With April 15—the filing date for both taxes and first-quarter FEC reports—now over, the money stories start flooding in. We’ll tackle the Tea Parties protesting Obama’s government spending first. The big debate appears to be whether these were successful grassroots action or ‘astroturf’ protests organized from the top down. I’ll stay out of that debate and just point to the numbers tallied by FiveThirtyEight: at least 250,000 citizens were involved in the protests—though at least some folks were protesting in favor of taxes elsewhere. The protests have raised the political star of some Republican governors fighting the stimulus, like Texas’s Rick Perry. Though Florida’s Gov. Charlie Crist, a Republican who supported the stimulus, also remains popular. The second swirl of stories today is around campaign fundraising and expenditures. In some ways, last fall’s campaigns live on as some of the also-rans still have outstanding debts while Obama for America continues to spit out good money. Sarah Palin also remains, with little input of her own, a big figure as fundraisering friends and foes both use her image to ignite supporters. In Minnesota, of course, the campaign lives on in full—and it’s a money drain. As for the upcoming and ongoing campaigns, the Post offers a dispatch from Virginia’s Shad Planking, where gubernatorial candidates on both sides were looking more for media attention than to sway any voters. Up in Pennsylvania all the focus as been on Specter v. Toomey, but the Senate Guru runs down the potential Democrats they’ll face in the general.