THAT WAS QUICK…On Monday, we released our new cover story, which argues that for Democrats, embracing public financing of congressional elections would be not just good policy, but good politics too, since it would level the financial playing field that currently favors the GOP. Then yesterday, not 30 hours later, Senate number two Dick Durbin called public financing the next logical step after ethics and lobbying reform, and announced that he’d be introducing a bill in the coming weeks. You can’t say we don’t get results.
In all seriousness, Durbin has been working on this for some time, and he understands that convincing the rest of the leadership, and the caucus as a whole, to get behind public financing will be a long-term project — a senior Senate aide told me there aren’t 25 votes in the Senate for public financing right now. But there’s no doubt that having a member of the leadership team pushing the issue makes a big difference.