The Note

In his Roll Call column, Reformin' Norm Ornstein writes that while legislative supporters and the Supreme Court may have put BCRA on the "fast track," "another area of campaign finance is not much in the news-- financing of presidential campaigns. It should be. The presidential campaign financing system, crafted a quarter century ago, is broken."

Ornstein had a long Wednesday last week … ..

"Last Wednesday, word emerged that Howard Dean will spend $300,000 over the next few weeks on commercials in Iowa, trying to define himself and stake out his rhetorical and policy turf before the other Democratic candidates do so. It was a bold move, but one fraught with danger-because the presidential funding system puts spending caps on all the states."

"Also last Wednesday, I had my own headache-getting my car out of my parking lot at 7 pm, through the gridlock downtown caused by a limo backup at the major Bush fundraiser at a nearby hotel. President Bush is the most active fundraiser in history, vastly outdistancing Bill Clinton in the time he is spending on fundraising and the success he is having bringing in the bucks."

Alexander Bolton writes this morning in the Hill that low fundraising totals from political action committees have some legislators "panicked" and scrambling to raise money before the end of the month. LINK

Bush Administration strategy/personality:

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The Washington Post 's Mike Allen and Alan Cooperman report, "President Bush called on Congress yesterday to make it easier for federally funded religious groups to base their hiring decisions on a job candidate's religion and sexual orientation." LINK Allen and Alan write, "H. James Towey, director of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, said in an interview that he found great confusion about hiring laws when he met with officials of charities throughout the country. 'It's been abundantly clear that the religious hiring issue is a real barrier for a lot of faith-based organizations,' Towey said. 'And if faith-based organizations are deterred from providing services, the real losers are the poor.'"

The New York Post 's Cindy Adams seemingly ties the consideration of a New Hampshire locale for next year's G-8 summit to the fact that "White House insider Andy Card, who's closer to the president than a little boy and his dog, is from New Hampshire." LINK

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