The Note: Kissing Ben Nelson

Roll Call's John Bresnahan reports that the investigation of Rep. Jerry Lewis, (R-CA) continues as a federal grand jury subpoenas individuals.

In Saturday's New York Times, David Kirkpatrick looked at Lewis' universe through his former aide turned lobbyist, Letitia Hoadley White. LINK

CA-50:

The San Diego Union-Tribune's Dani Dodge reported over the weekend that on Thursday, Democratic House nominee Francine Busby told a predominantly Latino crowd that "You don't need papers for voting." A member of the audience recorded Busby's words, to which she had immediately added, "You don't need to be a registered voter to help [the campaign]" to clarify. LINK

Busby's opponent, lobbyist and former Congressman Brian Bilbray, wasted no time in criticizing her, saying, "She's soliciting illegal aliens to campaign for her and it's on tape -- this isn't exactly what you call the pinnacle of ethical campaign strategy," and added, "I don't know how she shows her face."

It's the story that dominated the echo chamber heading into tomorrow's vote.

The NRCC's Carl Forti called Busby's "you don't need papers for voting" comment a "momentum stopper."

"I wouldn't think that she would want the last weekend of the campaign to be about whether or not she was encouraging illegals to vote," said Forti.

Mindful that Busby has never polled higher than 47 percent and that undecideds are expected to break GOP by a margin of two-to-one, the DCCC was tickled pink over the weekend that the North County Times ran a "Griffith emphasizes his conservatism" header over the weekend. LINK

Griffith is the Minuteman-backed candidate whom Democrats are hoping will bleed Bilbray of votes on the right, making it possible for Busby to win without ever getting over fifty.

In his Roll Call column, Stu Rothenberg writes: "The National Republican Congressional Committee is pouring resources into this race at an astonishing rate in hopes of saving the seat. But the NRCC will not be able to put $5 million into every contest this fall, so a Bilbray victory, if it happens, should not mislead observers into thinking that Democratic prospects in the fall have been exaggerated."

In Sunday's Washington Post, Chris Cillizza reported that the "virtual dead heat" in CA-50 has prompted "alarm" among GOPers who "worry that a loss in a historically conservative district could presage a national trend against them in the fall." LINK

2006: landscape:

Per Time magazine's Perry Bacon Jr. and Mike Allen, "hunger for a November landslide has not kept Democrats from flying off in a variety of ideological and strategic directions." LINK

Gay-rights messages took up much of the valuable real estate on the DNC's home page on Friday and Saturday which warned GOPers, "Don't Trample on LGBT Americans for Partisan Gain," to which a "shocked" House Democratic official replied, "Wow! That's way off our message."

2006: House:

The San Francisco Chronicle on Rep. Richard Pombo's conflict with some environmentalists. LINK

2006: Senate:

Per The Hill, Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) prepares for the title of longest serving member of the Senate on June 12, 2006. LINK

Time magazine's Joe Klein writes that Jim Webb is a "crucial figure" in the recent history of the Democratic Party while Noting that his candidacy is a "litmus test" for a party given that "liberals hunt down heretics," as Michael Kinsley once wrote. LINK

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