ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Rocky Mountain News' Gwen Florio and Jim Tankersley look a little closer at who gave. LINK Inez Tenenbaum has lots of money, but Jim DeMint (though he is broke) leads in the polls. LINK

On the Hill:

The New York Times' Carl Hulse reports that the Senate broke the resistance by lawmakers from tobacco-producing states and "overwhelmingly approved new federal regulation of tobacco products and advertising on Thursday as part of a deal to buy out the nation's tobacco growers and end price supports that date from the Depression." That buyout includes a 10-year, $12 billion program to help tobacco growers. LINK

The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers reports that the vote of 78-15 allows the Food and Drug Administration to force cigarette makers to make their product less toxic by removing certain ingredients, and restrict tobacco advertising.

The Wall Street Journal's Neil King looks at the free-trade agreement with Australia that the Senate passed on Thursday, Noting that neither Sen. John Kerry nor Sen. John Edwards were present for the vote, though Kerry voted in favor of the measure in the Senate Finance Committee.

The politics of same-sex marriage::

USA Today shares some editorials from papers around the country. LINK

The defeat this week of the federal amendment defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman has encouraged conservative groups to "redouble efforts in a dozen states where similar amendments to state constitutions are likely to be on the ballot this year," reports the New York Times' James Dao. And regardless of the subject matter, President Bush stands to benefit — particularly in the battleground states — from the mobilization of conservative voters. As one door closes, another opens. LINK

Carl Hulse of the New York Times examines the strategy at the federal level. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:

The New York Times' Ford Fessenden reports that members of the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights, which cannot take action on its own, has asked the Justice Department to investigate Florida's efforts to purge felons from voter registration lists for possible voting-rights violations. LINK

Politics:

The New York Post's Frederic Dicker reports that New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer is raising a whole bunch of money-about $2.5 million in just the last six months. LINK

The New York Post's Graves and Kranes report, "A childhood friend and top fund-raiser for New Jersey Gov. Jim McGreevey yesterday pleaded not guilty to extorting $40,000 from a farmer in return for a sweet land-preservation deal." LINK

Bob Davis of the Wall Street Journal offers a very interesting profile of Mercatus, "the most important think tank you've never heard of" — a tiny group with many ex-White House staffers, who are wielding a big stick on regulations on business. LINK

A liberal group, Americans United for Separation of Church and State, has filed a complaint with the Internal Revenue Service charging "that an organization run by the Rev. Jerry Falwell has violated the requirements of its tax-exempt status by endorsing Mr. Bush's re-election," reports the New York Times' David Kirkpatrick. LINK

The politics of national security:

The Wall Street Journal's Jackie Calmes reports that "Deputy Secretary of State Armitage tells associates he doesn't want to be considered for the Central Intelligence Agency, though he might be willing post election."

Money in politics

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