The Note

Reports the Times , "the Virginia-based conservative watchdog group sent letters yesterday to leading Democratic donors, urging them to ask the Federal Election Commission to clarify the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act, and ensure that their activities are legal. 'As fellow donors and leaders of new "soft money" section 527 committees, we are concerned about the legal gray areas and traps set by the Bipartisan Campaign Reform Act for our contemplated activities,' the group noted in its letter, signed by Republican strategists George Terwilliger, Frank Donatelli and Craig Shirley." LINK

Dean:

The AP reports that former Arizona Governor, Interior Secretary, presidential candidate, and current 527 pit boss Bruce Babbitt plans to endorse Dean. LINK

The New York Daily News' Helen Kennedy writes up the Club for Growth's latest ad attacking Howard Dean's fiscal record while examining the Governor's poll numbers. LINK

"As Howard Dean opened a commanding 30-point lead in New Hampshire, his campaign claimed yesterday that a new Republican anti-Dean attack ad shows the GOP is running scared."

We wonder if like Joe Trippi,, Helen Kennedy will be hearing from Jennifer Palmieri today.

Howie Kurtz writes up the Club for Growth ad and Dean's Club for Truth response. LINK

The New York Times ' Adam Nagourney reports "with little notice, the Dean campaign will, sometime this week, log its 1,000th neighborhood meeting" in a "show of organizing prowess" that is "a tribute to the past and a nod to the future. These are the same methods that were used to organize farm workers in California 25 years ago." LINK

However …

What if there was Meetup and nobody came? The Chicago Tribune's Flynn McRoberts and Jeff Zeleny look at the snafu in the Dean campaign's grand 99-county Meetup plan in Iowa Wednesday night, when 1,500 Iowans who were to gather across the state to demonstrate failed to show. Enthusiasm and dedicated supporters aside, the duo Note, organizing Iowa is no cakewalk. LINK

And the Sunday New York Times magazine looks at the convergence of the grass-roots politicking, the Internet, the match.com-ming and the "responsiveness" of The Dean Community. Writes Samantha Shapiro, "Long before Howard Dean was considered a plausible candidate for president, he seemed to emit some sort of secret call that made people, many of them previously apolitical, drop everything and devote themselves to his campaign."

… "By organizing its national network of Yogis, Howards, Dykes and Disney Employees for Dean, the campaign built an alternative to institutions like the D.L.C. Dean has raised $25 million, mostly through small checks — the average donation is $77 — and those checks have placed Dean at the top of the Democratic fund-raising pack."

You've read The Making of the president, now watch The Unfolding of a Story.

The New York Times ' ed board says "there is no good explanation for why Howard Dean's office sought to have nearly half of his gubernatorial records sealed away in Vermont" and calls for the immediate opening of The Dean Files. LINK

The Washington Post 's Al Kamen has at least one example of stuff he thinks might be hiding in the sealed Dean files. LINK

The Boston Globe 's ed board says open up the boxes, Governor. LINK

The Boston Globe 's Sarah Schweitzer quotes Trippi asking on Thursday: "Are we fighting the primary or the general?" LINK

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