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Steve LeBlanc of the Associated Press trumps Jennifer Rosinski's excellent Boston Herald article this morning on the state of negotiations between the Boston Police Patrolman's Association and the City of Boston. We realize when negotiations break off at 5:00 am the AP has the advantage.
The AP's up-to-the-minute account of stalled negotiations that will start up again on Wednesday: LINK
The Boston Herald's Rosinski's look at how the marathon negotiating session got underway yesterday: LINK
City negotiators and police worked through the night for resolution of their Fleet Center labor dispute, which temporarily delayed work on the site of the Democratic National Convention. The patrolmen have been working without a contract for two years. Negotiations are to resume Wednesday. The AP reports the standoff is taking it toll on the DNC. Each day of lost work is estimated to a cost of $100,000, in addition to stalled planning. LINK
The Boston Globe's Michael Levenson reports ''Mayor Menino gets involved with these agreements when it's the last of the ninth, when his presence is key to getting a deal done," according to spokesman Seth Gitell. The union wants a 16 percent to 18 percent raise over four years and has rejected Menino's offer of an 11.9 percent raise over four years. LINK
Casting Call: to all performers ages 5 to 18 with interest in performing at the Democratic National Convention reading The Note today. Submit an application and three- to four-minute videotape, audiotape or CD by Thursday to: Fleet Boston Celebrity Series, Att.: Student Performance at the DNC, 20 Park Plaza, Suite 1032, Boston, MA 02116. LINK
Visitors, and one Paul Revere impersonator in period dress, ooh and ahh over the structure that may signal Boston is on its way to "becoming a first-class city," but it isn't the convention site LINK
You may have seen an item or two in the New York tabloid gossip pages last week about Ed Koch and a big elephant roaming the Upper West Side. If you are still wondering what that was all about . . . wonder no more.
Today the New York City Host Committee is launching a television and radio ad campaign aimed at recruiting volunteers for this summer's big Republican bash. Both spots star the volunteer recruiter-in-chief, former Mayor Ed Koch. The ads will be running not just in the five boroughs but all throughout the tri-state region through mid-July.
From the press release:
"The TV spot featuring former Mayor Koch and Minnie (his 7,500 pound African elephant co-star) was filmed in various locations across New York City and continues to build on the Host Committee's message that urges New Yorkers to 'make nice' and volunteer to welcome the thousands of visitors who will be in town in August for the Republican Convention."
Here's the script for the 30 second television spot entitled, "No Parking:"
New York City-the greatest city in the world No wonder the Republicans are coming here for their National Convention While they're here, make nice. Volunteer to show 'em the ropes. They won't know uptown from downtown. They've never ordered pizza by the slice. They don't know from alternate-side-of-the-street parking. Hey you. Move it. It's Tuesday.
ANNCR: Be a part of it. Apply to volunteer online at nyc2004.org. New York City residents, call 311 for more information.
Of course it couldn't really be a Sheekey production without the 311 plug.
The New York Times' Michael Slackman writes up the former Mayor Koch's star turn. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:
Sen. Kerry will visit the Hilltop neighborhood of Columbus on Tuesday in his first public rally in Ohio since March. Says state Rep. Dan Stewart, "This is a big swing area. If (Kerry) wins the hearts and minds of the Hilltop, he's got a real good shot." LINK
Kerry also stops in Cincinnati on Tuesday. LINK
There's a war of words going on in the Columbus Dispatch between the Bush Administration and the Kerry camp. Last week, an Administration official told the paper that longer food lines in the Buckeye State might be because some people are "taking the easy way out." In response, Kerry slammed the Administration as "out of touch."
Along Florida's 1-4 corridor, Democrats are doing a better job at registering new voters than Republicans. LINK
And the Kerry campaign's ground presence is beginning to be felt, per the Sentinel's Mark Silva.
"Taleb Salhab, Orlando-based chairman of Florida's Arab-American Leadership Council, says sentiment has shifted among some 200,000 Arab-Americans living mainly in Central and South Florida. ' Traditionally, our community has been conservative, and over 70 percent voted for Bush," said Salhab, leading a voter-registration drive here Saturday. "This year, it's the exact opposite.'"
Florida Democrats will scrutinize ballots in November. LINK
Don't talk to Nevadans about how high fuel prices are putting a crimp on the economy: Las Vegas had its best April for tourism ever this year. LINK
The Des Moines Register's Jane Norman writes that the Medicare discount card fight is moving into Iowa, as Sens. Harkin and Grassley begin to spar over the new program. LINK
The Secretary of State in West Virginia will soon have "a couple of recommendations" for county clerks about how to eliminate the voting woes that "plagued" the May primary. LINK
The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette profiles a few local engineers who volunteered to go to Iraq and help restore electricity. LINK
A small town in Minnesota, Sleepy Eye, is working hard to adjust its school system to the large growing number of Hispanic children there, reports the St. Paul Pioneer Press. LINK
The Pioneer Press looks at how Minnesota's members of the U.S. Congress are seeking to permanently commemorate former President Reagan's death -- starting with Sen. Norm Coleman's idea to name the Pentagon after him. LINK
The politics of trade:
The Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman writes about the corporate tax bill, whose latest incarnation is expected to be drafted today in the House Ways and Means Committee, that repeals the export subsidy that set off the maelstrom in the World Trade Organization and replaces it with business tax breaks to take out the sting. LINK
"Passage has become imperative: Retaliatory sanctions by the European Union have now tacked 8 percent onto the price of a variety of U.S. exports, from leather and jewelry to timber and thoroughbreds, and the penalty will rise by 1 percentage point a month until the subsidy is lifted."
"But what started as an effort to repeal a $5 billion-a-year subsidy has grown into one of the most significant corporate tax measures in years. The Senate bill, 980 pages long, includes more than $167 billion in business tax cuts over 10 years, handing out favors to NASCAR racetracks, foreign dog-race gamblers, Oldsmobile dealers and bow-and-arrow makers, to name a few. The centerpiece is a tax credit to effectively lower the tax rate on domestic manufacturing from 35 percent to 32 percent."
ABC News Vote 2004: casting and counting:
There are "minor technical hiccups" in the new touch-screen voting machines in 11 counties in Florida -- including the largest, Miami-Dade and Broward. The problems could make manual recounts impossible in November's presidential election, state officials say. Critics cry foul play to state officials who certified a voting system they knew had a bug. The AP reports the machines don't provide an electronic "event log" of voting activity. Officials with the company and the state Division of Elections say a possible fix is connecting the voting equipment to laptop computers. LINK
The Washington Post's James Grimaldi on Sunday looked at the campaign finance questions that appear to be raised regarding the relationship between Ralph Nader's presidential campaign and the public charity he created, Citizen Works. The campaign, located in the same Washington, D.C. offices as the charity, pays rent to Citizen Works, and while Theresa Amato, Nader's campaign manager, ostensibly resigned from Citizen Works in 2003, she was still listed as its president on its corporate filings from January. Nader says there is no commingling of funds between the campaign and the charity, but declined to provide detailed information about them. LINK
There's widespread pickup of the story, with Grimaldi's byline appearing in the Los Angeles Times, the Boston Globe, and even Kentucky's Lexington Herald Leader. Nader holds everything is on the up and up: "'You can search until kingdom come,' Nader says. 'You'll find no cross-subsidies here.'"
We wonder how much of a role Democratic oppo operatives -- not playing by Gore 2000 rules vis-a-vis Nader -- had in this one.
Nader shares a kind word for Ronald Reagan during his weekend campaign stint in Illinois: LINK
In keeping with his campus grassroots tradition, Ralph Nader held a two-hour session with about 80 people at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis over the weekend. LINK
Morning show wrap:
Nancy Gibbs writes in this week's Time about faith and the presidency -- from George Washington to George W. Bush and how it could play in this year's presidential election. LINK
"According to a [new] Time poll, those who consider themselves 'very religious' support Bush over John Kerry, 59% to 35%, while those who are 'not religious' favor Kerry, 69% to 22%. Asked if a President should be guided by his faith when making policy, 63% of Democrats say no while 70% of Republicans say yes."
Karen Tumulty writes up the Time poll's results in terms of whether Kerry's Catholicism, plagued by his battle with the bishops arguing he should not receive communion because of his abortion views, is enough for Americans. LINK
"Catholics are particularly important in the key battleground states of Pennsylvania, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, making up 25% to 30% of the vote in that part of the country, says Bush campaign strategist Ralph Reed. 'In a very close election, if you increase or swing that constituency by 10%, that's 100,000 votes in every one of those states.'"
"Protestants favored President Bush by a 19-point margin in the Time poll (55%-36%), and those who are neither Protestant nor Catholic gave Kerry an edge of more than 50 percentage points (73%-21%). Catholics divided nearly right down the middle: 45% for Kerry; 43% for Bush."
"Among Catholics who consider themselves very religious, Bush enjoys a 23-point majority; among those who say they are not very religious, Kerry leads by more than 46 percentage points, and among those who say they are somewhat religious-a group nearly as big as the other two combined-Bush held a statistically insignificant 47%-43% lead."
With a heart-warming Minnesota byline, the Los Angeles Times' Ron Brownstein and Fay Fiore look at a single variable that tracks with Democratic and Republican votes: frequency of church attendance.
"In 2000, against the backdrop of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky scandal, that divide accelerated, with exit polls showing that about three-fifths of Americans who went to church once a week or more voted for Republican George W. Bush, and more than three-fifths of those who never attended services preferred Democrat Al Gore. " LINK
"Bush's open expression of Christian faith creates a personal bond that transcends his specific decisions as president . . . Bush may face a greater challenge in maintaining his elevated support among regular churchgoers in Catholic and mainline Protestant congregations where liberal social-justice messages tend to resound more powerfully and the Iraq war has stirred deep ambivalence."
The duo also described how the religious divide has affected campaigns for more than 30 years. LINK
Scott Higham of the Washington Post on Sunday turned in a look at the Defense Department memos detailing life behind the "wire" for prisoners at Guantanamo Bay that will bet will figure prominently in Democratic Party opposition memos this week. For the first time, Higham Notes, the documents outline the concerns of the International Committee of the Red Cross -- that prisoners were held in isolation for up to a month at a time for refusing to talk, long interrogation sessions that had a "cumulative effect" on the mental health of prisoners, and open-air cages rather than prison cells. LINK
On Sunday, Brownstein reported on the joint statement to be released this week by 26 former diplomats and military officials, Diplomats and Military Commanders in Charge, who say that President Bush's foreign policy has hurt America's national security, and arguing that he should be defeated in the fall. Brownstein Notes that several who are signing the statement served under President Reagan and President George H.W. Bush, in addition to those who have aligned themselves with Sen. Kerry. LINK
On Saturday, AP's Ron Fournier expanded the story he broke on Friday, laying out the tick-tock of the Kerry-McCain dance. LINK
On Saturday, the Washington Post's Dan Balz and Jim VandeHei followed up on the tantalizing thought of a Kerry-McCain unity ticket, and how despite McCain saying he thinks a bipartisan ticket would weaken the presidency, and Kerry not formally offering the spot but asking the Arizona Senator to consider it, some Dems think that Kerry exploring the idea, even if it comes to naught, could only bee good for his candidacy. LINK
The New York Times' David Halbfinger followed up as well, Noting that McCain's "denials did not stop prominent members of Congress -- including Senator Bill Nelson of Florida, himself considered a potential Kerry running mate -- from suggesting that a Kerry-McCain ticket would be unstoppable in the fall." LINK
The Los Angeles Times' Matea Gold weighed in with her version on Saturday as well, writing about the fun that some McCain aides have had by needling the Bush campaign with the possibility that the unity ticket could happen. LINK
Fournier on Sunday wrote up the Associated Press poll showing that of the possible vice presidential candidates, 36 percent of registered voters prefer Sen. John Edwards -- but Notes that putting Edwards on the ticket does not necessarily help Kerry's chances of winning. A Kerry-Edwards ticket ties Bush-Cheney, which is where Kerry is currently. Forty-three percent of Democrats favored Edwards. Rep. Dick Gephardt was the preference of 19 percent of registered voters. LINK
The New York Times' Jodi Wilgoren profiled Sen. John Kerry's campaign trail demeanor Sunday, describing him as restless, "[l]ike a caged hamster," and "a relentless polisher," who tinkers and toys with all his speeches. LINK
"Mr. Kerry is anything but simple and straightforward, a man of many sides and surprises, some seemingly contradictory."
Mickey Kaus offered this P.S. on Wilgoren's piece on Kerry: "If these are 'authentic insights,' I'll take the 'one dimensional portraits of Mr. Kerry as war hero or waffler proffered by the two sides' television advertisements' any day." Ouch. LINK
Saturday, Jim Rutenberg took a good hard look at the polling expertise of a certain Bush campaign strategist, Mr. Matt Dowd. "Still, analysts said, Mr. Dowd is exceptional. They described him as creating a new role for a presidential campaign as an expert polling director offering a more aggressive running commentary on the various public polls, one that often goes out not just to reporters, but also to Web sites and to six million supporters via e-mail." LINK
The New York Times' John Tierney wrote Sunday that the whole Blue state/Red state thing could be a farce and that some scholars "say that our basic differences have actually been shrinking over the past two decades, and that the polarized nation is largely a myth created by people inside the Beltway talking to each another or, more precisely, shouting at each other." LINK
On Sunday, the Boston Globe's Michael Kranish looked at the differing dynamics of the Bush presidencies -- how the success of George H.W. Bush enabled the political career of George W. Bush, and how not only the lessons the son took from the father's Administration, but also the policies of the two men, draw a bright line between their presidencies. LINK
The Washington Post's John Harris on Sunday looked at the onslaught of Clinton nostalgia coming with the release of the former President's memoirs on June 22. After a week-long commemoration of the life and times of former President Reagan, Harris Noted the phenomenon of revisiting the legacy of former commanders in chief. "Like Reagan, . . . Clinton as ex-president has seen the controversies of his tenure recede while appreciation for his outsized personality has seemed to deepen. And like Reagan, Clinton is now widely regarded as a touchstone for his party, including for the presumptive presidential nominee, John F. Kerry." LINK
The New York Times' Kirkpatrick reported Sunday "asked a top Vatican official to push American bishops to speak out more about political issues, including same-sex marriage, according to a report in the National Catholic Reporter, an independent newspaper." LINK
The Sunday New York Times unveiled some new protesting tactics that could take the Big Apple by storm during the Republican Nation Convention -- ranging from bells to anti-Bush underwear. LINK
ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:
Who says the fight over debates is only fun in the presidential campaign? The Chicago Tribune's David Mendell writes about the "debate dance" of one-upmanship going on between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican Jack Ryan in the race for Illinois Senate. We're hoping this'll be the most fun we've had watching Senate debates since the eight-part Kerry-Weld smackdown in '96. LINK
Dueling press releases have turned the Washington state Senate race into the "source for the silliest and most churlish rhetoric of the campaign season. And that's not easy in a year when 'looking French' is leveled as an attack." LINK
Reagan's image -- literally -- was featured prominently in the campaign of one Senate hopeful in Nevada last week. Just hours after Reagan's death, Republican Richard Ziser's campaign sent out an e-mail to supporters suggesting they visit the reagancoin2004.com Web site, which "condemned Sen. Harry Reid and asked those who felt likewise to contribute to Ziser to receive a commemorative coin with Reagan's face on it." LINK
Stem cell politics:
The New York Daily News' James Gordon Meek reports, "The family of former President Ronald Reagan declared political war on the White House yesterday over President Bush's ban on stem cell research." LINK
The Washington Post's Shankar Vedantam reports that although there are more advocates for Alzheimer's treatments than 10 years ago, "the frustrating, day-to-day reality is that new drugs for Alzheimer's disease have limited benefits." LINK
Roll Call writes that Sen. Harry Reid of Nevada is blocking Bush nominations until the Senate approves the nomination of one of his aides to the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, threatening to break a deal struck last year with the White House.
The Clintons of Chappaqua:
The New York Times' David Kirkpatrick reports that former President Clinton's "political advisers are consulting with the Democratic Party and [the Kerry] campaign about ways that Mr. Clinton can lend a political hand" on his book tour, during which, by the way, "Bookstores say [publisher] Knopf has told them Mr. Clinton is trying to schedule only one event a day so he can sign as many books as possible." LINK
We have begun to wonder: what will the German-language edition of Bill Clinton's "My Life" be called, exactly?
41 @ 80:
The New York Times' Rick Lyman gives such a vivid account of 41's parachute jump that you almost think he had jumped out of the plane with him. LINK
For 40 "fiery" minutes at a New Hampshire fundraiser last night, Gore blasted Bush on everything from Iraq and Ahmed Chalabi to the Patriot Act and the deficit, according to the Union Leader. LINK
Thirty-two states will end their budget year in surplus, although what analysts from all political persuasions call "structural problems" will give budget-writers a headache into perpetuity. LINK
Tired of the same-old, same-old with the Dems and GOP? The Washington Times' Deb McCown offers a handy guide to other parties. Rural Party, anyone? LINK
"The Bush administration's decision to shut down most of the federal government Friday in honor of the late Ronald Reagan was in keeping with a tradition that stretches back more than 50 years. But it was also one that cost taxpayers millions of dollars in government employee wages," reports the Washington Post's Brian Faler. LINK
Roll Call is reporting that David Kelly, the acting U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, is working with Senate legal officials to obtain evidence for a federal investigation into the Judiciary Committee's stolen memo case.
Attention TV bookers -- if you haven't been given one already, Al Kamen has a glimpse at a new media sign-in questionnaire to be filled out and given back to her before interviews with Secretary of State Powell. Among the blanks to fill in: "'current ratings estimate'" and "'expected questions and/or topics for the interview.'" LINK
SILVERDOCS, SILVERDOCS, It's Movietime in the City:
Fulfilling our responsibility as a sometimes purveyor of those things which are good, edifying and useful to you, The Note directs your attention to this week's return of the SILVERDOCS AFI/Discovery Channel Documentary Festival (http://www.silverdocs.com) and, most specifically, "On the Road: Documenting the Candidate" -- a film presentation and panel on how documentaries shape public perceptions about candidates and reveal their personalities THIS THURSDAY NIGHT.
All of this takes place starting tomorrow in lovely Silver Spring, Md., at what has quickly become a must-attend event.
There are important and interesting documentaries all day long and into the night each day starting Tuesday, but Note readers will probably be most drawn to Thursday night's 7:00 pm ET event.
The panel of auteurs includes: George Butler, Paul Stekler, Jesse Moss (http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0608999/), and others, with attempted moderation by Mark Halperin of ABC News.
For Netflix queue management planning purposes, (http://www.netflix.com), the political documentaries cherry-picked for scene setting are: RFK Remembered (Charles Guggenheim 1968); Pumping Iron, (Butler 1976); Last Man Standing, (Stekler 2004) and a three-minute sneak peek at Butler's upcoming film on John Kerry.
Butler's Kerry film -- due out before election day -- is causing quite a buzz in political circles, and you would be, basically, foolish to miss this peek.
Note: The work is at present, untitled and will heretofore be referred to as "The Untitled Work About John Kerry," or "TUWAJK."
The film, optioned from Douglas Brinkley's book Tour of Duty (LINK) describes a Boston Brahmin's odyssey from the Mekong Delta to the helm of a national anti-war movement. IF it makes the target wide-release September, pre E-Day, release date, Butler's work could make major headway with the "Who is John Kerry?" problem.
Also please Note: Stekler's oeuvre is worth knocking off early for the 4:45 pm ET full-length showing, also Thursday.
His Texas-as-political-microcosm case study chronicles a 2002 race for a state representative seat in central Texas where Evangelical Christian Republican incumbent Rick Green, faces-off against 24-year-old Democratic political ingénue, Patrick Rose LINK.
At the outset, the Lone Star's devotion to what Karl Rove brands a George W. Bush conservatism makes the outcome seem predetermined.
The elevator pitch: two candidates with dramatically opposed political platforms -- one with major political backing (think video endorsement from Charleton Heston) but some political baggage (alleged links to a Ponzi scheme, etc.) -- the other with the ink barely dry on his Princeton diploma but dogged door-to-door campaign determination and good looks (as one potential voter puts it "you're one hot [explicative]!!") -- all set against the backdrop of rapidly shifting voter demographics.
Peppered throughout is analysis from Rove, Richards, Begala, and Ivins (who muses on the essential "Elvis quality" for political success.)
And speaking of The King, did we mention (No, we didn't . . . ) that one other film will be excerpted as part of the panel set-up -- the early '90s period piece "Elvis and Us," Mary Marsh and Mark Halperin's look at life on the trail with a certain then-Arkansas governor running for the first time for president.
Tickets and all the information you need can be found right here at the SILVERDOCS Web site. http://www.silverdocs.com
See y'all out there.