The Note: You Can't Get Elected. . .

Gov. Rounds (R-SD) predicts that the near-ban abortion law he signed yesterday will probably not take effect July 1 due to lower court action. USA Today's Jill Lawrence points out that an anonymous donor wrote a $1 million check to help with legal costs in the ensuing court battles. LINK

Republicans are divided over the South Dakota abortion ruling, writes Lawrence. LINK

Stephanie Simon of the Los Angeles Times writes that the new law has "both sides wondering if they've moved too fast." LINK

The Chicago Tribune editorial board points out how Gov. Rounds may have actually damaged the anti-abortion cause: "As conservatives, Roberts and Alito have stressed that they will not lightly overturn venerable precedents. Forced to confront the issue so early in their tenure, the court could end up reaffirming Roe by an even bigger margin than before--effectively settling the question for another 30 years." LINK

The Abramoff affair:

Per the AP, a federal judge refused Monday to allow a "lengthy delay in the sentencing of lobbyist Jack Abramoff, even though lawyers for both sides said the move could jeopardize a federal corruption investigation involving Congress and the Bush administration." LINK

Lobbying reform:

Public and internal documents obtained by USA Today uncover 100 trips politicians took on BellSouth's corporate jet, paid for by Congress, over the last four years. Both Sens. McCain and Lieberman plan to offer an amendment that curbs this cut-rate travel service. LINK

"Top travelers with the regional telephone company include House Speaker Dennis Hastert of Illinois, House Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri, Sen. Trent Lott, R-Miss., and Democratic Sens. Tom Daschle of South Dakota and John Breaux of Louisiana, both now retired."

Sans former Sen. John Edwards (D-NC) -- who ranked first on PoliticalMoneyLine's top 10 most traveled list with a reimbursement amount of $313,749 -- the rest, including House Majority Whip Roy Blunt and Senate Majority Bill Frist, prove to be all Republicans, reports USA Today. LINK

The Hill reports that new language in the lobbying reform bill could compel Democrats to vote against it. LINK

"Democrats have staked their campaign-year political message on cleaning up corruption in Washington, but they are so opposed to restricting 527 activity that many of them would vote against a bill that includes language affecting the groups."

And Note the reporting that 527-reform is a high priority for Chairman Mehlman.


The long-anticipated anti-DeLay documentary, "The Big Buy: How Tom DeLay Stole Congress," is set for release today in Sugar Land, TX at 2:00 pm ET.

The New York Times' David Halbfinger reports that an important aspect of the release plan is "to organize hundreds, if not thousands, of house parties in May and June at which the movie will be shown." LINK

Halbfinger has DeLay's lawyer, Dick DeGuerin, calling the movie, an early version of which he had seen, a "hatchet job."

The Note predicts that the DCCC will take most glee in the July 25, 2003 C-SPAN 2 footage included in the film in which Jack Abramoff praises Tom DeLay as the former House majority leader looks on.

JACK ABRAMOFF: "Never before has an individual who has been steadfast to our principles risen as high as Tom DeLay. Thank God Tom DeLay is the Majority Leader in the House."

AUDIENCE: "Hear, hear!"

JACK ABRAMOFF: "Tom DeLay is who all of us want to be when we grow up."

AUDIENCE: "Hear, hear!"

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