The Note: Getting the Worm


Here's the best little political news summary on the Web, for Tuesday, June 27, 2006: The White House wants to make 2006 a "choice" election -- a choice between the New York Times and patriotism. LINK

If Utah Republican Congressman Chris Cannon loses his primary today, the dead immigration reform effort will be, uhm, even deader. LINK

Dana Milbank and Norah O'Donnell speak for 493/500th of the Gang of 500 on flag burning and the righteousness of making "rally the base" a dirty phrase. LINK

Supporters of the flag amendment aren't at 67 votes yet. LINK

And, apparently, supporters of the line item veto aren't where they need to be either, because the issue will be front and center at 10:50 am ET when President Bush speaks at the JW Marriot Hotel in Washington, DC. The President is also planning to meet with a group of Senators, including Sen. Ben Nelson (D-NE), this morning to discuss getting a line item veto plan through the Senate.

At 1:20 pm ET, President Bush meets in the Oval Office with Staff Sgt. Christian Bagge, a soldier from Eugene, OR who lost his legs serving in Iraq. Later in the afternoon the President will go running with Bagge around the track on the White House South Lawn.

ABC News' Karen Travers reports that Bagge, 24, was injured by a roadside IED on June 3, 2005 just south of Kirkuk. The soldier was in a convoy of three Humvees checking the road for explosives -- the first vehicle was hit by a bomb and when Bagge's vehicle pulled up to provide security, a second bomb went off on his side just as he stepped out of the vehicle. Bagge had both legs amputated -- one below the knee and the other just above the knee. He spent months in rehab learning to walk and made it his goal to run again. President Bush met Bagge at Brook Army Medical Center in San Antonio, TX on January 1, 2006. The two talked about running and hit it off and Bagge asked the President if they could go running together some time in the future.

The President agreed and he will make a rare outing in running shoes, shifting from his standard exercise of biking, to run with the injured soldier. Bush used to run several days a week but a knee injury forced him give it up.

The President is also scheduled to participate in a 1:45 pm ET meeting with National Endowment for Democracy award recipients.

The Senate resumes consideration of a proposed constitutional amendment that would authorize Congress to outlaw flag desecration at 11:00 am ET. Dr./Leader/Sen. Frist, Sen. Brownback, and several other Senators join Maj. Gen Brady of the Citizens Flag Alliance at a 12:15 pm ET press conference on the flag amendment in S-230. The Senate will recess between 12:30 p.m. and 2:30 p.m. for weekly policy lunches.

The House meets at 10:00 am ET to consider the Freedom to Display the American Flag Act of 2005 and the Seasoned Customer CTR Exemption Act of 2006, and to recognize National Homeownership Month. House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel, and Rep. Hilda Solis (D-CA) hold a 10:45 am ET news conference in H-204 to offer key improvements to the prescription drug program.

CQ's Michael Sandler reports that House Democrats "will attempt for the third time in two weeks to force a vote on increasing the minimum wage when the fiscal 2007 Science-State-Justice-Commerce spending bill comes to the floor Tuesday. But the chances of getting a vote appeared slim Monday after the House Rules Committee rejected, 5-8, a request from Democrats that a vote on the amendment be allowed."

Former President Bill Clinton visits New Hampshire today, where he participates in a 3:15 pm ET event about his efforts to end childhood obesity with New Hampshire first lady Dr. Susan Lynch and attends a fundraiser in Manchester. The New Hampshire Democratic Party expects roughly 200 attendees at the event that is estimated to raise approximately $40,000. President Clinton is scheduled to take the stage at about 6:15 pm ET and will be introduced by super popular Gov. John Lynch (D-NH).

RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman addresses the annual LULAC convention in Milwaukee, WI at 1:00 pm ET. He then heads to Michigan for grassroots organizing events and fundraisers beginning at 7:00 pm ET aimed at raising $10,000 for the Michigan Republican Party. (DNC Chairman Howard Dean addresses LULAC on Wednesday).

"From Poverty to Opportunity: A Covenant for a New America," the Christian mobilization conference being sponsored by Sojourners and Call to Renewal continues today. Earlier today, Chairman Dean participated in a discussion on "How Do Democrats and Republicans Plan to Overcome Poverty." Chairman Dean made reference to "being at home among people who do as Jesus does."

The Republican National Committee was invited to send a participant but declined.

There will be a Capitol Hill reception later this evening in Hart 902 from 5:00-7:00 pm ET. Tonight's featured speakers include Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (who speaks at 6:00 pm ET), Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). A march to the Capitol is scheduled for 11:00 am ET.

Later today, Chairman Dean is scheduled to throw out the "opening pitch" at Camden Yards. The Baltimore Orioles are playing the Philadelphia Phillies.

In an effort to bring the African-American church back to its roots of fighting for racial equality and stemming the tide of poverty and social injustice while opposing violence in any form, the Rev. Al Sharpton kicks off a three-day conference in Dallas, TX at 12:00 pm ET. The Rev. Sharpton will call on progressive ministers to redouble their efforts to keep "conservative, right-wing evangelicals from taking over the Christian agenda."

Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA), Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), Sen. Ken Salazar (D-CO), and Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) join key advocates from the business, labor, religious, conservative, and immigrant advocacy communities for a 2:00 pm ET press conference in Dirksen 430 calling for comprehensive immigration reform.

Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) hosts RGA meetings in Boston, MA today. The First Ladies of the Granite State and the Nation hold a tea at 1:30 pm ET at the Pierce Manse in Concord, NH. The accomplishments and contributions of this organization will be highlighted by guest speakers Nancy Sununu, wife of former Gov. John H. Sununu (R-NH), and mother of Sen. John E. Sununu (R-NH), and former White House press secretary Marlin Fitzwater. The event is part of this week's Presidency and the Press conference.

A study to be released today that was conducted by the Brennan Center for Justice at the New York University Law School finds that the nation's three most commonly purchased electronic voting machines are all vulnerable to fraud.

Rep. Rush Holt (D-NJ) attends a news conference on Capitol Hill today where the report will be released. He's pushing legislation that would require all voting machines to produce a paper record.

Michelle Boardman, Deputy Assistant Attorney General, appears in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee today at 10:00 am ET per the orders of Chairman Specter (R-PA), who demanded a hearing to investigate POTUS' "Use of Presidential Signing Statements." More from the AP: LINK

The Senate Finance Committee holds a 10:00 am ET hearing on the nomination of Hank Paulson to be the next Secretary of the Treasury.

Bloomberg News provides a preview of the likely China-dominant hearing. LINK

The House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee of House Energy and Commerce holds a 10:00 am ET hearing on making the Internet safe for kids in Rayburn 2123.

In Oakland, CA, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) proposes a new crime victims' bill of rights at 5:00 pm ET and announces the appointment of a crime victims' advocate within the Office of the Governor.

UT-03: Testing the GOP's schism on immigration:

Polls Open: 9:00 am ET

Polls Close: 10:00 pm ET

If you want to understand why the hard-liners have the upper-hand in the immigration debate, check out what's going on in Utah's 3rd congressional district where Rep. Chris Cannon -- a Republican member of Congress who supports a guest-worker approach to immigration -- is at risk of losing his job to John Jacob, an enforcement type backed by a PAC founded by Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO).

In May, Jacob surprised political observers by beating Cannon 52 to 48 percent at the Utah Republican Party's state convention. Because neither candidate collected 60 percent of the convention vote, the GOP's nominee will be picked in today's primary.

Since Utah's third congressional district is one of the most conservative in the country (President Bush defeated Sen. John Kerry 77 to 20 percent in 2004), the winner of Tuesday's GOP primary is expected to win easily in November.

With Tuesday's primary drawing near, President Bush and First Lady Laura Bush went to bat for Rep. Cannon last week. Laura Bush recorded an automated message to be played to voters in advance of Tuesday's showdown, while the President penned a letter on Rep. Cannon's behalf.

One national Republican operative familiar with the race told ABC News that he is putting his money on Rep. Cannon, but you can be sure that if he loses, the bulk of Rep. Cannon's colleagues in the House Republican Conference will be pleased to know that they have not shown the same friendliness towards a guest-worker approach.

After the polls close, results will be available at LINK

There are no network exit polls.

Per today's Salt Lake Tribune, the Utah race is a "dead heat," with Jacob holding just a slight edge over Cannon based on those who promise turnout in today's election. LINK

Roll Call's Nicole Duran writes that today's Utah contest will indicate the political consequences for Republicans who support President Bush's illegal immigration policy.

CQ's Michael Teitelbaum Notes that if Rep. Cannon loses, he'd be the only incumbent House Republican denied re-nomination this year.

Politics of immigration:

The Republican House leadership has presented a tentative outline for the series of immigration hearings it plans to hold across the country this summer, writes Roll Call's Ben Pershing. With former DeLay aide Brett Loper organizing the effort, House Republicans believe they are equipped to pressure Senate colleagues into voting for a bill dealing only with border security; as one "GOP leadership aide" put it, "'We believe the public and the electorate are where we are on this, not where they are.'" LINK

The Washington Times' Stephen Dinan speaks with Judiciary Chairman Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) about immigration and his committee's duties. Specter believes border security should be Congress' "#1 priority," and that "the president's got to be there" in negotiations if a bill is going to materialize this year. "He's got to get involved, in my opinion, in the negotiations. Now, he has not yet been willing to do that."LINK

In his New York Times column, John Tierney seems to endorse the Pence approach and urges House Republicans to not over-learn the results of CA-50. LINK

"Disgraceful" behavior?:

The New York Times on the Bush Administration taking on the New York Times: LINK

The Washington Post's Peter Baker has President Bush calling the disclosure of the covert bank surveillance program a "disgraceful" act that does "great harm" to the nation. Baker Notes that neither Bush nor Cheney called for investigating journalists as Rep. Peter King (D-NY) proposed. LINK

Deb Orin of the New York Post writes, "Bush was clearly eager to denounce the Times. He normally takes just two questions at photo ops, but took five yesterday until he finally was asked about the leak on the program known as SWIFT." LINK

The Los Angeles Times reports Rep. Jane Harman (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, says she wasn't briefed on the program until it became clear to the Administration that it was going to leak. LINK

The Los Angeles Times editor Dean Baquet offers his Keller-esque explanation to readers on why the paper ran the story. LINK

"The White House b-slaps the Times," blogs ABC News' Jake Tapper. LINK

The Boston Herald columnist Virginia Buckingham on the allegedly self-destructing ways of Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) and the New York Times: "Murtha and The New York Times have done more to aid the fight for Republicans to retain their House and Senate majorities in the last couple of days than Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman could possibly do all year." LINK

Politics of the flag:

On "Good Morning America," ABC News's Jake Tapper reported the "high drama" of the Senate debate and vote on the constitutional amendment. Republican strategist Rich Galen responded to Tapper's pondering of whether or not Leader/Sen./Dr. Frist's brandishing of the issue is smart politics: "I think it gives Republicans who are running either as challengers or as known incumbents a pretty broad pallette on which to paint their opponent."

The Chicago Tribune's Marni Goldberg also reports: LINK

Carl Hulse of the New York Times reports the hard count is still at 66, one vote short of the needed 67. LINK

The Washington Post duo Charles Babington and Jonathan Weisman write that the Senate appears to be within "a vote or two of passage" of the "volatile issue" to amend the Constitution to ban flag burning. LINK

Politics of Iraq: ABC/Washington Post poll:

"Slightly less negative views on Iraq have eased George W. Bush's job rating off the political brink, while the lack of a better idea of what to do there is helping to complicate the Democrats' opportunities in this fall's midterm election," writes ABC News Polling Director Gary Langer. LINK

A Washington Post-ABC News poll reveals that about half of Americans polled oppose a deadline getting out of Iraq while 47% now favor some kind of deadline. The deadline for withdrawing U.S. forces is sharply drawn on party lines, where two-thirds of Democrats are in support of one, more than doubling that of the Republicans, per the Post's Dan Balz and Richard Morin. Meanwhile, the President's approval rating, which according to the Post duo is still enough to cause the GOP to fret, is up five points at 38%. LINK

Politics of Iraq: the Casey angle:

"Last week, as the Senate debated the Iraq War and some Democrats again pushed for a timetable for withdrawal, it looked like Democrats were flirting with disaster again, pushing too hard on the 'what next' agenda. Republicans were licking their chops that they might at last be getting the Iraq monkey off their back, and that Iraq and national security might become the asset for the GOP in 2006 that it was in 2002 and 2004, both very successful elections for the GOP," writes Charlie Cook in his Congress Daily/AM column.

"But the New York Times report this past weekend that Army Gen. George W. Casey, Jr., commander of U.S. troops in Iraq, had briefed the Pentagon last week on a plan to reduce the number of brigades in Iraq from level of 14 down to as few as five or six by December 2007 would seem to undercut the GOP argument that Democrats are advocating 'cutting and running,' unless they want to describe Gen. Casey's plan as cutting and running. Who knows what will come next, there never seems to be a dull moment in this 2006 election cycle."

Rep. Maxine Waters (D-CA) is flashing the V-for-Victory sign, citing Gen. Casey's announcement to withdraw American forces as evidence that the Bush Administration has heeded her 72-member "Out of Iraq" caucus's demands to reduce troops. The Hill has more. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

The Wall Street Journal ed board predicts that Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) will remain "obsessed" over linking Douglas Feith to pre-Iraqi war intelligence manipulation through the November elections even though CIA Director Gen. Michael Hayden already cleared the record.

Per the Sarasota Herald-Tribune, President Bush met yesterday with Mary Harper, a Florida woman who has witnessed the deployment of six of her family members to Iraq, to thank her as well as 13 others for their efforts to help U.S. troops in Iraq. Harper further reaffirmed President Bush's efforts when she delivered a message she received from an Army sergeant telling the President "not to pull them out of there yet." LINK

The Abramoff affair:

During recent questioning by Senate investigators, Rep. Bob Ney (R-OH) claims he did not remember a meeting with members of Texas' Tigua tribe linked with Jack Abramoff in 2002, yet leaders of the tribe remember the meeting and their loss of $4.2 million well and even offer proof of the encounter. Today's Cleveland Plain Dealer has the details. LINK

The economy:

With an expected 17th consecutive federal interest rate hike on the horizon, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke searches for ways to convince investors that he can control inflation. Bloomberg News takes a look at his messaging two-step. LINK

2006: Senate:

Citing his labor record, the Hartford Courant has Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) telling the AFL-CIO that Lamont's charge that he is a "lap dog" for the Bush Administration is "BS." LINK

Roll Call's Nicole Duran reports that Lamont has launched a new 30-second spot, entitled "Speaking for Bush," which syncs Sen. Lieberman's words with images of President Bush.

"'If it talks like George W. Bush and acts like George W. Bush, it certainly is not a Connecticut Democrat,' the narrator intones."

Duran also Notes that MoveOn recently decided to back Lamont and is now soliciting donations for him.

In an effort to move from the personal to the political, Sen. Bob Menendez (D-NJ) mentioned President Bush's name roughly 20 times in last night's debate against Tom Kean, Jr., who he attempted to portray as a Bush Republican. For his part, Kean hammered home his reformer message. The New York Times' Chen has more. LINK

Cynthia Burton of the Philadelphia Inquirer on the debate. LINK

The Hill's Aaron Blake writes that the recent New Jersey and Montana debates got "down and dirty quickly." LINK

The Republican Main Street Partnership PAC issued a press release this morning urging former Cranston, RI Mayor Steve Laffey to drop his Republican primary campaign against Sen. Chafee (R-RI) and blasting the Club for Growth for supporting Laffey's bid and working to make certain "Harry Reid ends up as Majority Leader."

The Chafee campaign launched a new ad yesterday featuring an endorsement from Sen. McCain. Bill Clinton was in Rhode Island last night for a Whitehouse fundraiser and delivered a "tough partisan speech," reports the Providence Journal. LINK

A day after receiving a thrashing in the press over campaign contributions from controversial sources, Lt. Gov. Michael Steele -- the Republican candidate for an open Senate seat in Maryland -- receives more favorable treatment from USA Today's Jill Lawrence. In the Politics cover story, Lawrence reports that Steele and two other prominent, African-American Republican contenders -- Lynn Swann for governor in Pennsylvania and Kenneth Blackwell for governor in Ohio -- are shifting the paradigm of black voting and "making Democrats edgy this year." LINK

We're guessing the DeWine campaign will make sure to share (with potential contributors and the Ohio press) this front page New York Times story on the difficulty some Iraq war widows experience in receiving benefits. LINK

"'Why do we want to draw arbitrary and capricious lines that exclude widows?' asked Senator Mike DeWine, an Ohio Republican, who has sponsored legislation to close some of the legal loopholes that penalize widows. 'It seems to me we ought to err on the side of compassion for families.'"

2006: Governor:

The Columbus Dispatch reports that the issue of voting rights moved to the forefront yesterday and sparked a heated argument between gubernatorial candidates -- Republican Sec. of State Kenneth J. Blackwell and Democrat Ted Strickland -- after the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review voted to approve updated voter registration rules written by Blackwell. LINK

2006: House:

Karl Rove traveled to Iowa yesterday to raise funds for Republican candidates in two of the most competitive and closely watched House districts in the country, reports the AP's Henry C. Jackson, provoking outcries from Democrats who used visit to tie the beneficiaries of the private fundraisers--Mike Whalen in the 1st District and Jeff Lamberti in the 3rd--to President Bush. LINK

More from the Quad City Times: LINK

Vice President Dick Cheney will be the second Bush administration official to travel to Iowa on behalf of Republican congressional candidates in two days, following Rove's appearance in the state yesterday, writes the Quad City Times' Ed Tibbets. The Vice President will fundraise for Mike Whalen. LINK

Democrats Ben Frasier and Randy Maatta face one another in today's South Carolina primary election for the House, the winner of whom will face three-time incumbent Rep. Henry Brown (R-SC) in November. LINK


Thomas Beaumont of the Des Moines Register reports that at least six 2008 hopefuls--including Gov. Romney, Gov. Mike Huckabee (R-AK), Gov. George Pataki (R-NY), Sen. McCain, Gov. Tom Vilsack (D-IA), and Sen. Evan Bayh (D-IN)--have begun assembling staffs in Iowa, laying out the foundations for their respective party's primary. LINK

Sen. Clinton and Gov. Romney will both invade Arkansas next month as they hold $100-per-plate luncheons (but not together), per the Arkansas News Bureau. LINK

2008: Republicans:

Natalie Lombardo of the Oakland Press of Michigan posits that if Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) indeed chooses to run, he's a lock to win the Wolverine State. LINK

The Hotline's Jonathan Martin reports Gov. Romney's (R-MA) hiring Nick Breeding (who was serving as deputy political director at the RGA) as the South Carolina field director for his Commonwealth PAC. And Note the private Romney/Boehner and Romney/Blunt meetings yesterday. LINK

"Gov. Mitt Romney appeared on televangelist Pat Robertson's '700 Club' to dismiss criticism of his Mormon faith and recall a 1968 'near death' car wreck in Paris," reports the Boston Herald's Dave Wedge. LINK

Christian Broadcasting Network host David Brody told the Herald that Gov. Romney is "right out of central casting for the presidency. It seems like he may have the whole package that folks potentially could be looking for."

2008: Democrats:

First the quote: ""I'd rather be at home making love to my wife while my children are asleep." Now the context: Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) seems "plenty interested" in the White House in 2008, but he claims that despite his confidence to execute the office of the President of the United States, he could do without the job itself. LINK

Blogger Peter Daou has joined Team Clinton, apparently proving to all that Sen. Clinton takes the power of the blogosphere to heart -- or at least grasps the importance of appearing to do so. Here is the New York Times' Hernandez: LINK

"Daou will be rolling up his sleeves to undo the netroots damage Clinton caused by her vote last week against a plan to pull U.S. troops out of Iraq by July 1, 2007 - a measure that won Kerry and Feingold the praise of party liberals," writes the New York Post's Ian Bishop. LINK

The Westchester Journal News explores some of the disaffection that exists within the liberal base of the Democratic Party for Sen. Clinton due to her position on the war. LINK

Per the Washington Post's Dan Balz, Sen. Kerry has set yet another deadline, this time in his plan for energy independence, which includes mandates to reduce U.S. oil consumption by 2.5 million barrels a day by 2015. The Massachusetts Senator also set out a goal to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and other greenhouse gases by 65 percent in 44 years. LINK

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Tracey Schmitt wryly told the AP that one should expect that Sen. Kerry's three-step energy plan to free Americans from dependence on foreign oil would gather as much Democratic support as his recent Iraq legislation, writes the Boston Globe's Shawntaye Hopkins. LINK

The Associated Press' Frederic Frommer reports Republicans' glee over the very public coupling of Sens. Kerry and Russ Feingold over the war in Iraq. "Whether it's John Kerry's indecisiveness or Russ Feingold's extremism, Democrats across the board support an approach that results in surrendering to our enemy," said Ann Marie Hauser, a spokeswoman for the RNC. "But as 2008 looms, it is interesting to watch these two senators trip over each other as they rush to the far left of their party." LINK

Clintons of Chappaqua:

Per the Union Leader, former President Clinton travels to New Hampshire today for the first time since he signed copies of "My Life." LINK


The Houston Chronicle's Janet Elliott reports that a federal judge yesterday said he believes former House Majority Leader Rep. Tom DeLay (R-TX) withdrew from the November election, which could portend trouble for Republicans to name a replacement candidate. The judge also said that if political parties can sub more popular candidates for primary winners, "The abuse would be incredible." LINK

DeLay also testified that he lives and votes in Virginia -- not Texas -- and is therefore ineligible for the ballot in November. LINK


Although Rep. John Murtha (D-PA) agreed to quit openly campaigning for the position of Majority Leader (in the event of a Democratic sweep in November) exactly two weeks ago, Steve Kornacki of Roll Call reports that the senior Appropriations Committee member and Iraq critic's battle against Minority Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-MD) continues to rage underground. Rep. Ellen Tauscher (D-CA) questioned how covert Rep. Murtha's campaign really is: '"You have people talking to other people, but you're not campaigning? What does that mean?'" LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

Gov. Schwarzenegger called for a special legislative session on the California corrections system yesterday and declared an immediate need for the construction of more prisons. The Los Angeles Times has the story. LINK

Washington Post on the same: LINK

SCOTUS rejects campaign limits in Vermont case:

Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell reacted to Monday's Supreme Court ruling by telling ABC News that he was "more disappointed than surprised."

With Justice O'Connor's recent replacement by Justice Alito, Sorrell said the State of Vermont knew that it wouldn't be easy to find a fifth vote to uphold the state's strict contribution limits.

Sorrell was surprised, however, by the magnitude of the loss.

"What was surprising," said Sorrell, "is that we didn't pick up Justice Breyer's vote. We assumed wrongly that we were going to get Justice Breyer's vote."

Justice Breyer joined today's 6-3 majority striking down Vermont's campaign finance law.

Justice Breyer wrote that Vermont's law was so strict, especially on contributions, that it ''could itself prove an obstacle to the very electoral fairness it seeks to promote.''

"The decision was clear in reasserting a 30-year-old precedent against the constitutionality of imposing spending limits on political candidates. But it also showed that the court continued to grapple with how far it is permissible to go in limiting campaign contributions, a topic that remains a heated political issue and one likely to come before the justices again," writes the New York Times' Linda Greenhouse. LINK

Greenhouse also wisely Notes that Chief Justice Roberts signed the portion of Justice Breyer's opinion that touched on the concept of an entrenched precedent at play. Justice Alito, who voted with the Breyer-led majority, did not sign that portion of the Breyer opinion.

The New York Post's Podhoretz slams Breyer's reasoning and compares him to Gilligan of "Gilligan's Island" fame. LINK

The New York Times editorial board sees the ruling as a victory (albeit a muted one) for campaign finance reformers. LINK

The Washington Post's Charles Lane has a former RNC counsel calling yesterday's decision a "setback" for those who want more government regulation. LINK

Roll Call's Kate Ackley reports that yesterday's decision was greeted with delight by free speech advocates and muted disapproval by campaign finance reform groups.

The Wall Street Journal ed board is happy with the ruling, penning that rejecting Vermont's "draconian restrictions" protects free-speech.

Jess Bravin of the Wall Street Journal Notes that the Supreme Court is split over how to best regulate campaign finance reform laws.

Charlie Savage of the Boston Globe writes that yesterday's ruling immediately effects Vermont, who once has the country's most restrictive campaign finance rules to one that apparently has no contribution limits. The ruling also means that the government cannot prevent wealthy candidates from spending as much money as they please, Savage reports, and can limit individual campaign donations, but not too low. LINK

The Boston Globe ed board calls the decision a "disappointing" one, where money scandals will continue to emerge and special interest groups will continue to get what they paid for, unless voters adopt a public financing system, the Board points out. LINK


Politics of global warming:

The Supreme Court ruling over whether the government should regulate "greenhouse" gases, particularly carbon dioxide from cars, could be "one of the court's most important ever on the environment," according to the AP's H. Josef Hebert. LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

Per the Washington Post, the President ordered Homeland Security Michael Chertoff to upgrade the Emergency Alert System, where a warning system run by FEMA would reach as many Americans via as many forms of communication as possible. LINK


Per the AP, Rep. McDermott (D-WA) gets an en banc hearing after a three-judge appellate panel ruled in March that he violated the law when he turned over a recording of a 1996 telephone call between Newt Gingrich and the current House Majority Leader John Boehner. LINK

The Palm Beach Post's Dara Kam reports that Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) vetoed a bill that would allow lawmakers to gain access to secret documents held by executive branch agencies yesterday in an effort to maintain the governor's powers and keep clear the "lines of separation" of powers between government branches. LINK