The Note

President Bush, as we said, is in Appleton, Wis. today to speak about the economy. See our section below for more on that.

Sen. Kerry campaigns and fundraises in San Diego before heading to a Beverly Hills fundraiser tonight.

Senate Democrats this morning are expected to urge Condoleezza Rice to testify in front of the 9/11 commission.

The Senate will also continue debate over the welfare reauthorization bill; voting on the first amendment is scheduled to begin at 12:15 pm.

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect: Appleton

Gas prices in Wisconsin? Compare and contrast! LINK

President Bush makes his way to Appleton, Wisconsin today, the paper industry town where Harry Houdini grew up.

WBAY-TV in Green Bay Notes that Bush's visit is his first to the Fox River Valley in two years. LINK

The station predicts plenty of protestors.

Another story on that newscast focused on disruption to local businesses.(!) LINK

The Appleton Post-Crescent is all pomp and pageantry, with the requisite wide-eyed attention paid to the roadshow, the motorcade, security preps, the "just in case" hospital and those C-130 transport planes that arrived yesterday. LINK

Coincidentally, the city of Appleton is also hosting an emergency management conference, though the president has no plans to attend. LINK

ABC News' Ramona Schindelheim on the state's job scene:

"Wisconsin started losing jobs across all sectors 4 months before the nation as whole. Employment there has declined 2.3% since peaking in November 2000, while employment nationwide has declined 1.7% since peaking in March 2001. Manufacturing has been hardest hit in the state, declining a whopping 17% since peaking in March 2000. Preliminary figures show the state added 1,200 new manufacturing jobs in February."

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle (D) has just returned from a four-day trade mission to China. LINK

The Appleton Post-Crescent reports that "A local program giving workers access to better-paying jobs attracts national attention today when President Bush recognizes a Neenah woman for her volunteer work during his stop in Appleton. Gloria Grandone was notified Thursday by officials of the USA Freedom Corps that she was selected to be honored by Bush for her work with the Appleton-based Doug and Carol Salmon Foundation. The foundation provides financial assistance for training and educating low-income residents." LINK

The Washington Post's Allen Notes that Friday's economic speech in West Virginia comes about three hours after a crucial job number is released. LINK

ABC News Vote 2004: Bush-Cheney re-elect: at the mansion:

The Washington Post 's Jonathan Weisman reports that "President Bush's 2005 budget request for the Internal Revenue Service would seriously shortchange the agency's tax collection activities, leaving a half-million delinquent tax accounts uncollected, 15 million service calls unanswered and nearly 46,000 audits unscheduled, according to the president's own IRS oversight board." LINK

The Washington Post's Ricks writes that President Bush has welcomed Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia into NATO yesterday. LINK

The politics of the 9/11 Commission:

While reporting continues to be that a deal is in the works for Dr. Rice to visit with the 9/11 panel, at this writing, there doesn't seem to be one.

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