The number of local governments passing resolutions against a unilateral war on Iraq passed 50, with several passed this week alone. Among those, Multnomah County, Ore., which encompasses Portland, passed a resolution by a 4 to 1 vote Thursday night after the Portland City Council last week deadlocked 2 to 2 on a similar resolution.

Cities that passed antiwar resolutions this week included Cleveland and Tacoma, Wash. Next week, the Maine state legislature is expected to become the first statewide government to register an antiwar vote.

At least 65 more cities are considering such resolutions, including Los Angeles and New York. Karen Dolan, a director of the Institute for Policy Studies, a District think tank that runs a Web site, citiesforpeace.org, to provide civic and legislative entities support for antiwar measures, said debate on the resolutions almost always centers on whether national and international affairs are within the purview of local governments. Most resolutions pass unanimously or with a strong majority, she said.

"It's an interesting trend," she said, "almost a desperate attempt on the part of citizens to be heard."

Sen. Graham Rests After Surgery

Sen. Bob Graham of Florida underwent heart surgery yesterday and is expected to take a month to recuperate before deciding whether to seek the Democratic presidential nomination.

Capitol physician John Eisold, Graham's attending doctor, said the "uncomplicated procedure" went well, and the senator was in stable condition at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda.

During the operation, doctors replaced the aortic valve, which controls blood flow from the heart's left ventricle into the aorta, the main artery carrying oxygen-rich blood through the body. Doctors said Graham, 66, is expected to remain in the hospital for four to five days and then convalesce at home for as many as 10 days.

Don't Mess With Mississippi

The leader of the Mississippi House of Representatives sent an angry letter to Texas Gov. Rick Perry this week, after the Republican executive appeared to have messed with the Magnolia state.

In a recent interview with the Dallas Morning News, Perry said that while his state is facing a significant budget shortfall and looming cuts, "I don't want to become Mississippi."

That prompted Tim Ford, the Democratic speaker of the Mississippi House, to write a two-page letter in which he noted a few of his state's achievements, while complaining that Perry's comments were insensitive.

"We elected officials in Mississippi are of the opinion that denigrating a sister state is not statesmanlike conduct," he wrote. "I invite you to come visit us to learn more about Mississippi, and I respectfully request that you refrain from criticizing Mississippi."

The governor's spokeswoman said he did not mean to denigrate his southern neighbor.

Researcher Brian Faler and the Associated Press contributed to this report.