As Budoff Notes, "In a race with only subtle differences between the candidates on some key issues, the environment could emerge as one of the sharpest dividing lines, testing Santorum's record of often deferring to the marketplace for solutions against Casey's support of increased government regulation."
The AP has Republican Senate hopeful Katherine Harris attributing her lack of party support to Republicans' perception that she "can't be controlled." Harris gabbed to the nonpartisan Forum Club, where she said she wouldn't "kowtow" to the man she helped save in 2000, President Bush, and his party. LINK
Harris: "I will be beholden to no one but the people, not the party elite, not the press and certainly not even doing what's popular … I'm going to be doing what's right."
The New York Times' Healy and Medina on New York Republican Party efforts to nudge Bill Weld out of the primary so that the party can unite behind John Faso and begin putting together its general election strategy against Eliot Spitzer. LINK
"Mr. Weld spent yesterday in talks with a half-dozen aides and consultants in Manhattan, as well as sounding out some donors. According to advisers, he told Mr. Pataki that he was considering dropping out of the race. Several advisers put the odds at 50-50."
Healy and Medina also report that Weld is considering pouring $5 million of his personal fortune into the race should he decide to continue his campaign.
"Republican gubernatorial hopeful William Weld, crushed last week at the state GOP's convention and abandoned yesterday by his most important backer, may quit the race as soon as today, sources said last night," reports the New York Post's Dicker, Lovett, and Haberman. LINK
The New York Daily News on same: LINK
The Clintons of Chappaqua:
Bill Clinton's 2006 $20 million fundraising circuit gets the New York Times Ray Hernandez treatment today, including reporting on the combined childhood obesity/fundraising trip to New Hampshire in the coming weeks. LINK
Here is a bit more on that New Hampshire trip from Gov. Lynch's spokeswoman, cagey Pamela Walsh:
"The trip is scheduled for June 27. The policy event with Dr. Susan Lynch (New Hampshire's first lady) is likely to be in Manchester, and it will be with kids -- although details are still being finalized. Dr. Lynch is a pediatrician who specializes in cholesterol management and childhood obesity, and that has been her signature issue as first lady."
More Walsh: "The event came about from a conversation Gov. Lynch and Sen. Clinton had about the work their spouses were doing on childhood obesity and fitness issues."
The New York Daily News' Helen Kennedy looks at some shoring up Sen. Clinton needs to do with the anti-war left and Sen. McCain and Rudy Giuliani need to do with the social conservative right. LINK
Without ever citing George Will by name, Sen. McCain used his Imus interview this morning to rebut criticism that the Arizona Senator recently received from the conservative columnist.
In a May 11 column, Will blasted McCain for telling Imus on April 28 that he would ". . . rather have a clean government than one where quote First Amendment rights are being respected that has become corrupt. If I had my choice, I'd rather have the clean government." LINK