ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

"Democratic critics can hardly comprehend that Lockhart, President Bill Clinton's spokesman who was recently taken aboard the campaign by Senator Kerry, telephoned a notorious Bush-bashing eccentric who was CBS's source of the discredited documents. They also are unhappy that McAuliffe, the Clinton-selected Democratic National Committee (DNC) chairman who supposedly was eclipsed when Kerry clinched the nomination, has launched an advertising campaign attacking President Bush's National Guard record."

Nader-Camejo '04:

The Arkansas Supreme Court will hear arguments today to determine if Ralph Nader's name should be added to the ballot in Arkansas. LINK

The AP's Charles Beggs reports the Oregon Supreme Court unanimously took Nader off the Oregon presidential ballot yesterday, but the consumer advocate said he will take his case to U.S. Supreme Court. The decision supported the logic of Oregon's Secretary of State Bill Bradbury, who found errors petition sheets brought Nader 218 signatures short of the 15,306 needed to put him on the Nov. 2 ballot. LINK

Nader's campaign sent a letter to the Commission on Presidential Debates to request tickets to the Sept. 30 presidential debate in Miami, one for Nader, plus three others.

Note: Nader has declined offers to participate in other third-party debates, because he feels his place is on stage with Bush and Kerry.

There are a few groups making noise about Nader's exclusion from the nationally televised debates. LINK and LINK

Al Hunt writes that "The thorn in the Democrats' side, Ralph Nader, may not be quite as deep as four years ago. But it won't go away and still could prove deadly." LINK

The Congress:

"With his top aides indicted in Texas and an ethics complaint pending against him in Washington, Representative Tom DeLay addressed House Republicans on Wednesday and emerged with broad support, lawmakers who attended the meeting said," the New York Times ' Glen Justice and Sheryl Gay Stolberg report. LINK

The Hill reports the Senate GOP is backing off from its plan to paint Democrats as "obstructionists" federal appellate court nominees. LINK

Patrick O'Conner of The Hillwrites about the DNC's effort to tap black donors and the "eager network of young supporters with more disposable income than their parents' generation." LINK

Roll Call reports Hill life's rich pageantry, as Ds and Rs staged PR stunts yesterday. LINK

Politics:

Happy 55th Birthday Bruce Springsteen — your fan base (like the electorate) has grown a lot more polarized in recent months! LINK

"In the last few years, political races from Congress to county sheriff have begun to hinge on the Indian vote, particularly in places like South Dakota, where the Indian population is 8 percent," the New York Times ' Sarah Kershaw reports. "Republicans and Democrats alike, including the presidential candidates, are courting Indians as never before. Mr. Daschle, the Senate minority leader, has campaign offices on all nine of South Dakota's reservations." LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

Some nice clips for Senate candidate Mel Martinez as Rudy Giuliani campaigned for him in Florida yesterday. LINK

The politics of Iraq and national security:

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