The Note

In writing the RNC (not to mention the Bush-Cheney team) couldn't agree with more, the New York Times' editorial board argues for regulation of the 527s, stating that "political insiders are carving a giant loophole that the Federal Election Commission must swiftly close. Otherwise, the system will be flooded again with the large and politically destructive contributions the new law was meant to stop." LINK

Harold Ickes, Mr. Media Fund himself, said today on CNN's "American Morning" that the group's activities -- making their arguments and their ads against President Bush -- pre-dated the passage of the new campaign finance laws, and that Congress didn't change that part of the law. He also told Soledad O'Brien he does not believe the courts can change what they are doing, and that his group is not -- not -- coordinating with the Kerry campaign.

Sit tight, take hold . . .

Jim Jordan is NOT the face of the Democratic 527s.

That, ah, chore, belongs now to spokeswoman Sarah Leonard, formerly the Iowa communications director for Gov. Howard Dean. Expect to see and hear from her a lot.

She'll work for Jordan at the Thunder Road Group, which handles communications and research for the entire consortium.

Another major hire The Note can report: the Fabu Mo Elleithee, formerly of the Clark and Graham presidential campaigns and the Reno gubernatorial campaign, will oversee the regional press desks for Thunder Road's America Coming Together account.

From the outside:

Howard Kurtz is now the second person who tells us the Club for Growth is prepping to go up with new anti-Kerry spots. We shall be eagerly awaiting for our packet from Shirley & Banister . . . LINK

Kerry:

The Washington Post's Dan Balz managed to get the headline writers to use "crooked" and "lying," and Notes that Kerry's comments yesterday, given the consternation they caused among the Bush campaign, "threatened to overshadow" the dual peace summits between the presumptive Democratic nominee and his former rival, Howard Dean, and the DNC. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Gold on Kerry's off-the-cuff "crooked" and "lying" comments, writing that "the remarks are the latest example of a general election campaign that is off to an unusually nasty and pointed start. Republicans responded to Kerry with barbs of their own Wednesday, calling him 'relentlessly negative.'" LINK

Jill Zuckman and Jeff Zeleny of the Chicago Tribune Note that John Kerry did not offer an apology for yesterday's overheard comment. They also Note that spokesman David Wade took the opportunity to reminded reporters that Bush supporters have done such "crooked" things as register veteransforjohnkerry.org and veteransforjohnkerry.com.

The Dynamic Duo also reports that a Dean endorsement may come at the Democratic unity dinner on March 25. LINK

ABC News' Kerry campaign reporter Ed O'Keefe describes the aftermath of the off-the-cuff remarks on the rest of the day:

"On the Kerry charter en route from Chicago to Washington, Kerry campaign spokesperson David Wade insisted the Senator was referring to the 'Republican attack machine' and not the Bush Administration."

"Wade included Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity in that group, and also suggested Bush political guru Karl Rove is a 'mastermind' of 'dirty tricks.'"

"Late in the day, Kerry communications director Stephanie Cutter got into the act, saying via an e-mailed statement, 'What (Kerry) was saying today was that we're not going to take it.'"

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