The Note

Martin Kasindorf of USA Today writes that despite the facts that Kerry is no Bill Clinton, and that Hollywood first chose Howard Dean and Wesley Clark to support before him, his fundraisers in California this week, the beginning of his $20 million in 20 cities effort, indicate Hollywood is not going to let him down. LINK

Organizers of last night's fundraiser at the home of silent screen comic Harold Lloyd in Beverly Hills said it "would pull in more than half of the $3.5 million that Kerry expects to net from a fundraising tour of four California cities Monday and Tuesday."

James Rainey and Robin Abcarian of the Los Angeles Times provide many juicy details of the Southern California fundraisers courtesy of Ron Burkle. LINK

The AP's Nedra Pickler writes of Kerry's impending surgery and how he is making the most of his pre-anesthesia and shoulder-hurting state. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the battlegrounds:

Judy Keen of USA Today outlines the importance of Ohio as a must-win state for the presidential candidates, but also a markedly difficult win. "The outcome of the battle for Ohio is uncertain, but the stakes are not: The state has 20 of the 270 Electoral College votes needed to win the White House. No Republican has been elected president without winning here." LINK

"Bush is ahead in the competition to build grass-roots support, judging by a reporter's unannounced visit to each campaign's headquarters in Columbus.

"Kerry's campaign office is wedged into a corner of the red brick headquarters of The Media Group and Triumph Communications northwest of downtown Columbus. Computers that were used by Kerry's field staff before the Ohio primary are still in boxes …

"While a lone volunteer answers the Kerry phone, Bush headquarters in a first-floor suite of offices in a three-story building called Pear Tree Place is buzzing. There's a volunteer at the reception desk. Bush-Cheney '04 posters and color photos of the president are on the walls. A dozen paid staffers are on the phone or working on new laptops."

Ken Ward Jr. of the Charleston Gazette reports on the criticism the Bush Administration's federal coal-mine cleanup program is receiving from both sides in Congress. LINK

The Charleston Gazette's Paul J. Nyden reports on yesterday's vote by the West Virginia Workers' Compensation board of managers to continue lawsuits against the owners of several coal companies in the state as the battle over debt leftover from earlier days of the coal industry continues. LINK

Bob Withers of the Lexington Herald-Dispatch reports on Bush's upcoming visit on Friday to Marshall University in the state of West Virginia, where he will discuss job training and the economy with invited guests. LINK

President Bush leads Kerry in the Keystone State 46 to 40 according to the latest Philadelphia Daily News/CN8 Keystone poll. (The poll has some good news for Senator Specter too.) LINK

Veepstakes:

The New York Observer reports John Edwards' fundraisers are making no secret of their desire to see him fill the number two slot. LINK

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