ABC News' The Note: First Source for Political News

But maybe Gov. Mitt Romney has come to Mayor Menino's rescue, albeit at the last second. In hopes of settling the major labor dispute going on in Massachusetts, the Governor has appointed a new chairman of a state labor panel to help move things along before the Democratic National Convention. LINK

The hotels in Boston are taking the security threat very seriously, the Boston Globe reports. "Boston-area hotels are preparing significantly beefed-up security measures for convention week, sharply restricting access to their buildings, sweeping rooms for electronic bugs, checking ventilation systems, and employing new high-tech identification systems to guard against terrorists and unruly protesters." LINK

"In addition to the stepped-up police presence, some hotel personnel will be checking the room keys and, in some cases, the identification of guests at the elevators each night. Some hotels will issue their own credentials, in addition to room keys. Unregistered guests will have difficulty moving unaccompanied beyond the lobby. Security personnel will limit some hotels' public areas to delegates and officials who have credentials."

Boston 2004 is eyeing the University of Massachusetts for Sen. Kerry's big Boston Pops concert and fireworks since his first location, the Esplanade, was nixed by city officials. LINK

The New York Times' Raymond Hernandez reports that the short Democratic nightmare is over — and Sen. Hillary Clinton will speak at the Democratic National Convention later this month. She will introduce her husband, former President Bill Clinton, on the opening night of the event. LINK

The New York Post's Deb Orin calls the invitation to Sen. Clinton to speak at the convention an "about-face" on Kerry's part. LINK

(Be sure to read all the way to the bottom of Orin's piece for a not-so-subtle metaphor!)

The New York Times' Julia Preston reports that the anti-war group Project Billboard has come to an agreement with Clear Channel Communications over the billboard ad they wanted to place in Times Square during the Republican National Convention. The dispute centered around the image of a red, white, and blue bomb with a burning fuse that was in the original billboard. The compromise is the alternate image: a red, white, and blue dove. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Ad traffic highlights, July 12-15:

The Kerry campaign has more ads up than it can keep track of right now … the new ads targeting Hispanic and African American voters along with an ad featuring Edwards touting Kerry's credentials were the campaign's big ad news of the week.

The Bush campaign has a pair of ads out questioning Kerry's decision making and values.

After several ads this past week on gay marriage from groups such as the Human Rights Campaign and, there is no news yet on ads from outside groups on any topics for next week.

Here's what's on the air for now … 4 Bush-Cheney ads slamming Kerry's record and priorities 12 Kerry-Edwards ads touting the team's credentials 0 anti-Nader ads on television, but 1 radio ad still running 4 New Democrat Network ads still pushing for Hispanic unity behind the Democratic Party

ABC News Vote 2004: battleground states:

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