigger targets for months to come.

Source: www.moneycontrol.com

Frank investment: Couple gives $7.5M to help UI College of Media foster good journalism

Frank investment: Couple gives $7.5M to help UI College of Media foster good journalism

URBANA — Richard and Leslie Frank hark back to a time when there was a clear line between news and commentary, and it was much easier for people to tell the difference.

And while they lament the news industry’s changes for the worse, the Franks are also making a sizable investment in Richard Frank’s beloved alma mater to help foster good journalism at its roots — basically, what journalism students are taught in the classroom.

The University of Illinois announced this past week that Richard Frank, a former entertainment executive, and his wife, Leslie, a former award-winning broadcast journalist, have made a $7.5 million gift to the UI’s College of Media.

In an interview Wednesday with The News-Gazette, the Franks — who now operate Frnak Family Vineyards in Calistoga, Calif. — spoke about why they want to give back to the UI, their hopes for the use of the money and their views on today’s news industry.

“I believe there are very few people in the journalism business today who can actually define the word journalism,” Richard Frank said. “I believe it is a morphing definition, and I think we see it every day.”

A New York native who recalled never venturing farther west than Chicago before coming to the UI to get a bachelor’s degree in marketing — studying architecture and engineering along the way — Richard Frank said he’s still grateful to the university.

“It was a university that allowed me to find myself,” he said.

He went on to work in advertising and later to become president of Paramount Television Group and then Disney Studios, also overseeing the launch of the Disney Channel.

His leadership spawned the creation of such memorable TV shows and programs as “Cheers,” “Taxi,” “Family Ties,” “The Golden Girls” and “Entertainment Tonight,” and such movies as “Good Morning Vietnam,” “Dead Poets Society” and “The Lion King.”

Canadian-born Leslie Frank worked in some of the largest U.S. television markets, covering events now etched in the nation’s collective memory — among them 9/11, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Michael Jackson trial. She won an Emmy for her work as a news anchor at KCPQ in Seattle.

The Franks’ gift to the UI comes at a time when news outlets and journalists are called upon to cover a ravaging pandemic, civil unrest and a divisive national election campaign. Yet news-media resources have continued to dwindle.

According to a study released this year by the University of North Carolina Hussman School of Journalism and Media, 300 newspapers have closed and print newspaper circulation has declined by 5 million since its “The Expanding News Desert” project was published in 2018.

Leslie Frank said there were many ways she and her husband could have given back to the UI. They’re focusing on the College of Media, she said, because of their concern about the direction journalism is going in the U.S.

When she studied journalism in Canada, she said, fundamentals and accountability were taught.

“These are the things that are lacking today,” she said.

It’s “lazy” journalism, she said, when reporters don’t verify their facts, attribute their sources by name and present balanced viewpoints.

“I think that’s my problem, that I just don’t see any accountability today,” she said.

“Actual news should be clearly labeled news, and commentary should be labeled commentary,” Richard Frank said.

When the lines began to blur, he said, is when Ted Turner launched the first 24-hour cable news network, CNN.

“And they found people wouldn’t stay with them if they kept reporting the same story, so they started expanding into other areas that may not have been news,” he said.

Then along came competitors, and “then it became a fight for eyeballs, because that’s where they made their money,” Richard Frank said.

A change for the better begins with what’s taught in the classroom, according to the Franks.

“Students have to understand what the fundamentals of journalism are,” Leslie Frank said.

She also said she isn’t criticizing the UI’s program, but “there’s always room for improvement.”

Before the pandemic, the Franks made frequent visits to the UI, sharing their experience and coaching students in the College of Media. They hope to continue their hands-on contribution in the years to come, they said.

Their gift will fund new technology for classrooms and the creation of a state-of-the-art broadcast studio within the Richmond Studio. It will also create the Richard and Leslie Frank Center for Leadership and Innovation in Media at Illinois to bring in experts to speak and work with students and create other professional enrichment and outside learning opportunities, such as conference participation and internships.

Leslie Frank said she has seen firsthand how much the UI needs an improved teaching studio with better equipment.

She and her husband are already looking at bringing in experts to speak and work with students, the couple said. Their gift will be spent in the best way possible on bringing in people who can talk about journalism and explain how things work in the real world, Richard Frank said.

Tracy Sulkin, dead of the UI College of Media, said the new center will have a transformational impact on students and define the UI’s excellence in media fields.

“I’d underscore that my colleagues and I are very much looking forward to working with the Franks and that the center’s programming will benefit greatly from their expertise and commitment and from their generosity in connecting the College of Media with accomplished professionals in their network,” she said.

Meanwhile, here’s a tip from the Franks about getting a wider view of the news: Don’t limit yourself to one outlet.

“My advice, and this is what I say to my friends, I say, ‘Do yourself a favor and watch them all, and make your own decision,’” Leslie Frank said.

Read as much as you can, too, she advised — including your community newspaper, national publications and what’s on social media.

Richard Frank said he switches from news channel to news channel while he works out in the mornings.

“When a commercial comes up, I switch to the next news channel,” he said.

Source: www.news-gazette.com

Author: DEBRA PRESSEY dpressey@news-gazette.com

Michigan Republican fundraised at DeVos family home while trying to downplay financial ties

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