The Note: Everything Is Relational


One serious issue that could impact the midterms decisively replaces another one in blotting out the news cycle. Analysis of which side that benefits is at once impossible and too simple.

So: Knowing who will have control of the House and the Senate after the midterm elections is easy.

All it requires is a basic understanding of some important relationships:

James A Baker 3d's relationship with 43.

David Roger's relationship with Jeff Trandahl.

Republican media consultants' relationship with restraint.

Howard Berman's relationship with partisanship.

Kim Il Jong's relationship with reality.

Rahm Emanuel's relationships with Howard Dean, Michael Whouley, and anger management.

Tom Reynolds' relationship with compartmentalization.

Big Labor's relationship with modernity.

Nancy Pelosi's relationship with opposition research.

Nancy Pelosi's relationship with semiotics.

Voters' relationships with the hunger for a higher minimum wage and more access to gaming.

In the wake of North Korea announcing that it has tested a nuclear weapon, the United Nations Security Council meets at 9:30 am ET and President Bush speaks at 9:45 am ET.

The New York Times' David Sanger reports that North Korea's Sunday night announcement makes it the eight country in history, "and arguably the most unstable and most dangerous, to proclaim that it has joined the club of nuclear weapons states." LINK

There will be no White House briefing today. But there will be a gaggle at some point.

From what we know, House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) and the rest of the key players in the Foley story do not have public events today.

Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) joins the New York State Attorney General candidate, Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) at a joint press appearance with Italian American leaders at the Columbus Day Parade at 11:30 am ET in New York, NY.

Sen. George Allen (R-VA) debates the Democratic challenger Jim Webb at 8:00 pm ET in Richmond, VA.

Karl Rove is in Oklahoma helping Rep. Ernest Istook (R-OK) raise money for his run for Oklahoma governor. The fundraiser begins at 6:30 pm ET.

Former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani attends a fundraiser for the Republican candidate for Oregon Governor Ron Saxon at the Portland Art Museum at 4:30 pm ET in Portland, OR.

ABC News and the Washington Post have a poll on Foley, Iraq, and the approaching midterms coming out later today. Be sure to check ABC's "Political Radar" on the politics page of at 5:00 pm ET. Then tune into "World News with Charles Gibson" at 6:30 pm ET for analysis. LINK

Foley: Kolbe knew of Foley emails in 2000:

In a must-read, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman reports that Rep. Jim Kolbe (R-AZ) knew of Foley's inappropriate Internet exchanges as far back as 2000 and personally confronted Foley about his communications. Last week, when the Foley matter erupted, a Kolbe staff member suggested to the former page that he take the matter to the clerk of the House. LINK

The Post adds, that a source with direct knowledge of Kolbe's involvement said the messages shared with Kolbe were sexually explicit, and he read the contents to the Washington Post under condition that they are not reprinted. But Korenna Cline, Kolbe's press secretary, denied the source's characterization, saying only that the messages had made the former page feel uncomfortable. Nevertheless, she said, "corrective action" was taken. Cline said she still has not yet determined whether that action went beyond Kolbe's confrontation with Foley.

Foley: what did Hastert's office know and when did they know it?:

On Saturday, the Washington Post's Jonathan Weisman reported that Hastert chief of staff Scott Palmer "confronted Foley about his inappropriate social contact with male pages well before the Speaker said aides in his office took any action, a current congressional staff member with personal knowledge of Foley and his behavior with pages said yesterday." LINK

ABC's John Yang matched the Washington Post report for LINK

In the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition, David Rogers reported that although Fordham went to Palmer instead, "it would have been logical for Mr. Palmer to tell Mr. Van Der Meid of any meeting he had about the pages."

Joe Klein of Time discusses President Bush's value for "loyalty over competence or accountability" for his support of Hastert "despite the fact that Hastert's inability to control the Foley fiasco could well cost the Republicans control of Congress. LINK

Time's Karen Tumulty proclaims "the end of a revolution" for the Republican Party. When Republican Speaker of the House Hastert was asked to resign, he stated, "If I fold up my tent and leave, then where does that leave us?" For the GOP, "hold on to power has become not just the means but also the end." LINK

Foley: political fallout:

In addition to the Reynolds race (NY-26) and Foley's old seat (FL-16), the newly competitive contests are:

CA-04: John Doolittle (R) vs. Charles Brown (D)

CA-11: Richard Pombo (R) vs. Jerry McNerney (D)

CO-04: Marilyn Musgrave (R) vs. Angie Paccione (D)

KY-02: Ron Lewis (R) vs. Mike Weaver (D)

NV-02: Dean Heller (R) vs. Jill Derby (D)

With a Virginia Beach, VA dateline, David Kirkpatrick of the New York Times takes the post-Foley political temperature of some evangelical Christians and finds that the page sex scandal may not cause Christians to turn away from the Republican Party. LINK

The New York Times' Adam Nagourney delivered a Saturday must-read on the expanded map of Republican House seats now in serious contention due to the Foley story. LINK

Janet Hook in Sunday's Los Angeles Times breaks down the effects of the Mark Foley affair with a state-by-state outlook. LINK

"Bush has complained. . . that the scandal torpedoes furious GOP efforts to reenergize a dispirited political base -- especially Christian conservatives," reported the New York Daily News' DeFrank on Sunday. LINK

"'There's steam coming out of his ears over the Foley thing,' someone who talks to the President regularly said. 'The base is starting to get turned off again.'"

In Sunday's Washington Post, Grunwald and Cillizza had a frustrated GOP strategist saying "his party's mishandling of Foley 'speaks to our inability to govern and do the right thing. It says everything about who we are as a party.'" LINK

More on the spread of the Foley fallout and it's meaning for the GOP from today's Chicago Tribune. LINK

Foley: ethics committee:

The New York Times' Jeff Zeleny pieces together the Foley timeline and lays out the many unresolved questions. Zeleny reports that the ethics committee investigation will likely focus on the Shimkus/Trandahl/Nicolson/Foley meeting in the first week of November 2005 where Foley was confronted about the "over-friendly" email to a former page from Louisiana. LINK

Zeleny also Notes that each member of the House will receive a letter from the ethics committee asking them to contact current and former pages to find out if they had any inappropriate contact with Foley or any other member.

The Wall Street Journal's David Rogers reports that the House Ethics Committee has already begun conducting interviews, but he doesn't say who was interviewed or when. LINK

Former aide Kirk Fordham is expected to give his testimony to the House Ethics Committee this week reports USA Today. LINK

Foley: legal investigation:

The Los Angeles Times reports that authorities are "now deciding whether to subpoena records from the office and home computers that Foley used, according to people who are familiar with the case and who requested anonymity because of the ongoing inquiry." LINK

Foley: Reynolds on the ropes:

NRCC Chairman Tom Reynolds (R-NY) was a no show on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" where he was scheduled to debate DCCC Chairman Rahm Emanuel (D-IL).

ABC's Teddy Davis and Lindsey Ellerson report that Reynolds launched a new television ad in which he says of Foley: "Nobody's angrier and more disappointed than me that I didn't catch his lies. I trusted that others had investigated. Looking back, more should have been done, and for that I am sorry." LINK

Reynolds went on the air defending himself in two Foley-related ads after the American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) began broadcasting a hard-hitting radio ad questioning whether Reynolds had done all he could after hearing a complaint about Foley from Rep. Rodney Alexander (R-LA) in the spring of 2006.

AFSCME wasn't alone. The Democratic-leaning 527 "Majority Action," headed up by one-time candidate for DNC chairman Donnie Fowler, also went up with a radio ad on Friday attacking Reynolds for his involvement in the Foley affair.

Foley: polls:

"53 percent of Americans want the Democrats to win control of Congress next month, including 10 percent of Republicans, compared to just 35 percent who want the GOP to retain power," reports Newsweek on its post-Foley poll. LINK

"If the election were held today, 51 percent of likely voters would vote for the Democrat in their district versus 39 percent who would vote for the Republican. And while the race is closer among male voters (46 percent for the Democrats vs. 42 percent for the Republicans), the Democrats lead among women voters 56 to 34 percent."

Foley: the details:

Walter F. Roche Jr. exclusively reported in Sunday's Los Angeles Times that a former House page claims he had sex with ex-Rep. Foley. LINK

In its cover story, Newsweek reports, "On one night in 2002 or 2003, an allegedly inebriated Foley showed up at the pages' dorm after a 10 p.m. curfew and tried to gain entry, according to an account provided by two congressional sources, who declined to be identified due to the sensitivity of the matter. Foley was turned away by a guard. It is not known if the pages were ever aware that Foley lurked outside their door, but word of the incident reached the House Clerk, who notified Foley's chief of staff, Kirk Fordham." LINK

Foley: the gay Republican angle:

On Sunday, Mark Leibovich of the New York Times wrote about the network of gay Republican staffers featured prominently in the Foley story. LINK

Foley: Sunday chatter:

The AP's Hope Yen has former NRCC Chairman Tom Davis (R-VA) calling for any Republican involved in a cover-up of the Foley scandal to step down and cites the last-minute scampering on the part of some of the GOP leadership this weekend. LINK

"Davis targets Foley cover-up," screams the Washington Times' front page. LINK

The New York Daily News' McAuliff wraps the Davis/LaHood Sunday morning hand wringing one month out from Election Day and conflicting accounts as to why Tom Reynolds was a no show on "This Week." LINK

Keying off Rep. Ray LaHood's (R-IL) comments on "Face the Nation," Janet Hook of the Los Angeles Times writes that "even a close ally" of Hastert's "acknowledged Sunday that time was running short for the GOP to get onto more hospitable political terrain." LINK

Foley: Hastert's political travel:

The New York Post's Earle reports Speaker Hastert canceled a planned fundraising appearance at Mayor Bloomberg's home for Rep. John Sweeney (R-NY). LINK

In a story that looks at Hastert's upcoming fundraiser with President Bush in Chicago on Thursday, Bob Novak has one of Hastert's most sever Republican critics saying: "We are sure to lose the House, and Denny never would want to be minority leader." LINK

Foley: how's it playing:

While debating on "Meet the Press" yesterday, Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) and Auditor Claire McCaskill (D-MO) showed their differing views on the Foley scandal, with McCaskill chastising Republicans for not taking earlier action and Talent advising to not to jump to conclusions. LINK

Rep. John Porter (R-NV), who at one time was a fundraising buddy of Foley, is now trying to distance himself from their fundraising committee, Physicians to Retain our Majority (PROM). A Porter aide said that "he didn't even attend" the events, he merely took the donations. LINK

Billy House of the Arizona Republic reports the differing opinions of Rep. Ed Pastor (D-AZ) and Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) on whether Hastert should step down. While Pastor will "wait to see what the House Ethics Committee concludes," Grijalva believes "accountability stops with the Speaker of the House." LINK

At a rally for Democrat Charlie Brown in Lincoln, CA, former Sen. Max Cleland (D-GA) said: "We all know what GOP means now," Cleland said. "It means grope our pages. And they are trying to cover that up, too." LINK

Brown is running against Rep. John Doolittle (R-CA) who has refused (thus far) to return $2,000 he received from Foley in 2002.

Foley: Shimkus:

Lynn Sweet of the Chicago Sun-Times reports that a "very cautious Shimkus taped our phone conversation and said it was now his standard operating procedure for all of his interviews." LINK

Foley: FL-16:

The Palm Beach Post's Bender reports that both Joe Negron (R) and Tim Mahoney (D) face "an uphill battle" for Foley's seat with only 14 days to go until early voting begins. LINK

Foley: op-eds and editorials:

Sunday's Union Leader called on Republicans to insist that Hastert resign. LINK

"Hastert's obsession with maintaining power has corrupted his judgment and he can no longer be trusted to put the interests of the country above the interests of his party. Republicans must insist that he resign."

Bloomberg's Al Hunt writes: "Other Republicans will pay a price because leaders were told about Foley's habits and failed to stop him. As my colleague, Margaret Carlson, wrote, they were more interested in saving a seat than saving a child."

The Wall Street Journal's John Fund writes that "it's time Mr. Hastert or whoever is speaker next January start thinking carefully about how members of Congress can once again reassert control over the place. As poor as the GOP record in that regard has been, congressional Democrats, who seem to want only to expand the size and complexity of the federal government, will find that only enhances the power of staff." LINK

The Washington Post's E.J. Dionne wrote over the weekend that the issue in the Foley case is "no different from the issues raised by the great array of policy questions Congress faces all the time: When confronted with an issue, do politicians focus on narrow political imperatives or do they care most about the well-being of children and families?" LINK

The Way to Win:

The new political book The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008 is generating discussion and praise across the fruited plain.

From on high (Don Imus: "Go out and buy The Way to Win"), and down low (Wonkette: LINK.

From the Right (a favorable review in the Wall Street Journal from John Fund LINK and Noted on Rush Limbaugh LINK) . . .

...and from the Left (Eric Alterman's review in The Nation can't help but say that The Way to Win "contains a razor-sharp analysis of the upper stratum of American politics available nowhere else." LINK)

If you are ready to buy you copy based on all that, click here. LINK

But forget the two coasts.

All Note readers can agree that what matters is what they think in the heartland, where everything is up to date and representative of great American family values.

So, here's what Sunday's Kansas City Star said about The Way to Win: LINK

"Political books are drowning in a Babel's brew of shouting, shrillness and in some cases utter stupidity and disregard for basic facts."

"But not all of them. If you read one political book this autumn, make it Mark Halperin and John F. Harris' The Way to Win: Taking the White House in 2008. Halperin, ABC News director and creator of "The Note"..., teams with Washington Post political editor Harris to write the most fascinating and insightful political book of the year…."

"And if you don't think Hillary can win in '08 — or if you think she's a lock — you must read this book. Both Hillary and John McCain, whom the authors see as the strongest contenders on each side of the aisle, have assets and liabilities that could affect all our futures. How they might deploy them, or fail to do so, makes for mesmerizing reading."

Halperin and Harris will be in Philadelphia today at the National Constitution Center, speaking and signing books this evening. LINK

If you are addicted to the East Coast's sensibilities, then you should know that Carole Goldberg, the books editor of the Hartford Courant says The Way to Win is "an insider's guide to a system that affects the lives of all Americans." LINK

And you can buy the book and check out the upcoming schedule of author public and media appearances at the book's website here. LINK

Politics of Iraq:

David Sanger of the New York Times writes up James Baker's newsy interview with George Stephanopoulos on "This Week" where he hinted that the Iraq Study Group he heads will neither suggest a "stay the course" strategy nor a "cut and run" strategy when it presents its recommendations, indicating that perhaps America needs a new approach in Iraq. LINK

On his "Political Punch" blog, ABC News' Jake Tapper "does the math" on how a Republican Senator, who will eventually break with the White House, "calculates how many lives it's acceptable to have killed pursuing that policy before stating his opposition to it…for the sole purpose of protecting his political party in an election." LINK

Bush Administration agenda:

For Sunday's Washington Post, Peter Baker looked at the grim rhetoric that Vice President Cheney brings to the campaign trail. LINK

For those of you keeping count, he has attended 111 fundraisers this cycle.

David Wessel reported in the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition that the White House will release the final deficit tally next week in the hope of sharing some good news before the election. LINK

The Boston Globe's Michael Kranish looks at President Bush's relationship with religious conservatives and the friction that exists in his second term. LINK

Here is the link to Part 1 from over the weekend: LINK

Abramoff affair:

In the Wall Street Journal's Weekend Edition, Jeanne Cummings reported that two upcoming court dates will push the Abramoff scandal back into the spotlight:

"Next Friday, Ohio Republican Rep. Bob Ney is scheduled to enter guilty pleas to accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of trips, meals and other gifts in exchange for taking official action on behalf of clients of former Republican lobbyist Jack Abramoff."

"On Oct. 27 -- less than two weeks before the Nov. 7 election -- David H. Safavian, a former White House official and Abramoff ally, is scheduled to be sentenced for his conviction, earlier this spring, on lying and obstruction-of-justice charges. Those also flowed from the Abramoff investigation."

The economy:

Kevin Hastert of Bloomberg News reports that Republicans incumbents may be dealt another political blow in weeks to come when GDP figures for this quarter, which are expected to be exceptionally low, are released later this month. LINK

"…. a soft landing for the economy may deliver a hard landing for Republicans. There is no question that individuals look at their own personal economic circumstances as the election approaches, and base their votes on how they feel the economy is doing. If the data turn sour, then voters will vote for change.

The seminal study in this area was performed by Yale University economist Ray Fair, who studied presidential elections back to 1916 and found that a model that used economic data to predict the outcome nailed every election except for Bill Clinton's victory of 1992. Fair's model also had a fairly high margin of error in the 2004 election, yet he still accurately predicted President George W. Bush as the eventual winner. His model gets the most bang for the buck out of inflation and gross domestic product. When these are doing well, incumbent parties tend to win."

The Washington Post's Julie Ziegler and Andy Critchlow report that OPEC has decided to cut oil output by one million barrels a day; however, it was not immediately clear if that would have a significant affect on prices. LINK

2006: landscape:

The Washington Post's Shailaigh Murray reports on Democrats chances in the upper South, focusing on the Senate campaign in Missouri of Claire McCaskill, challenging Republican incumbent Jim Talent. LINK

Writes Murray, "Missouri is an ideal laboratory to see if the experiment can work. For decades, the Democratic formula for winning the Show-Me State was simple: Win big in the urban hubs of St. Louis and Kansas City. But that approach only works by not losing big in the rest of the state."

The Wall Street Journal's Amy Schatz looks at the YouTube effect on the 2006 midterm elections, highlighting the effectiveness of such videos against Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA). LINK

2006: House:

Des Moines Register's Tom Witosky reports that congressional candidates Mike Whalen and Bruce Braley will debate tonight. LINK

Larry Eichel of the Philadelphia Inquirer Notes that the Foley scandal has made the GOP bastion PA-10 a competetive race, as voters grapple with "a Clintonian question and whether or not Rep. Don Sherwood's (R-PA) affair with a younger woman is enough to boot him from his seat. LINK

The Hartford Courant on Sen. Clinton raising coin for Democrat Diane Farrell. LINK

2006: Senate:

Sen. Allen owns stock options in a company and failed to disclose it as a part of his financial disclosure required by Senate rules, reported the Associated Press over the weekend. LINK

The Washington Times' Christina Bellantoni previews today's debate between Allen and Webb. LINK

"Talent stresses independence from Bush," Washington Times. LINK

The Newark Star Ledger examines how immigration is playing in the New Jersey Senate race. LINK

The Philadelphia Inquirer's Budoff writes that the race between Sen. Rick Santorum (R-PA) and Democratic opponent Bob Casey has become "boring," as Santorum is running out of time to stage a comeback and Democratic opponent Bob Casey is keeping a low profile. LINK

2006: Governor:

The Los Angeles Times' Mark Z. Barabak reported on Sunday that "for the first time since the 1994 Republican landslide, Democrats are poised to attain a majority of the nation's governorships, an important political toehold regardless of who wins the battle to control Congress." LINK

On Saturday, the Boston Globe reported on Deval Patrick's (D-MA) pledge not to run negative ads during his gubernatorial campaign against Lt. Gov. Healey (R-MA). LINK

On Sunday, Boston Globe columnist Eileen McNamara chastised Healey for a campaign based on cynicism and scare tactics. LINK

In Michigan's unique gubernatorial contest, it's all about the economy. The New York Times' Monica Davey takes a closer look. LINK

In the Arkansas gubernatorial race, there are different views on what to do with the surplus, and what to do with that pesky grocery tax: "Democratic Party nominee Mike Beebe has said he wants to phase out the tax over time and tie its elimination to state revenue growth, while Republican Asa Hutchinson says there's enough money in the surplus to eliminate the tax immediately." LINK

Per the AP, Ohio gubernatorial candidate Ted Strickland (D) picked up endorsements from the Cleveland Plain Dealer and the Columbus Dispatch this weekend. LINK

In a Dallas Morning News poll, Gov. Rick Perry is outshining his opponents among Hispanic voters. Perry has a strong record with Hispanics in Texas. A Perry advisor estimates that 50% of the Hispanic vote will go to Perry. LINK

In Sunday's New York Times Magazine, Gov. Schweitzer said a Bill Ritter win in Colorado would complete a "blue bridge from Alberta to Mexico," a string of Democratic governorships stretching across Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona -- states that all broke for Bush in 2004. LINK

The Schwarzenegger Era:

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) and state Treasurer Phil Angelides squared off in their first and only debate over the weekend.

While the Democrats' candidate for California governor Phil Anglides was receiving instruction from his advanceman about which camera to speak into Saturday's night, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R-CA) was livening up a "dull" debate, writes George Skelton. LINK

More from the Los Angeles Times on Democratic candidates in California who are scared that Angelides poor performance against Schwarzenegger may hurt their ballot chances in November. LINK

Richard Marosi of the Los Angeles Times wrote over the weekend that immigration is the hot topic for the California gubernatorial race, but both candidates are treading lightly around the issue. LINK


"Presidential hopefuls routinely use midterm elections to illustrate their party loyalty and fund-raising heft. But this year is notable (sic) because the nation is facing the first presidential contest in decades without an incumbent or obvious front-runner from either party," writes Jeanne Cummings of the Wall Street Journal on 2008 presidential hopefuls involvement in the midterms. LINK

On Sunday, the New York Post's David Seifman columnized about Mayor Bloomberg enjoying all the 2008 presidential buzz surrounding him of late. LINK

2008: Republicans:

Can Rudy Giuliani's September 11 performance and the image as "America's mayor" thereafter carry him through an entire presidential campaign?

"For many loyal Republicans -- and more than a few independents and Democrats -- his national security message seems to work, blotting out the central question facing his candidacy: whether a supporter of legal abortion, gay civil unions, immigrants' rights and gun control; a thrice-married, Catholic New Yorker whose split with his second wife took place publicly and none too neatly, can win Republican presidential primaries and caucuses," writes the New York Times' Richard Perez Pena of Rudy Giuliani's 2008 presidential prospects. LINK

2008: Democrats:

Some big Democrats are coming to Nevada this week to help out Senate and House candidates: Former President Bill Clinton, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY), Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI), Gov. Brian Schweitzer (D-MT) and Former Sec. of State Madeline Albright. LINK

On Sunday, the New York Post's Maggie Haberman wrote up Sen. Clinton's campaign trip, Hollywood highlights included, to Ohio on behalf of Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH). LINK

Sen. Clinton's contributions to Democratic campaign committees and her political travel outside of New York were the subject of a Saturday New York Times story worth checking out if you missed it. LINK

Al Gore is going up on the airwaves with his first political ad since his failed 2000 campaign for the White House. No, this is not his first ad for a 2008 presidential bid. Gore stars in a television ad campaign supporting Prop. 87 in California -- aimed at reducing California's dependence on foreign oil and invest in domestic fuel alternatives -- going up in 11 markets statewide in the Golden State today.

Radio Iowa reports that Gen. Wesley Clark said he believes there'll be a "surge" of Democrats going to the polls this November. LINK

"The country's safer when one party doesn't have control of the Supreme Court, the White House and the Congress. It just promotes the abuse of power," Clark said.

Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) believes his vote against the Iraq war and against the PATRIOT Act are powerful cards to play in the 2008 presidential contest, reports the New York Daily News' Ben Smith. LINK

While the same-sex marriage supporting Feingold was attending the Empire State Pride Agenda dinner, he told the New York Times that Clinton (who does not support same-sex marriage and was absent from the dinner) is "ready to be president." LINK

The Boston Globe follows Senator John Kerry's (D-MA) movement around the country with Notable stops in Iowa, New Hampshire, and an upcoming trip to Nevada - his busy travel itinerary has "convinced his inner circle that he intends to launch another run for president." LINK

Democratic agenda:

By highlighting how New York lawmakers will fare if Democrats gain majority status in Congress, the New York Post's Ian Bishop offers the RNC a wonderful opportunity to continue its contrast campaign of what the Congress might look like under a Speaker Pelosi or a Majority Leader Reid. LINK

Oh wait, never mind -- the New York Post editorial page has already done the RNC's work. LINK

GOP agenda:

Bloomberg's Ryan J. Donmoyer reports that Ways and Means Chairman Bill Thomas (R-CA) thinks the US should move toward "adopting a value-added tax to compete with trading partners that use such levies to penalize U.S. imports." LINK

Dean's Democrats:

After agreeing to give $12 million to the DCCC for voter-mobilization, DNC Chairman Howard Dean has agreed to give roughly $5 million to the DSCC. Sen. Clinton chipped in $2 million to the DSCC, cementing her "reputation as her party's fundraiser." LINK


Radio Iowa's O. Kay Henderson reports that as of Friday, there have been over 60,000 requests from Democrats in Iowa for an absentee ballot, compared to just over 20,000 for Republicans.

Week ahead:

On Tuesday, President Bush meets with the President of Peru, participates with Mrs. Bush in President in a panel on school safety at the National 4-H Conference Center in Chevy Chase, MD, hits the campaign road again, this time for Mac Collins (R-GA).

Senate candidates Bob Corker (R-TN) and Rep. Harold Ford Jr. (D-TN) debate in Chattanooga, TN, Rep. Mark Kennedy (R-MN) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) debate in Moorhead, MN, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) campaigns for gubernatorial candidate Dina Titus in Las Vegas, NV and Sen. Chris Dodd ((D-CT)) starts his two-day campaign with Democrats in New Hampshire and Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) attends a fundraiser for John Faso, the GOP's candidate for New York Governor.

On Wednesday, Iowa gubernatorial candidates Jim Nussle (R-IA) and Chet Culver (D-IA) attend a health care forum at Drake University in Des Moines, IA and in St. Louis, MO, Sen. Jim Talent (R-MO) and opponent Claire McCaskill (D-MO) hold their fourth debate. The League of Conservative Voters releases their 2006 National Environmental Scorecard. Congresswoman Melissa Bean (D-IL) speaks about internet safety with students, teachers and local police in Illinois.

On Thursday, The President will appear with House Speaker Dennis Hastert at an event for GOP Congressional candidates David McSweeney and Peter Roskam. Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-NY) hosts a cocktail party at the Roxy in New York City. Rudy Giuliani attends a campaign event for Rep. Mike Whalley (R-NH) in Concord, NH.

Arizona gubernatorial candidates debate in Flagstaff, AZ and Senate candidates Sen. Conrad Burns (R-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT) hold a debate in Helena, MT. David Eisenhower, grandson of former President Dwight D. Eisenhower and historian and director of the Institute for Public Service at the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg Public Policy Center is the featured guest lecturer at the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service, Little Rock, AR MT. Gov. Dave Freudenthal (D-WY) celebrates his 56th birthday.

On Friday, Sen. Barack Obama (D-IL) campaigns with Gov. Jennifer Granholm (D-MI) in Michigan. Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) keynotes the annual New Hampshire Democratic Party "Jefferson-Jackson" Dinner, Manchester, NH. Other speakers include: Governor John Lynch, Carol Shea-Porter, Paul Hodes, and Chairwoman of the NHDP Kathy Sullivan, Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Sherrod Brown (D-OH) hold a debate, Dayton, OH. At 10:00 am ET, Rep. Bob Ney has a plea agreement hearing in Washington, DC. Rudy Giuliani campaigns for fellow Republican, Connecticut Governor Rell in Stanford, CT.