The Note: Thumbs on Both Sides of the Scale

(Take that John Harwood!)

When asked about his connections to Jack Abramoff, burns stuck to his guns, saying, "I will continue to serve my state and country. I love my state. Broke no law. Did nothing wrong."

In the first Dispatch poll before the May elections, Darrel Rowland of the Columbus Dispatch has Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) "easily besting little-known challengers within their parties," setting up "a fall showdown for DeWine's seat that will be nationally watched." LINK

George F. Will examines Brown's bid and writes that Rep. Brown is "a harbinger of a momentous, and ominous, aspect of the 2008 presidential election: For the first time in living memory, one of the major parties -- Brown's -- will be essentially hostile to free trade, the foundation of today's prosperity." LINK

Fred Dicker scored the Saturday New York Post wood with his story (a/k/a Wolfson catnip) about KT McFarland's (R-NY) claim that Sen. Clinton and her allies have initiated a spying campaign on McFarland. LINK

The Sunday follow was pretty funny too.

Fred Dicker of the New York Post reports that New York State Republican Party Chairman Stephen Minarik has sent a letter to Senate candidate McFarland urging her to dump Ed Rollins as an advisor. LINK

The Free Enterprise Fund has launched a television ad yesterday targeting Sen. Lincoln Chaffee in Rhode Island on the estate/death tax. The group is expanded to use the ad in targeted races around the country in a $3.7 million buy.

With the image of a hearse rolling through a cemetery in one part of the ad, the narrator intones, "At a time of loss, we take comfort in the thought that this is really not the end. And, when it comes to taxes, it's not even close to the end."

2006: Gubernatorial:

In Sunday's Washington Post, Dan Balz and Tom Edsall picked up on some tough words that Marvin Olasky has written about Ralph Reed's ties to Jack Abramoff. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

George Skelton uses his Los Angeles Times column to look at the seemingly "remarkable" pairing of Gov. Schwarzenegger and State Sen. Tom McClintock on the GOP ticket in California this year. LINK

State Treasurer Phil Angelides has formally accepted three invitations to debate state Controller Steve Westly, including a San Jose University debate in mid-April, a UC Davis debate on April 17, and an LCV debate in Los Angeles on May 3.

Widely seen as an attempt to gain a more moderate image, Gov. Schwarzenegger backed one out of 3 bills to raise minimum wage to $7.75, which is to be reviewed this week by the Califormia State Legislature. Schwarzenegger had vetoed minimum wage increase for the past 2 years, Notes the Associated Press. LINK

Politics of global warming:

Eighty-five percent of Americans say global warming is probably happening, according to a new ABC News/Time Magazine, Stanford University poll. LINK

A vast majority of respondents (88%) think global warming threatens future generations. More than half (60%) say it threatens them a great deal. About four-in-ten (38%) feel that global warming is already a serious problem, 47% feel that it will be in the future.

Bush Administration agenda:

Wall Street Journal's Greg Ip points out that according to many analyses, Bush tax cuts appear to have widened the income gap, despite Treasury Secretary Snow's argument that inequality has narrowed ever since the President took office.

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