ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

The Nashua Telegraph editorializes on the likely expiration of the assault weapons ban, both criticizing Bush for allowing it to sunset and challenging Kerry to make it an issue. LINK

The Boston Globe's gossip-y page looks at the genealogy of the presidential tickets, and while the Bush/Kerry New England blue blood connections are interesting (NOT!), how about this: "They're not related, but what is interesting is their kin: Edwards is related to the late novelist Walker Percy, and Cheney's got ties to Salem's Susannah Martin, who was executed for being a witch." LINK

Democratic National Convention:

Convention goers could find out today whether they will have to make a decision to cross BPPA picket lines to events in Boston. The AP's Peter reports that the arbitration between the city and the union has begun. LINK

Globe columnist Eileen McNamara sticks up for the unions, "[T]he notion that picketing is somehow a subversive tactic by ungrateful public servants demonizes union members and deprives them of what little leverage they have in negotiations with those who control the purse strings." LINK

Elizabeth Mehren of the Los Angeles Times leads her curtain-raising wrap on Boston security, traffic, and labor strife thusly: "As the Democratic National Convention prepares to open here Monday, Boston is girding for it as if a monstrous, four-day snowstorm was about to hit in July." LINK

Internment camp? That's what a netting installer called the "free-speech zone" in Boston where "Cement barriers, 8-foot-tall chain-link fencing, and heavy black netting have been installed," according to the Boston Globe's Saltzman. And now protest groups are wanting to boycott the free-speech zone. LINK

To defray the rising cost of security in the host cities, Congress is "on the brink," according to the Boston Globe's Vascellero, of granting each city an additional $25 million for the costs associated with protecting cities against a potential terrorist attack. LINK

Those in Boston's surrounding areas fearful of not getting to work on time by land, the Boston Globe reports private boat shuttles that can get you into the city. LINK

According to an AP delegate survey, more than a quarter of the delegates to the Democratic convention name Sen. Hillary Clinton as their first choice in 2008 if the KE04 ticket does not win in November. Seventeen percent favored Sen. Edwards. LINK

The show must go on? Kerry convention liaison extraordinaire Jack Corrigan seems to have found a back-up executive producer for the not-yet-confirmed Kerry give-back-to-the-city Boston Pops concert and fireworks during the convention. The AP reports that longtime event producer Tom Bates replaced David G. Mugar and said he, unlike his predecessor, can hold the event within its budget. LINK

The Boston Globe's Abraham: "Mugar, who spent $1.2 million of his own money on this year's Fourth of July concert, said he had spent about $87,000 of his own funds in recent weeks organizing the Kerry event, and said he would have needed to commit hundreds of thousands more dollars for deposits to subcontractors to keep the event on schedule." The host committee is expected to pay Mugar back. LINK

It's Christie Vilsack's turn to shine, writes the Des Moines Register's Rekha Basu, as she takes the spotlight from her husband for a while by giving a speech at the Democratic National Convention. LINK

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