The Note

Halloran described the meeting as "a wonderful meeting of the minds." While it remains unclear which specific ideas from the "Urban Agenda" Kerry will adopt, the Sharpton campaign says there will be a series of meetings that will focus on affirmative action, police brutality, as well as better schools, healthcare, and jobs for minorities. No dates have been set.

One theory about the Reverend's timing is that a television and/or radio deal is imminent. But can you be a candidate and a TV/radio star at the same time? "He can do whatever he wants," said Halloran. If Sharpton doesn't get the primetime speaking role at the convention that he has long coveted, perhaps he will participate in another way — on The Reverend Sharpton Show.

Those pesky FEC problems have yet to go away. While the FEC recently honored Sharpton's request for $100,000 in matching funds, they are investigating whether or not Sharpton used more than the allowed $50,000 of his own money. Given the relatively enormous debt, the campaign is crossing its fingers that they get to keep the $100,000 and that they get the additional $80,000 for which they have applied.

Politics:

The lesson we learned from watching New York 1's "Inside City Hall" last night: the Glover Park Group's Mike Feldman knows more about New York City education politics than anyone else who lives on Swann Street NW.

Jim Hopkins of USA Today reports that the tech industry is shifting its support from the Democrats, who they supported in 2000, to the Republicans this year. "Among top givers, only doctors and other health professionals shifted more to the GOP." LINK

The land of 5 plus 2 = 7:

Glen Johnson of the Boston Globe takes a look at the controversy surrounding 527 groups and Notes that by the time the FEC would approve new regulations in mid-May, followed by 30 legislative days before a chamber can pass those regulations — probably mid-June, "Kerry would probably have enough of his own money to counter Bush's ads until late July, when the Democrats hold their nomination convention in Boston and he gets his general election money from the US Treasury." LINK

The USA Today editorial pages debate whether or not the independent groups are truly independent.

One side argues: "By taking advantage of a loophole in the law and masking themselves behind such innocuous names as MoveOn.org or Citizens United, such groups avoid the clear and immediate accountability that lets voters judge the credibility of their messages." LINK

The other side: "Of all of the elements of the First Amendment, the one that should be protected most zealously is the right to free political speech." LINK

Democrats' reliance on using 527s and soft money has put them on the spot, write E.J. Dionne in today's Washington Post, which leaves them playing with fire. LINK

The Democratic National Convention:

The Boston Globe reports some trouble with convention-planning in Bean town. About 100 members of the Boston Police Patrolmen's Association and the Boston Police Superior Officers Federation crashed Mayor Tom Menino's press conference announcing the city's plans because of a dispute over their contracts.LINK

Joan Vennochi of the Globe writes of a totally separate convention controversy — one going on behind the scenes where Mayor Menino is being accused of favoring his friends when handing out convention contracts. LINK

The economy:

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