- - Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney plan a campaign fundraiser for him Thursday in Hong Kong as U.S.-China trade friction becomes an issue in the White House race.

Romney supporters already have raised at least $385,000 for him in Hong Kong, a world financial center that has been administered by China since Britain turned it over in 1997.

Mr. Romney accuses China’s government of trade, currency and intellectual property abuses, and says President Obama has failed to confront Chinese officials as the abuses worsened.

Obama supporters say the administration has stood up to China and accuse Mr. Romney’s former firm, Bain Capital, of aiding the shift of American jobs to China.

WHITE HOUSE

Michelle Obama to appear on ‘Steve Harvey’ show

CHICAGO — First lady Michelle Obama will appear on Steve Harvey’s new daytime talk show.

The show’s producers say she will tape her appearance Thursday. It’s scheduled for broadcast Wednesday. “Steve Harvey” is taped before an audience at NBC’s studios in Mr. Obama’s hometown of Chicago.

Earlier this week, Mrs. Obama joined her husband for an interview on ABC’s “The View.”

CAMPAIGN

Billionaire Ricketts’ PAC launching anti-Obama ads

A conservative political action committee is launching a $10 million campaign to sway voters who backed President Obama four years ago to now support his Republican challenger, Mitt Romney.

The Ending Spending Action Fund, bankrolled by billionaire Joe Ricketts, is airing 30-second ads on national cable and television in Virginia, Ohio, Iowa and Wisconsin.

Mr. Ricketts is the founder of Nebraska-based TD Ameritrade Securities.

HEALTH CARE

Poll: Most Americans think health law is inevitable

They may not like it, but they don’t see it going away. About 7 in 10 Americans think President Obama’s health care law will go fully into effect with some changes, ranging from minor to major alterations, an Associated Press-GfK poll finds.

Just 12 percent say they expect the Affordable Care Act — Obamacare to dismissive opponents — to be repealed completely.

The law — covering 30 million uninsured, requiring virtually every legal U.S. resident to carry health insurance and forbidding insurers from turning away the sick — remains as divisive as the day it passed more than two years ago.

After surviving a Supreme Court challenge in June, its fate will probably be settled by the November election, with Republican Mitt Romney vowing to begin repealing it on his first day in office and Mr. Obama pledging to diligently carry it out.

IOWA

Campaigns pick poll sites to increase turnout in Iowa

IOWA CITY — In the weeks before Election Day, University of Iowa students will have a dozen places on campus to vote for President Obama or challenger Mitt Romney.

Residents in the heavily Hispanic city of Denison will be able to cast ballots at a Mexican grocery store. Those living in the Republican-leaning Des Moines suburbs will get to vote early at evangelical churches.

Iowa is one of 32 states that allow early voting, and both presidential campaigns are trying to take advantage of an unusual state law that gives political supporters a big say in where the ballots are cast.

ECONOMY

Evans defends Federal Reserve’s efforts to stimulate economy

A Federal Reserve official who has advocated more aggressive moves on the part of the central bank to combat high unemployment says the country cannot afford timid efforts to support the economy.

Charles Evans, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, said Wednesday that he wholeheartedly supported the moves the Fed took earlier this month to buy $40 billion in mortgage-backed securities every month in an effort to drive interest rates lower and stimulate economic growth.

His comments in a speech to a business group in Hammond, Ind., were the latest in what has become a verbal battle among Fed officials over the course of interest-rate policy. On Tuesday, Charles Plosser, president of the Fed’s Philadelphia branch, expressed doubts that the Fed’s latest stimulus efforts would work.

CAMPAIGN

Super PAC injects cash into Indiana Senate race

A conservative super PAC affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove has jumped back into the Indiana Senate race with a nearly $1 million ad purchase highlighting Democratic nominee Joe Donnelly’s support for President Obama’s policies.

The Indiana buy is part of more than $6.4 million worth of airtime that Crossroads GPS and American Crossroads bought this week against Democrats in six competitive Senate contests, according to Federal Election Commission records. The money was also dedicated to Senate races in Florida, Ohio, Virginia, Nevada and Wisconsin.

Indiana, while appearing firmly in GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney’s camp, is emerging as a battleground state for control of the Senate. Groups supporting Democrats also have poured about $1.5 million into the race in the past six weeks, hoping to take away the seat held for 36 years by Republican Sen. Richard G. Lugar.

MASSACHUSETTS

Cherokee chief slams antics of Sen. Brown’s staff

A top Cherokee chief has called several of Sen. Scott P. Brown’s campaign staffers “offensive and downright racist” for making war whoops and tomahawk chopping motions at a rally for their boss earlier this week.

“The conduct of these individuals goes far beyond what is appropriate and proper in political discourse,” said Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation. “It is those types of actions that perpetuate negative stereotypes and continue to minimize and degrade all native peoples.”

The staffers were caught on video making fun of claims by Elizabeth Warren — Mr. Brown’s Democratic opponent — that she is part Cherokee.

From wire dispatches and staff reports/p>

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