The Note

The New York Times ' Steven Greenhouse Notes,"Municipal labor disputes hardly ever have national repercussions, but the contract dispute involving [Boston's] main police union is different, because it has begun to bedevil the Democratic Party and could hurt [Kerry's] hopes of achieving party unity in the presidential campaign." LINK Mayor Thomas M. Menino laid the smack down on fellow Democrat John F. Kerry yesterday. In an exclusive interview with the Boston Herald, Menino called Kerry's campaign ''small-minded'' and "incompetent.'' LINK

Glen Johnson, that long-time Kerry-watcher from the Boston Globe , is a little harsh on the presidential candidate today. Check out this lead: "To detractors and even some supporters, John F. Kerry's decision this week to cancel his speech to the US Conference of Mayors because of a picket line was typical of how he makes many judgments: protracted, messy, and guided by self-interest." LINK

Scot Lehigh is just as rough in his Boston Globe column on the incident. "One well-placed source said that though his campaign was split over whether he should defy the BPPA pickets, Kerry told Menino that he had decided against doing so for two reasons: He wants peace at the Democratic National Convention, and he hopes for the union's endorsement." LINK

"But make no mistake: In his pursuit of those goals, Kerry cut a low profile in courage."

The Washington Post 's Dan Balz wraps Senator Kerry's appeal to Latino and African-American voters, "asking them to help him defeat President Bush while outlining proposals to raise college graduation rates, boost math and science education among women and minorities, and provide a path to citizenship for legal immigrants." LINK The New York Times ' David Halbfinger writes about Kerry's remarks to the Rainbow/PUSH meeting, Noting that, far from having a Sister Souljah moment, "Kerry said nothing to antagonize his hosts. In a race where both parties are seeking to energize their base, he is courting the same strong minority support that Mr. Clinton and Al Gore enjoyed but has been criticized for not having enough minority representation in senior positions in his campaign." LINK The race for Senator Kerry's potentially not-up-for-grabs Senate seat is on between Massachusetts Congressmen Edward Markey and Martin Meehan, the Boston Globe reports. "[They] have raised more than $1 million each in the last three months, a level of fund-raising that Massachusetts has never seen by incumbent congressmen." LINK

The Des Moines Register is your one-stop-shop for today's Teresa Heinz Kerry news. Mrs. Kerry was in Iowa long enough yesterday to garner two write-ups from the Register. One on her campaigning abilities from Erin Crawford LINK and another by Jonathan Roos recounting her speech on health care and tart responses to questions about her personal wealth LINK .

The New York Times ' Glen Justice reports that Kerry has to figure out soon when and how to pay off the $6.4 million loan he made to himself last year. LINK The Wall Street Journal 's John Harwood attended a focus group in Virginia conducted for the Annenberg Center. "Who is John Kerry?" was the agenda item among some military members and families.

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