ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

A new study by the FEC finds that "Republicans and Democrats collected more money through their national parties in the 18 months ending in June than they raised during the same period before the 2000 election," reports the New York Times ' Glenn Justice. LINK Dear Mr. Baran and Mr. Justice: we aren't the biggest fans of Shays-Meehan, but the point is to disconnect large contributions from public officials. Lots of money (to the parties or the 527s) doesn't necessarily a parallel make.

Jeff McCormick writes in the Chicago Tribune today how Democratic-leaning groups totally outspent President Bush's team on advertising the week after the Democratic National Convention. "In the week after the convention in Boston, which ended July 29, the Democratic National Committee and the Media Fund, a Democratic advocacy group, spent a combined $11.1 million on pro-Kerry and anti-Bush ads in 21 states." LINK

"Bush's campaign spent an estimated $4.4 million from Aug. 1 through Aug. 7 and received almost no advertising help from outside groups."

The Chicago Tribune's Jill Zuckman looks at both campaigns' efforts to accommodate — and court — local media. The upsides: avoid the annoying national media, talk to the outlets where more voters get their news, and possibly easier questions. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting: Zack V. Dempsey might well be the biggest post 11/2 race in Florida … LINK The AP reports some Missouri soldiers in Iraq were unable to vote last week because of late absentee ballots. Secretary of State Matt Blunt's office is looking into it. LINK ABC News Vote 2004: The Big Four: Florida, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Wisconsin: The Cincinnati Enquirer's Howard Wilkinson reports that the Veterans of Foreign Wars will open their annual convention in Cincinnati this weekend and writes, "Little wonder that John Kerry will speak to them next week, and President Bush's campaign is carefully considering an invitation." LINK ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Media Fund will expand its television ad buy to four more states today: Iowa, Oregon, Wisconsin, and West Virginia. This will put them on the air in a total of nine states right now.

The Kerry campaign announced Monday their schedule for the Kerry's stop in Oregon later this week, reports KGW's Jim Parker. The stop coincides with a Bush visit to the state. LINK The Oregonian's Jeff Mapes gives a solid write-up of exactly what grassroots efforts in Oregon look like. Oregonian/index.ssf?/base/front_page/1092052618302080.xml">LINK

Bush and Kerry supporters hosted dueling press conferences yesterday in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, reports the New Hampshire Union Leader's Jody Record. LINK

What do three characters named Phil T. Rich, Pam Perd and Seymour Benjamins have to do with the election? More than you might imagine — especially in battleground states like Michigan, reports the AP. LINK

Dare we use the "pessimism" word? Detroit Free Press columnist Tom Walsh says this morning that contrary to what a certain presidential candidate says, Michigan's economy is "half empty." LINK

The number of protestors at First Lady Laura Bush's rally in Royal Oak, Michigan yesterday? A grand total of two. LINK

The Detroit Free Press says the First Lady's trip to Royal Oak had one aim: to "narrow the gender gap." LINK

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