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Booker launches ‘Justice’ tour, aiming for surge in U.S. presidential bid

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Booker launches 'Justice' tour, aiming for surge in U.S. presidential bid

NEWARK, N.J. (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Cory Booker will launch a two-week national tour on Saturday with a rally in his adopted hometown of Newark, New Jersey, aiming to put momentum behind a presidential campaign stuck in the middle of a growing pack of Democratic candidates.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Senator Corey Booker (D-NJ) speaks to the media outside his home after announcing he will run for president in Newark, New Jersey, U.S., February 1, 2019. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

The “Justice for All” trip, which includes visits to the early voting states of Iowa and Nevada, will center on economic policies, including Booker’s proposed “baby bonds” that would give every child a government-run savings account at birth.

During the first few months of the year, Booker has focused his campaign on his own personal story – including his seven-year stint as mayor of Newark – and his message of unity and love as an antidote to extreme partisanship.

But Booker has yet to see his campaign have the same sort of bounce that rivals like Pete Buttigieg, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, and California Senator Kamala Harris have enjoyed thus far.

Public polling has him somewhere around seventh among more than a dozen candidates, while his fundraising total of $5 million for the first quarter of the year lags well behind fellow senators Bernie Sanders and Harris.

Booker’s campaign aides on Thursday dismissed concerns about polls at this early stage, noting that the Iowa nominating contest is still nearly 10 months away. They emphasized the workmanlike campaign they have run thus far, holding dozens of events in key early-voting states and building what they said was a state-by-state staff that rivals any campaign.

“You’ve got to organize and got to get hot at the end,” Booker’s campaign manager, Addisu Demissie, told reporters. “We’re not building this campaign to win polls in April 2019. This is a long race and there are going to be a lot of ups and downs.”

In recent campaign appearances, Booker has touted his $60 billion baby bonds proposal, which he says would essentially close the massive wealth gap between white and black families.

Under the plan, the government would deliver a $1,000 savings account for every child born in the United States and would contribute funds each year based on income levels, with poor families receiving more and well-off families receiving nothing.

To fund the program, Booker proposes raising taxes on the wealthy. Children at the lowest end of the scale would have nearly $50,000 by age 18 to invest in things like education, houses, retirement or entrepreneurship, according to the senator.

Reporting by Joseph Ax in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Bill Berkrot

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Politics

Trump sues to block Democrats’ subpoena for financial information

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Republican convention set for August 2020 in Charlotte

Lawyers for President Trump on Monday sued to block a subpoena issued by members of Congress that sought the business magnate’s financial records.

The complaint named Rep. Elijah Cummings, the Democratic chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Peter Kenny, the chief investigative counsel of the House committee, as its plaintiffs.

“We will not allow Congressional Presidential harassment to go unanswered,” said Jay Sekulow, counsel to the president.

This is a breaking news story. Check back for updates.

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Congressman Moulton enters Democratic 2020 presidential race

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Congressman Moulton enters Democratic 2020 presidential race

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Representative Seth Moulton entered the 2020 Democratic presidential race on Monday as a long-shot contender in a contest that now includes almost 20 candidates.

FILE PHOTO: U.S. Congressman Seth Moulton (D-MA) speaks at a Merrimack County Democrats Summer Social at the Swett home in Bow, New Hampshire, U.S., July 28, 2018. REUTERS/Brian Snyder/File Photo

A 40-year-old Iraq War veteran who represents a district in Massachusetts, Moulton enters the race as an underdog, with little national name recognition and a shorter track record than some rivals who have spent years in the U.S. Senate or as state governors.

Moulton has built a political career by challenging the party’s establishment. He entered Congress in 2015 after winning a Democratic primary challenge against John Tierney, who had held the seat for 18 years.

After Democrats took control of the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018, Moulton helped organize opposition to Representative Nancy Pelosi’s bid to again become Speaker of the House.

He ended his opposition to Pelosi with a statement saying: “Tough conversations make us stronger, not weaker, and we need to keep having them if we’re going to deliver on the change that we’ve promised the American people.”

In a YouTube video announcing his presidential candidacy, he said: “Decades of division and corruption have broken our democracy and robbed Americans of their voice.”

“While our country marches forward, Washington is anchored in the past,” he said.

In the video, Moulton said he wants to tackle climate change and grow the U.S. economy by promoting green jobs as well as high tech and advanced manufacturing.

Moulton served in the Marines from 2001 to 2008. During his 2014 congressional bid, he became a vocal critic of the Iraq War in which he served, saying no more troops should be deployed to the country.

He has advocated stricter gun laws, saying military-style weapons should not be owned by civilians.

Moulton supports the legalization of marijuana and told Boston public radio station WGBH in 2016 that he had smoked pot while in college.

He graduated from Harvard University with an undergraduate degree in physics in 2001 and returned to receive a master’s degree in business and public policy in 2011.

For a graphic of the 2020 presidential candidates, see: tmsnrt.rs/2Ff62ZC

Reporting by Ginger Gibson; additional reporting by Rich McKay; Editing by Colleen Jenkins, Jonathan Oatis, Kirsten Donovan and David Gregorio

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Trump sues to block subpoena for financial information

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Trump sues to block subpoena for financial information

U.S. President Donald Trump boards Air Force One as they travel to Florida for Easter weekend, at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland, U.S., April 18, 2019. REUTERS/Al Drago

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday sued to block a subpoena issued by the Democratic chairman of the U.S. House Oversight Committee that sought information about his and his businesses’ finances.

“Chairman Cummings’ subpoena is invalid and unenforceable because it has no legitimate legislative purpose,” lawyers for Trump and the Trump Organization said in court filing.

Reporting by Makini Brice; Editing by Tim Ahmann

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