The Note

The Hill picks up on those FEC figures, too, and writes that Sen. Kerry "and his Democratic allies have raised almost twice as much money as the Bush-Cheney campaign so far this year." LINK

Speaking of active outside groups from the Dem side, the League of Conservation Voters will gather in the Chinese Room of the Mayflower Hotel here this morning to launch the "Environmental Victory Project," with the stated "singular goal of defeating President George W. Bush and electing John Kerry in November." (You'll remember the LCV came out for Kerry in New Hampshire, fresh off the Senator's Iowa win.)

The effort will target independent and swing voters in "four battleground states -- Florida, New Mexico, Oregon and Wisconsin" with the goal of mobilizing "25,000 volunteers to knock on the doors of 1.5 million households." Expect to see TV spots from the group as well as activity on the Project's Web site,

Meanwhile the folks at Moveon say that their weekend bake sale push raised "$750,000 to support the group's efforts to remove George Bush from office in November."

The economy:

In some good news for BC04, Dow Jones reports that "a gauge designed to describe future economic activity rose last month, lifted by increased business demand and a rise in the nation's money supply. The Conference Board said that its composite index of leading indicators rose 0.3% to 115.3 in March."

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

The Miami Herald reports that Florida state election officials have not certified printers for Miami-Dade's touch screen voting machines and this could mean no print-outs on election day. LINK

The St. Paul Pioneer Press Notes that Bush will visit Minnesota next Monday, where he will attend a fundraiser and a separate non-political event in the Twin Cities. LINK

The Las Vegas Review-Journal's Sean Whaley reports that Nevada's unemployment rate is 4.4 percent and the state continued to have the highest rate of job growth in the country at 4.2 percent. LINK

The politics of national security:

King Abdullah backs out of a planned Washington visit, while Spain and Honduras back out of Iraq.

The New York Times' Weisman writes that King Abdullah "dealt a rebuff to President Bush," "abruptly putting off his visit to Washington scheduled for later this week. Jordanian officials said the visit had become impossible in light of Mr. Bush's recent support for Israel's territorial claims in the West Bank." Note the Polish troop commitment expires in September. And Bill Clinton's "qualified support for the Sharon plan." LINK

The Washington Post's Robin Wright outlines the thorny job ahead for John Negroponte, the nominee to be the new American ambassador to Iraq. LINK

The Los Angeles Times writes of the John Negroponte appointment: "Other diplomats tied Negroponte's appointment to his contacts at the United Nations, which Bush now hopes will play a larger role in Iraq. Some expressed concern that Washington is trying to dump its Iraq problems on the U.N. There's no question that the U.N. is the only way out of Iraq,' said a Security Council diplomat." LINK

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