Smoking Out Reformers

Rep. Chris Shays (R) of Connecticut is wasting no time during these dog days of August. He's vigorously trying to revive the campaign-finance reform bill he and co-sponsor Martin Meehan (D) of Massachusetts have worked so hard to move toward a presidential signature.

The bill, which would eliminate the "soft" money that now flows freely into political party coffers, was never able to come to a vote before the House last month because of an unnecessary squabble over House rules.

Now, Mr. Shays & Co. have moved encouragingly closer to obtaining the necessary 218 votes (205 at last count) to force House Speaker Dennis Hastert to bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Supporters have been holding town hall meetings around the country to help put pressure on their House colleagues to demand this proper up-or-down vote.

Curbing the undue influence of money in politics is a reform priority for America; it shouldn't be set aside because politicians feel they have no other way to get elected. Reforming campaign finance will go a long way toward restoring voters' confidence and faith in their legislators' ability to do the right thing.

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