ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The New York Sun's Josh Gerstein on Democratic 527s boffo quarter. LINK

We'd Note that the Progress for America Voter Fund, a GOP 527, took in more than $2 million.

"President Bush and his GOP allies have suffered another serious setback: Independent pro-Republican groups that recently vowed to challenge pro-Democratic organizations for supremacy in spending unregulated or "soft" money on campaign ads and voter mobilization are getting their clocks cleaned by their rivals," writes the Washington Post's Tom Edsall. LINK

http://www.politicalmoneyline.com has all the filings fit to disclose.

The economy:

The Wall Street Journal's James Hagerty and Kemba Dunham report that according to statistics released Thursday, U.S. business activity slowed in June — including industrial production, utilities output and retail sales. July, however, seems to be picking up a bit.

The Wall Street Journal's John McKinnon and James Hagerty report that the Bush Administration has received an opinion from the Justice Department giving the Treasury the authority to limit debt issuance by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in the future.

Nader-Camejo:

"Defiant Nader Says He's Still Running," headlines Eric Slater's article in the Los Angeles Times. "Nader seemed at relative peace with his evolving role as a rabble-rouser who former supporters said had gone too far. He said it had come to a point where old friends had to be sadly written off, victims of the 'least-worst virus.'" LINK

The Michigan Republican Party may have handed in enough valid signatures to single-handidly put candidate Ralph Nader on the state ballot yesterday — but the Reform Party's spot on the ballot is still Nader's first choice. LINK

Nader's own campaign submitted 5,400 signatures. Nader spokesman Kein Zeese says the campaign stopped collecting signatures on its own a month ago when the national Reform Party endorsed Nader.

Much confusion remains over who has the right to authorize the Reform Party's ballot access in Michigan. LINK

The AP reports, "If Nader declines those signatures, he will have to withdraw his candidacy as an independent by next Monday, then continue his efforts to get on the Michigan ballot through the Reform Party." LINK

Michigan Democratic Party sent a letter to Nader demanding he refuse GOP assistance. LINK

The Nader campaign submitted signatures to get on the ballot in the non-battleground states of South Carolina and Delaware yesterday as well. LINK

A poll shows third-party presidential candidates Michael Badnarik, a Libertarian, and Ralph Nader will make a difference in highly contested states like Minnesota and Wisconsin, the AP reports. LINK

Primarily New Hampshire:

Meryl Levin and Will Kanteres have finally published their collection of photographs all taken during the lead-up to the New Hampshire primary and the people who worked their hearts out for their chosen candidates. We've seen some of them, and they're beautiful (We mean the photos, not necessarily the people, although some of them aren't half bad to look at either.).

The photos come with bursts of words compiled in real time from the campaign workers themselves, as well as some lovely writing from the authors.

Here's an excerpt from the introduction to their book:

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