Ron Paul's plans are expanding: "Supporters of Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul have ramped up plans for a local counterweight to the GOP's national convention in September," Bob von Sternberg writes for the Star-Tribune. "Not content with a planned rally at the University of Minnesota's Williams Arena on Sept. 2, the Paul forces now plan a three-day 'Rally for the Republic' that will climax in a 10-hour extravaganza at Target Center in Minneapolis."
It's not just small donors powering Obama: "Even as he touts his base of small donors, Barack Obama is relying heavily on well-heeled contributors who have given $28,500 or more each to Democratic Party committees that will campaign on his behalf," Dan Morain reports in the Los Angeles Times. "Of the $20.3 million Obama's joint fundraising committees amassed in June, 86%, or $17.6 million, came in chunks of $5,000 or more; 64% came in increments of $28,500 or more, campaign finance reports filed over the weekend show."
Another rogue McCain donor: Craig Berkman, who was raising money for McCain while "battling his investment partners after admitting that he had lent himself $5 million of their money without telling them," Matthew Mosk writes in The Washington Post. "The failure to earlier identify Berkman as a risk reveals a recurring blind spot for presidential campaigns, which in their zeal to raise cash sometimes overlook evidence about potentially embarrassing donors."
An odd piece of McCain debt: $214,000 owed to the Secret Service, per Tom Abrahams of KTRK-TV in Houston.
The New York Times' Kevin Sack takes on Obama's promise to save every family $2,500 on healthcare. "Even if the next president and Congress can muster the political will, analysts question whether significant savings would materialize in as little as four years, or even in 10. But as Mr. Obama confronts an electorate that is deeply unsettled by escalating health costs, he is offering a precise 'chicken in every pot' guarantee based on numbers that are largely unknowable. Furthermore, it is not completely clear what he is promising."
On the Hill: "Republicans on Capitol Hill are rejecting a sequel to the successful 'Contract With America' campaign that won them the majority in Congress in 1994," Russell Berman reports in the New York Sun. "There will be no effort to try to nationalize the elections," House Minority Leader John Boehner, R-Ohio, told reporters at a lunch sponsored by the American Spectator magazine and Americans for Tax Reform.
Libertarian presidential candidate Bob Barr gets a look in the Los Angeles Times: "Clearly, one of the many challenges of Barr's fanciful bid for the White House is figuring out how to get America to take him seriously," Faye Fiore writes.
More Barr, from the Concord Monitor's Lauren R. Dorgan: "Some Republicans fear that Barr -- a former GOP congressman from Georgia who joined the Libertarian Party in 2006 -- could tip the election to Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama."
Don't miss Vanity Fair's twist on The New Yorker cover. (Will make for fun conversation in the Conde Nast cafeteria.)