The Note: Republicans as Democrats

Scott Palmer, Speaker Hastert's top aide, and Sally Vastola, the NRCC's executive director, were questioned yesterday as the congressional investigation of the Mark Foley page scandal continued. Charles Babington of the Washington Post reports that Republicans are worried that an ethics committee finding that is critical of Hastert before the election could hurt voter turnout. LINK

More from USA Today's Kathy Kiely. LINK

Elizabeth Davis of the Associated Press reports that Speaker Hastert is "still welcome on the campaign trail in northeast Tennessee." LINK

Liberal Group's Ad Uses ABC Interview to Hammer Bush on "Stay the Course":

Seizing on video of President Bush telling ABC's George Stephanopoulos that "we've never been stay the course, George," Americans United, a liberal union-funded group committed to protecting Social Security in its current form, is launching television ads in three states Wednesday.

Without explicitly advocating for or against any particular candidate on the ballot, Americans United is deploying its latest anti-Bush ads in Rochester, MN (where Rep. Gil Gutknecht (R-MN) is in a newly competitive race for re-election), northern Virginia (where Sen. George Allen (R-VA) is running for re-election), and Buffalo, NY where Rep. Tom Reynolds is in a competitive race for re-election.

The ad contrasts Bush's claims that he's never been about staying the course with multiple clips of him saying "we're staying the course." View the ad here: LINK

ONE campaign:

The ONE campaign -- aimed at alleviating poverty and fighting AIDS around the world -- has amassed a bevy of Hollywood celebrities and bipartisan heavyweights for its new ad campaign.

Both the DNC and RNC have agreed to post ONE's new "ONE Vote" election spot on the front pages of their websites today. LINK

From Democrat Mike McCurry: "This is something all Americans can do together across party lines. For the first time, we have real solutions that work in the fight against global AIDS and extreme poverty, and America can help lead the world in saving and changing lives."

From Republican Jack Oliver: "America's greatest strength is our compassion and willingness to be engaged on the world stage. ONE's 'base' is really both bases -- Republicans and Democrats can come together to make sure that the voices of the billion people who live on less than $1 a day are heard both in this election and the 2008 presidential cycle."

Casting and counting:

At one minute past midnight, Electionline.org released its pre-election report on what states to examine for possible voting irregularities and problems. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar keys off the electionline.org report and looks at the potential chaos at the polls this year. LINK

ABC News' Jake Tapper and Rebecca Abrahams report on a hacked Chicago voter database affecting 1.35 million voters. LINK

Political potpourri:

The New York Times' Kirk Johnson takes a long look at the rise of independents and the moving away from party labels, especially in the Southwest. LINK

Other calendar items:

The Center for Responsive Politics holds a conference call briefing to predict the total cost of the 2006 midterm elections.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Sen. Dick Durbin (D-IL) hold news conference to announce the top priorities of a Democratic-led U.S. Senate at 10:30 am ET.

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