THE SENATE MAY be going through the motions of debating campaign-finance reform, but the effort to weaken the stranglehold that big special-interest money has over our politics was gutted before it began. Tom Daschle, the Senate Democratic leader, signaled prior to the opening of the debate that he'd be willing to accept an increase in the limits on direct hard-money contributions to candidates' campaigns in return for passage of a ban on soft money to national party committees. That would open the floodgates to a torrent of new... More >>>