The Note

MoveOn's Wes Boyd told ABC News this week that the group employed four people.

The PAC's director is Zack Exley, who, as the AP Notes, has been a consultant to the Dean campaign on its web efforts.

Exley's influence over the MoveOn PAC — an entity legally capable of influencing federal elections — and his work for the Dean campaign — raised heckles from Dean's opponents.

A Dean campaign insider told ABC News that Exley has no influence, nor had any input, on their MoveOn strategy.

Pickler Notes: "Dean campaign manager Joe Trippi say Exley was hired because he admires MoveOn.org's ability to organize so many activists over the web and wanted to learn about his ideas. Boyd said he would give Exley a leave if other campaigns also wanted to tap his expertise."

"Trippi said Dean's rivals know they aren't going to win the primary and are only asking their supporters to vote to keep Dean from getting a majority of the votes."

"'We're going to do everything we can, but I think it will be a minor miracle to get to 50 percent with all these candidates in here,' he said."

An e-mail to Exley sent this morning has not yet been answered.

Big Casino budget politics, Medicare:

The Senate keeps making the Medicare sausage, even as conservatives urge the president to shift right, amendments get offered, and Daschle carps. LINK and LINK

Big Casino budget politics, taxes:

Mike Allen of 15th Street sees the president pressing the Congress to act on the child tax credit from Minnesota. LINK

Meanwhile, seeking a new angle, the New York Times David Firestone rolls out a letter from some Protestant leaders calling on the president to step up the plate even more on the issue (We hope said Protestant leaders don't mind sports metaphors.). LINK

California recall:

The AP's Erica Werner reports that California Lt. Governor Cruz Bustamante "ended weeks of speculation Thursday by announcing he will not run for governor if a Republican-led campaign to recall fellow Democrat Gov. Gray Davis makes it to the ballot." LINK

"Earlier this week, two other leading California Democrats, Attorney General Bill Lockyer and state Treasurer Phil Angelides, said they had no intention of running."

(We were a little bit struck, however, by one line in the Bustamante statement with the word "intend" in it.)

The AP Notes, however, that "U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein, considered the strongest potential Democratic candidate, has not ruled out a run."

"Political analysts say that if the recall is on the ballot, Davis' chances of surviving will be better if there are no Democratic alternatives."

Robert Salladay with the San Francisco Chronicle reports on the questions about whether Representative Issa is violating campaign fundraising laws by funding the recall efforts.

"Issa and his supporters contend the FEC complaint, filed last month by Davis appointee Raquelle de la Rocha, is an attempt to intimidate donors to the Rescue California committee as their signature-gathering effort grows. So far, recall organizers believe they are on target to collect the required 900, 000 signatures to qualify it for the ballot. LINK

"Specifically, they call it absurd to accuse Issa of 'soliciting' money from a company he controls and deny Issa talked about specific contribution amounts with other donors to the Rescue California recall committee."

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