In a must-read story that illustrates seven vital points about presidential politics and modern journalism (and eight more points about how the Boston Globe treats hometown presidential candidates), Scott Helman and Michael Levenson of Globe report on efforts by the campaign of Gov. Mitt Romney's (R-MA) to gain the White House through some Mormon momentum. "Over the past two months, Romney's political operatives and church leaders have discussed building a grass-roots political organization using alumni chapters of Brigham Young University's business school around the country." LINK
Read every last word, including the conflicting stories of Romney advisers and ask yourself: why were the Globe reporters tipped off to staking out a meeting, and where did they got the leaked documents?
The Des Moines Register's Tim Higgins writes that while campaigning in Des Moines yesterday, Sen. McCain criticized political campaigns and called for the end of controversial political groups that can spend money on campaigns around traditional campaign laws. LINK
Sen. McCain stressed the need for more troops in Iraq and the need to reserve the option of military action against North Korea if it continues to develop nuclear weapons during a filming for the show "Hardball" at Iowa State University, Notes the Des Moines Register's Lisa Rossi. LINK
A new Quinnipiac University poll out this morning shows Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY) trouncing her opponent John Spencer (R-NY) 65 to 30 percent and five percent of those polled are still undecided.
Casting and counting:
Ian Urbina of the New York Times paints the doomsday Election Day scenario with new voting technology and procedures being put to the test this year. Be sure to Note the calming words from the president of the National Association of Secretaries of State. LINK
The Chicago Tribune warns that Chicago and Cook County officials have not fixed some of the problems with electronic voting that they first discovered during last spring's primary. John McCormick has the story. LINK
Garry Rayno of the New Hampshire Union Leader reports that a new style ballot is causing problems for candidates with longer names when they are shrunken almost illegibly to fit into the space. The Secretary of State's office is trying to resolve the problem before November 7. LINK
David Saltonstall of the New York Daily News Notes the complicated seating chart at the annual Alfred E. Smith Dinner in New York City tonight, where "the seating chart for the event also provides a road map for who's up and who's down in New York politics -- with proximity to the podium regarded as a key sign of political juice." LINK
More Thursday schedule items:
First Lady Laura Bush heads to New Orleans, LA for two events held in the city's Custom House. At 10:00 am ET she participates in the Preserve America Summit and at 11:00 am ET she tours the Audubon Insectarium and participates in a youth breakout session on Preserve America.
Sen. Mike DeWine (R-OH) and Rep. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) debate at 7:00 pm ET tonight in Toledo, OH.
Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchinson (R-TX) debates Democratic challenger Barbara Ann Radnofsky at 10:00 pm ET in San Antonio, TX.
Sen. Lincoln Chaffee debates Democratic challenger Sheldon Whitehouse at 7:00 pm ET.
Fox News' Sean Hannity campaigns at 6 pm ET for gubernatorial candidate Ken Blackwell (R-OH) at a rally in Cincinnati, OH. Blackwell, is facing Democrat Ted Strickland in Ohio's gubernatorial race.
Gov. Jim Doyle (D-WI) is joined by baseball legend Hank Aaron at 1:15 pm ET at Carson Park in Eau Claire, WI. Doyle is up against Republican Mark Green this November.
Democracia USA, a national non-partisan Hispanic civic engagement program, holds a news conference at 1:30 pm ET to announce its registration of over 100,000 new Hispanic voters in 4 key electoral states at the National Press Club in Washington, DC.