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WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump has pulled most of his advertising from TV over the past week, ceding the airwaves to Democratic rival Joe Biden, who is currently outspending him by more than 10-to-1, advertising data shows.
Though Trump has an outsized ability to command national attention, it is unusual for a White House contender to go mostly dark on TV the week after their presidential convention. The election is just over two months away and early voting will begin in September in some states.
The move comes as Trump’s campaign has burned through money almost as fast as it has taken it in. And after Biden drastically narrowed what was once an overwhelming cash advantage enjoyed by the president, campaign officials have acknowledged they were trying to conserve money.
That’s allowed Biden an opportunity to communicate an unfiltered message to voters without competing advertising.
During the month of August, Biden doubled what Trump spent, dropping about $80 million in states that included key battlegrounds such as Wisconsin, Florida, Pennsylvania and Michigan, according to data from the ad tracking firm Kantar/CMAG.
Trump’s limited spending targeted some of those states, but it was also directed to places like Iowa and Montana, which he won handily in 2016. This week he is spending about $1.6 million to Biden’s $18.3 million. Most of Trump’s ads are placed on Fox News Channel and CNN, as well as a smattering that will run in New Mexico and Washington, D.C., the data shows.
Trump spokesman Jason Miller said Monday that the campaign will be going back up on the air this week. Yet data from Kantar/CMAG shows it does not have an increase in advertising booked until Sept. 8.
“We have over $200 million worth of TV ads that are reserved (from) Labor Day until Election Day,” Miller said. “We’re speaking with voters in states as they’re starting to come online.”
The lack of advertising to drive home his message comes as Trump has sought shift the focus of the race from his handling of the coronavirus and the resulting economic collapse to the need for “law and order” after recent unrest in some cities, including Portland, Oregon, and Kenosha, Wisconsin.
Nationwide, protests against police brutality have largely been peaceful, though there has been some violence, looting and property destruction, particularly in Portland.
A man affiliated with the right-wing group Patriot Prayer died in that city after he was shot Saturday amid skirmishes between Trump backers who led a car caravan through the city and Black Lives Matter protesters who had gathered for another night of demonstrations.
In Kenosha, a 17-year-old Illinois teen is accused of shooting three people, killing two, during recent protests after a white officer shot Jacob Blake, a Black man, multiple times.
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Trump will travel to Kenosha on Tuesday to address the unrest. While the data shows his campaign is not currently running TV ads there, ones it has placed on Facebook that target the state have focused on the protests.
A handful of those ads seek to tie Democrats to activists who have called for defunding the police in response to law enforcement brutality.
One ad, titled “Democrats have lost their minds,” urges Trump supporters to come together “to send a united message that we demand law and order.”
Biden has said he is against defunding the police and in a speech Monday decried the violence while blaming Trump for stoking division.
“He doesn’t want to shed light, he wants to generate heat, and he’s stoking violence in our cities,” Biden said. “He can’t stop the violence because for years he’s fomented it.”
Associated Press writer Zeke Miller contributed to this report.
KENOSHA, Wis. (AP) — Some residents in Kenosha fear a planned visit by President Donald Trump after unrest over the police shooting of Jacob Blake may stir more emotions and cause more violence and destruction in the southeastern Wisconsin city after several days of peace.
The city’s mayor, and the state’s governor, also said they believed Trump’s visit comes at a bad time. But others welcomed the president’s trip, scheduled for Tuesday, when he will tour damage and meet with law enforcement. Trump’s visit comes as demonstrators are calling for the officer who shot Blake to be fired and face attempted murder charges, and more than a week after authorities say a 17-year-old from northern Illinois shot and killed two protesters.
Asked Monday whether he feared Trump’s visit could stir more violence, Kenosha County Executive Jim Kreuser said: “We’ll find out tomorrow, won’t we?”
The tension began Aug. 23 after a video showed a Kenosha police officer shooting Blake, a Black man, in the back while responding to a call about a domestic dispute. All last week, Black Lives Matter protesters held events to call for changes to policing. Democratic Gov. Tony Evers called a special session of the Legislature for Monday to take up a host of police reform measures, but Republicans took no immediate action.
Authorities said they had resources in place to protect the bedroom community between Chicago and Milwaukee, including more than 1,500 National Guard members.
Kenosha County Sheriff David Beth said more than 200 people have been arrested since the protests began. Of those, more than half were from outside Kenosha, he said. Many arrests were for curfew violations, and included possible charges for burglary, possession of illegal drugs and carrying concealed weapons without a permit, officials said. The Kenosha Police Department has said more than 20 firearms were seized.
Beth also said that “outside agitators” have used social media or made phone calls to churches and businesses to scare people and spread false rumors.
“I want the people of Kenosha to know there’s a huge amount of resources here to protect you,” Beth said.
Family members say Blake, 29, is paralyzed, and a lawyer said most of his colon and small intestines were removed. His family led a large peaceful protest Saturday, just before Trump announced his plans to visit.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany said Monday that Trump has no immediate plans to meet with Blake’s family when he’s in Kenosha.
Trump told reporters Monday that he spoke with the Blake family pastor about speaking with the family, who insisted that their lawyer take part in the phone call.
“I thought it would be better not to do anything where there’re lawyers involved,” Trump said. “They wanted me to speak but they wanted to have lawyers involved and I thought that was inappropriate, so I didn’t do that.”
The White House later confirmed that Trump spoke with The Rev. James E. Ward, Jr., founder and lead pastor of Skokie, Illinois-based INSIGHT Church. The Associated Press left and email and voicemail seeking comment Monday evening from Ward.
Ben Crump, an attorney for Blake’s family, told CNN that Blake’s mother “was ready to receive the phone call, but for some reason the call never came, and we now understand why.”
“I don’t know why the president wouldn’t want the family to have their lawyers on the phone,” Crump said. “He seems to have lawyers with him when he talks to people.”
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden spoke with Blake’s family last week.
Blake’s family planned a Tuesday “community celebration” to correspond with Trump’s visit.
“We don’t need more pain and division from a president set on advancing his campaign at the expense of our city,” said uncle Justin Blake in a statement. “We need justice and relief for our vibrant community.”
On Sunday, Evers sent Trump a letter urging him not to come, saying the visit “will only delay our work to overcome division and move forward together.” But Kenosha County Board supervisors urged him not to cancel.
“Kenoshans are hurting and looking for leadership, and your leadership in this time of crisis is greatly appreciated by those devastated by the violence in Kenosha,” a letter from seven supervisors said.
Kenosha Mayor John Antaramian reiterated Monday that he believes Trump’s visit is coming at the wrong time.
“I think that Kenosha, at this present time, needs peace and needs to heal and needs people to allow us to do that,” he said.
Trump showed no signs of backing down, tweeting about the unrest in Kenosha and saying, ” I will see you on Tuesday!”
Diana Kreye, a 60-year-old resident of nearby Brighton, said Trump is exploiting the conflict.
“I don’t like that this has all become political,” said Kreye, an undecided voter.
Angel Tirado, 42, however, thinks Trump’s visit could help. “I hope he says something that can calm us all down,” said Tirado. “Maybe he’ll bring us together.”
Others doubt the president had any intention of closing divisions and pointed to his recent tweets and history of making racist comments.
“He’s not coming down here to heal,” said David Sanchez, 66, a retiree and Kenosha resident who expects thousands of people to show up to protest Trump. “He’s coming to Kenosha to start more trouble. I don’t care what he says.”
“He has done nothing over the last three years to bring people together,” said Raymond Roberts, 38, a data scientist and Afghanistan War veteran. “This is a bellwether county in a bellwether state. It’s all about his reelection.”
Trump has throughout the summer sought to cast U.S. cities as under siege by violence and lawlessness, despite the fact that most of the demonstrations against racial injustice have been peaceful.
Still, Trump is likely to find some support in a county he won in 2016 by fewer than 250 votes.
Oscar Escobar, 41, a Kenosha resident who owns a moving company and co-owns a bar and grill, said he doesn’t align with either Democrats or Republicans. He said it’s good that Trump plans to visit.
“I think it’s a great thing for him to show that he cares about what’s happening here in Kenosha and not turning his back on us and just leaving us alone,” Escobar said.
AP reporters Jennifer Peltz in Kenosha; Scott Bauer in Madison, Wisconsin; Don Babwin in Chicago; and Amy Forliti in Minneapolis contributed.
Associated Press writer Russell Contreras is a member of the AP’s Race and Ethnicity Team. Follow Contreras on Twitter at http://twitter.com/russcontreras
SALEM, Ore. (AP) — Hundreds of people gathered Monday afternoon in a small town south of Portland for a pro-President Donald Trump vehicle rally — just over a week after member of a far-right group was fatally shot after a Trump caravan went through Oregon’s largest city.
Later, pro-Trump supporters and counter-protesters clashed in Oregon’s Capitol city of Salem.
Vehicles waving flags for Trump, the QAnon conspiracy theory and in support of police gathered at about noon at Clackamas Community College in Oregon City.
The rally’s organizers said they would drive to toward Salem and most left the caravan before that. A smaller group of members of the right-wing group the Proud Boys went on to Salem, where a crowd of several dozen pro-Trump supporters had gathered.
At one point Monday afternoon, the right-wing crowd rushed a smaller group of Black Lives Matters counter-demonstrators, firing paint-gun pellets at them.
Videos on social media showed right-wing protesters chasing, tackling and assaulting left-wing protestors with weapons, their fists and with pepper spray, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Paintballs were also fired between the two groups.
After unfolding a large American flag on the steps of the Capitol, right-wing protesters charged counter-protesters, leaving several of them injured, The Oregonian/OregonLive reported. Right-wing protesters made a second rush later, tackling and beating at least one person, leading to two arrests, the media outlet said.
Organizers of the earlier vehicle rally in Oregon City said they did not plan to enter Multnomah County, where Portland is located. Oregon City is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Portland.
In Portland on Monday, Black Lives Matter supporters rallied in a city park and demonstrated peacefully, KOIN TV reported.
“Teacher unions are part of the labor movement, and I feel like it’s really important for people who are members of a union to step up and say, ’Our labor supports Black Lives Matter and we are ready to organize in support of systemic change,′ ” educator Joanne Shepard told the TV station.
On Aug. 29 Aaron “Jay” Danielson, a supporter of the right-wing group Patriot Prayer, was killed in Portland after a pro-Trump caravan went downtown. Trump supporters fired paint ball canisters at counter-demonstrators, who tried to block their way.
Danielson’s suspected killer, Michael Forest Reinoehl, was fatally shot by police Thursday. Reinoehl was a supporter of antifa — shorthand for anti-fascists and an umbrella description for far-left-leaning militant groups.
Demonstrations in Portland started in late May after the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis and have continued for more than 100 days.
A fire started outside a police precinct on Portland’s north side resulted in about 15 arrests during protests Sunday night into Monday morning, police said.
Demonstrators protesting police brutality began marching about 9 p.m. Sunday and stopped at the North Precinct Community Policing Center, the site of several volatile protests in recent months.
Officials warned demonstrators against entering the precinct property, saying they would be trespassing and subject to arrest.
Shortly after arriving, the crowd began chanting, among other things, “burn it down,” police said. Some in the group lit a mattress on fire.
Most of those arrested were from Portland. Others were from San Francisco; Sacramento, California; Mesa, Arizona; and two from Vancouver, Washington.
Charges included interfering with an officer, resisting arrest, reckless burning and possession of a destructive device.
NEW YORK (AP) — Black Lives Matter activists are holding their first Black National Convention Friday, a virtual event that will adopt a political agenda calling for slavery reparations, universal basic income, environmental justice and legislation that entirely re-imagines criminal justice reform.
The gathering follows Democratic and Republican party conventions that laid out starkly different visions for America. It also comes on the heels of yet another shooting by a white police officer of a Black man — 29-year-old Jacob Blake — in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that sparked days of protests, unrest and violence.
And it comes on the same day as a commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington, where the families of an ever-growing list of police and vigilante violence victims will appear with civil rights leaders.
Friday’s live-stream broadcast will include policy proposals on such issues as voter suppression, reproductive rights, inequality in public education, housing insecurity and inter-communal violence, according to its agenda, shared exclusively with The Associated Press.
“These are absolutely public policies that the Democratic Party, state and local officials, or anyone who is looking to serve Black people can take up now,” said Jessica Byrd, who leads the Electoral Justice Project of the Movement for Black Lives, a coalition of more than 150 Black groups organizing the event.
In 2016, the coalition released its “Vision for Black Lives” policy platform which included early proposals for defunding police. The new agenda revamps much of that original platform with specific proposals that could lead to an eventual abolition of the criminal justice system as it exists today.
It takes on the pledge Wednesday by Vice President Mike Pence at the Republican National Convention, who defended police and called for an end to unrest in cities where arson, looting and violence have followed peaceful protests over police brutality.
“Under President Trump, we will always stand with those who stand on the thin blue line,” Pence declared. “And we’re not going to defund the police. Not now, not ever.”
Similar to the Democratic and Republican conventions, much of Friday’s Black Lives gathering will feature pre-taped conversations, performances and other presentations, including 28 mini- documentaries on the issues and addresses by Black organizers in California, Minnesota, Kentucky and Wisconsin.
Earlier this week, yet another flashpoint put police brutality in the national spotlight: The police shooting Sunday in Kenosha that left Blake paralyzed, according to his lawyers. The protests and unrest that followed left two people dead Tuesday.
“Anyone who is watching, who is both enraged or looking for action, will find a space” in the Black National Convention, Byrd said.
The nearly four-hour-long event, livestreaming on the website BlackNovember.org, was directed by award-winning writer and filmmaker dream hampton, who won acclaim last year for the “Surviving R. Kelly” docuseries. Hosts include activist and TV actress Angelica Ross of “Pose” and “American Horror Story” fame, along with Phillip Agnew and Kayla Reed, veterans of the Trayvon Martin protests and Ferguson Uprising, respectively.
“I have long thought there was great storytelling to do in the world of Black activism,” hampton told the AP. “The real stars have always been these organizers who get things done.”
Speakers include Patrisse Cullors, a co-founder of the Black Lives Matter Global Network; Tarana Burke, founder of the #MeToo movement; Raquel Willis, a writer and transgender rights activist; and Eddie Glaude, chairman of the Center for African American Studies at Princeton University.
The Black National Convention was originally planned to take place in-person in Detroit, the nation’s Blackest major city. But as the coronavirus pandemic exploded in March, organizers shifted to a virtual event.
Friday’s convention is expected to be the largest gathering of Black activists and artists, albeit virtual, since the historic 1972 National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana, which concluded with the introduction of a national Black agenda.
Earlier in the day on Friday, the Rev. Al Sharpton and Martin Luther King III, a son of the late civil rights icon, will hold a commemoration of the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Sharpton and King will be joined at the Lincoln Memorial by the families of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Rayshard Brooks and Blake, as well as representatives of the Martin and Eric Garner families.
The Black National Convention broadcast begins after the D.C. march has concluded.
“This is truly for Black people, to sit on our porches, or on the train, or socially distanced in a park, and to be like, ‘Look at us,’” Byrd said. “There is nothing that we can’t do. And everything good in this country, we’ve been a part of.”
Morrison s a member of the AP’s Race & Ethnicity team. Follow him on Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/aaronlmorrison.