The Note

"Tenuous and shifting coalitions held together in the final vote, despite a series of parliamentary moves by liberal lawmakers to stop anything from moving forward. In the end, an amendment that was disliked by the political right and the political left was approved because it was the only measure that could draw the support of a majority of lawmakers."

The Boston Globe reports that the amendment was decided by 15 Republicans who had constantly opposed any measure granting gay couples civil unions, but who were swayed yesterday to vote to ban gay marriage but create Vermont-style civil unions. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Elizabeth Mehren wraps up yesterday's Beacon Hill drama. LINK

"The intent was to supersede a ruling by the state's highest court that said affording gays anything less than full marriage rights was unconstitutional. Despite the Legislature's action, the Supreme Judicial Court ruling will take effect May 17, making Massachusetts the first state to legalize same-sex marriage."

More coverage: LINK

Democratic National Convention:

The Boston Globe reports on a new study suggesting "that the Democratic National Convention will be worth $28 million less to Boston's economy than convention boosters and city officials originally estimated." Since 2001, Mayor Thomas Menino has publicly estimated $150 million as the magic number. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: the Senate:

Lots of good press for the DSCC these days, like …

Obama political supporter and contributor (and occasional novelist) Scott Turow profiles the Democratic candidate from Illinois for Salon. LINK

Inez Tennenbaum's campaign is proudly touting to everyone a Harrison Hickman poll for the campaign showing the Democrat defeating all Republican comers. LINK

But remember that most of the competitive Senate seats are in red states, the NRSC has lots more money, and don't count your Senate take-over scenarios before the primaries have ended.

The Raleigh News & Observer's Rob Christensen reports that the U.S. Senate race there has been remarkably congenial, with Democrat Erskine Bowles and Republican Richard Burr agreeing on many issues and declining to criticize their opponents. Instead, each has focused on promoting his own plans, in a race markedly different from the one that Bowles shared with Senator Elizabeth Dole two years ago. LINK

No Child Left Behind:

The Washington Post's Michael Dobbs writes that Bush Administration has announced its latest change to the No Child Left Behind law: allowing for less rigid student participation in standardized tests. The administration has received criticism from teachers, legislators and the school board who claim that the law is unworkable. LINK

The "minor tweaks," reports the Los Angeles Times, certainly didn't mollify critics. LINK

Politics:

The Washington Post's Helen Dewar Notes "the Senate opened debate yesterday on legislation to extend the landmark 1996 welfare overhaul law, as Democrats and moderate Republicans rallied behind an effort to spend more on child care to help low-income parents hold down jobs." LINK

Robert Salladay, now of the Los Angeles Times, reports Governator Ale will be no more and explores Gov. Schwarzenegger's fierce protection of his image. LINK

The Washington Post's Susan Schmidt reports "Washington lobbyist Jack Abramoff received $10 million in previously undisclosed payments from a public relations executive whom he recommended for work with wealthy Indian tribes that operate casinos, congressional investigators have determined." LINK

Want more on this one? It will be all the talk at the Palm on 19th Street today for sure.

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