The Note: Mistaking Obstructionism for Progress

Reports Kenneth Lovett in the New York Post: "State Attorney General Eliot Spitzer has received thousands of dollars in campaign donations from lawyers at a prominent Manhattan law firm hired by AIG -- even as the insurance giant is under investigation by Spitzer's office, The Post has learned." LINK

Sen. Barack Obama has raised more than $1 million for colleagues this year, with the biggest chunk of it going toward Sen. Robert Byrd. LINK

Here come the special interest groups looking to weigh in on the DSCC's 2006 primary picks, write Roll Call's Josh Kurtz and Nicole Duran.

Based on The Hill's Hans Nichols' account, it looks as though there's still some talking to do to get an agreement between the DCCC and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. LINK


Sheldon Silver tells Fred Dicker that Freddy Ferrer's campaign is in "freefall." LINK

Schwarzenegger era:

The Los Angeles Times' George Skelton says Gov. Schwarzenegger's tactical retreat on restructuring state pensions with private accounts was a smart move. LINK

In Sunday's Los Angeles Times, Peter Nicholas and Robert Salladay painted a must-read gray picture of where the Schwarzenegger agenda has ended up, writing that the "year of reform" has "foundered amid a series of missteps, compromises and clashes with a well-organized opposition" -- the Governator gets it, he just couldn't sell it, they wrote. LINK


"The FBI is investigating fund-raising related to the Rev. Al Sharpton's 2004 presidential campaign -- in part because of wiretaps from the Philadelphia City Hall probe, according to people familiar with the matter," report the Philadelphia Inquirer's John Shiffman and Mark Fazlollah report. Sharpton said no one in his campaign has been contacted by the FBI, and called the allegations "a 'politically motivated smokescreen' to disguise a personal attack by the U.S. Justice Department." LINK

The Wall Street Journal's Yochi Dreazen assesses the glut of off-season issue ads.

Sen. Tom Coburn may be able to continue to practice medicine on a "not-for-profit" basis if the Senate Rules Committee signs off on a bill changing the definition of compensation for outside work, backed by Sen. Trent Lott, Roll Call reports.

The Los Angeles Times' Stephanie Simon takes a closer look at Kansas' state attorney general, Phil Kline, currently controversial because of his demand for access to patient medical records from abortion clinics. LINK

The Los Angeles Times' Jessica Garrison takes an interesting look at the national and international -- but not local -- nexus between the power and the glitter: Hollywood is interested and involved in national politics and international causes, but don't bring much interest or effort to the table of local politics. LINK

Newsweek's Brad Stone seems skeptical, yet open to watching, former Vice President Al Gore's Current TV network. LINK

The owners of the Merrimack Restaurant are asking $1.65 million for it as well as the two-story building where it's located, the Union Leader's Michael Cousineau reported Saturday. Never fear, however; the two buyers who are fighting over it want to keep the restaurant in place (thankfully). LINK

Imagine the implications if Steve Forbes buys it.

Finally, but hardly least, Politics Live, the all-politics-all-the-time show on ABC News Now, our 24-hour digital news network, is seeking your help.

The final segment of each Politics Live, "Stump Sam," invites viewers and scholars alike to stump Sam Donaldson with difficult presidential trivia questions. Questions can involve any aspect of presidential trivia, dating from 1950 to the present. (It's harder than you'd think -- Sam is amazing.)

Click here to join in the fun of stumping Sam with your wittiest trivia and win the hottest new fashion accessory -- an orange ABC News Now baseball cap! here

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