The Note

The New York Times' Rutenberg and Justice sum up the outside games that are just beginning, even making a mention of 888 16th St. (We can't wait to see exterior shots of the building in TV pieces on the 527s that are sure to come . . .) Note the two, "Mr. Bush's campaign lawyers said they had filed a complaint with the Federal Election Commission saying some of these commercials are illegal because they effectively oppose Mr. Bush, and were paid for with unlimited or "soft money" donations, which they say is a violation of campaign finance laws." Ickes says there's no there there. And in better news for the Dem side, the Times reports two of the groups from their side "already have a total of $70 million in pledges" and "have moved to set up expansive voter drives while at the same time fighting the president on television using issues like jobs, the deficit and health care policy." LINK

Money Reporter Extraodinaire Thomas B. Edsall and Note favorite Dan Balz report on the ad and write "the Democratic groups have created five organizations to oversee facets of the campaign: paid advertising; voter identification and turnout; communications, polling, research and rapid response; fundraising; and the coordination of the operations of more than two dozen liberal organizations." Ellen Malcolm and Cecile Richards appear here, too! But this was the sentence we Noted most: "Republicans say that if the Democratic 527 activity is ruled legal, GOP groups will be quickly formed to match the opposition." LINK

Balz follows up with a live discussion on washingtonpost.com at 11:00 a.m. ET. LINK

In a write-up of the ad in the Times, the scorecard says "the advertisement could help in establishing the Democrats as the party of the middle class, and it does complement" Kerry's "accusations that Mr. Bush's policies cater to corporate interests more than they do to regular, working people." But some folks may find the ad confusing as they might have no idea who the heck is behind it. LINK

Bill Sammon of the Washington Times leads with the Bush campaign's challenge of the ad, with Terry Holt calling the spot "illegal." Three mentions of the name "Soros" can be found here. LINK

The New York Post's Blomquist gets the Soros spokesman to say his boss will be adding more cash to 527 coffers. And Ben Ginsberg to say the Media Fund is just going to "flout the law." LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Anderson writes up the ads, AND Notes the Log Cabin Republican's "$1 million" ad campaign criticizing the President's push for an amendment banning same-sex marriage. LINK

Sharpton:

There's some good news and some bad news. the AP reports "election officials are recommending that Democratic presidential candidate Al Sharpton receive $100,000 in federal matching funds -- and be the subject of an investigation into whether he deserves the money." LINK

The politics of national security:

In a story sure to get Dem tongues wagging, the CIA's George Tenet says he has corrected Vice President Cheney on his statements on intelligence. Reports the New York Times' Douglas Jehl, "Mr. Tenet identified three instances in which he had already corrected public statements by President Bush or Mr. Cheney or would do so, but he left the impression that there had been more." LINK

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