ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

Pensacola is still aglow over yesterday's presidential visit. LINK Some Kerry push-back on yesterday's new Bush ad in the Washington Times . LINK The New York Post 's Vince Morris plays the latest BC04 ad straight down the middle, though intimates that this ad is not causing the firestorm surrounding the first 9/11 themed ad with images from Ground Zero. LINK Morris also gets space for what he describes as the Bush-McCain "double-team[ing]" on Kerry's remarks regarding decreasing troop strength in Iraq by the end of his first six months in office. LINK The Republican National Convention: From a hot-off-the-presses release from the two hardest-working gents in GOP politics:

"Republican National Committee Chairman Ed Gillespie and Bill Harris, CEO of the 2004 Republican National Convention, today announced a third group of program speakers to address the nation from Madison Square Garden at the 2004 Republican National Convention. The seven individuals come from across the nation and possess diverse backgrounds including politics, media and law enforcement."

"The newly announced speakers include Governor Mitt Romney, Lt. Gov. and 2004 Massachusetts delegate Kerry Healey, Nevada Attorney General and 2004 delegate Brian Sandoval, former New York City Police Commissioner Bernard Kerik, the Honorable Elaine Chao, Rep. Paul Ryan and Michael Reagan."

As we first told you, the Democrats have a full-time staff in New York City as we speak and they're already lobbing oppo bullets at Republicans. Today, expect to hear about the degree to which delegate rosters are kept secret.

More: the New York Daily News reports that a "Misleading in Manhattan" campaign led by Democrats and their "truth squads" will try to counter the GOP message coming out of the RNC. LINK Some say that businesses near Madison Square Garden should get their own special sales-tax-free week as compensation for the big financial hits they're going to take during the RNC. LINK If he wins his primary on day 2 of the convention, Mel Martinez gets to speak at the Republican convention, as Al Kamen reported yesterday and the Florida press picks up today. LINK Michael Bloomberg almost sounds Giuliani-esque in his response to police and firefighter unions threatening job actions during the convention. LINK "Base" is no normal four-letter word this time of the year. The AP's Will Lester looks at some of the musical acts that will perform at the convention in New York — Michael C. Smith, Christian music pop star, and the Gatlin Brothers, to name a couple. LINK

Winnie Hu of the New York Times writes that Mayor Michael Bloomberg on Wednesday said he's not backing down from his decision not to allow major protests in Central Park during the Republican Convention. LINK The protesters had no right to go back on their agreement to demonstrate along the West Side Highway, the New York Times ' ed board writes. LINK But, in an implicit attack on Ed Skyler, Gail Collins says that the city should provide water!!!

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