ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Sen. Kerry will get a little help in making his case as the presidential candidate who is stronger on education today. A 501(c)4 national advocacy group called Communities for Quality Education — which was founded with seed money from the National Education Association — will release ads in Nevada and Ohio criticizing the Bush education policies of No Child Left Behind.

The $2.4 million buy will be seen in Las Vegas and Reno, Nevada, as well as in Toledo, Cincinnati and Cleveland, OH. Double, triple, quadruple, teaming to make their point — radio ads will begin next week, with plans to phone bank and direct mail as well. The group will release a Spanish version of the ad and is specifically targeting African-American and Latino voters.

This is phase two of an aggressive media campaign by the group. In June, CQE made an estimated $2.9 television buy in Florida, Nevada, Arizona, Ohio and Pennsylvania, with Spanish ads in Tucson and Phoenix. LINK

For a point by point GOP response to round one of the ad campaign see: LINK

The economy:

More on those three simple letters: C … B … .O … .

The Wall Street Journal 's Jackie Calmes reports that President Bush's three tax cuts have benefited the top 1 percent of taxpayers by more than 70 times the average benefit for the middle 20 percent of tax payers, according to the Congressional Budget Office. Calmes looks at the average benefit for each tax bracket in a handy way that we're sure the KE04 team will be citing on the campaign trail today — particularly on front porches in Oregon and Michigan.

The New York Times ' Edmund Andrews also looks at the CBO's tax-cut findings, Noting also that " … the report also gave Republicans support for their contention that tax reduction had brought some benefit to people in almost all income categories. People with the bottom fifth of income, for example, averaging earnings of only $16,620, saw their effective tax rate drop to 5.2 percent from 6.7." LINK

The Wall Street Journal 's Greg Imp reports that consumer spending rebounded in July despite the ever-present pressure of high oil prices, and according the Labor Department, the number of people filing first-time applications for unemployment benefits fell to a five-week low of 333,000.

The Wall Street Journal 's Jon Hilsenrath and Cindy Perman look at the latest economic-forecasting survey by, and Note that the 55 economists polled revised downward their predictions for economic growth, predicting the gross domestic product to grow by 3.8 percent in the third quarter and 4.1 percent in the fourth quarter — down from respective forecasts in June of 4.4 percent and 4.2 percent. Higher oil prices are a substantial part of the issue, the duo write. LINK

Deborah Solomon of the Wall Street Journal profiles William Donaldson, chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, and looks at how the business of the SEC, particularly with respect to hedge funds, mutual funds, and shareholder access, will likely grind to a halt with the approaching election.

Politics of national security:

The Washington Post 's Mike Allen reports "the Bush administration believes more strongly than ever that al Qaeda terrorists plan to try to influence the presidential race with a massive preelection attack, a strike that is more likely to come in August or September than in October." LINK

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