Robert Novak

 Madonna, who has launched her racy new "Reinvention World Tour," is the featured attraction of a fund-raiser by one of the "527" Democratic fund-raising committees designed to get around the McCain-Feingold Act's ban on soft money.

 Two tickets cost $5,000 for "an evening with Madonna" June 14 at the MCI Center in downtown Washington. It is sponsored by the Great Plains Leadership Fund, supposedly "independent" but actually a Democratic fund-raising organization.

 The fund's "honorary chair" is Democratic Sen. Byron L. Dorgan of North Dakota, an advocate of the McCain-Feingold bill. Its headquarters is nowhere near the Great Plains, but is located on Capitol Hill in Washington.


 The temporary truce between President Bush and Senate Democrats over judicial nominees does not mean J. Leon Holmes, attacked because of his religious beliefs, will be confirmed as a federal district judge in Arkansas.

 When Bush agreed not to make any more judicial nominations this year while the Senate is not in session, Senate Democrats agreed to up-and-down votes on 25 judges. That includes Little Rock lawyer Holmes, whose nomination was sent without recommendation to the Senate floor by the Judiciary Committee a year ago. Holmes is under fire from feminists and may not get a simple majority.

 Holmes is backed by Arkansas' two Democratic senators, Blanche Lincoln and Mark Pryor. However, Sen. Arlen Specter, newly renominated in the Pennsylvania Republican primary, has been lobbying against Holmes. Six or more Republican senators may vote against him, enough to deny a majority.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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